There’s no better way to armchair travel than to pick up a book that transports you to a destination. Most will agree that some travel books can outdo Instagram travel reels, movies, and even documentaries. To set off the wanderlust in you, we’ve listed some of the best travel books that you should get to reading –
7 Best Travel Books To Take A Literary Trip
City Of Djinns: A Year In Delhi
Author: William Dalrymple
This novel dives into the rich history of the capital of India, Delhi. It is surely lucky to have a writer like William Dalrymple unveil the city’s many phases. The book takes readers on a journey to discover the character of Delhi through anecdotes. It isn’t just a historical text, so don’t worry, you won’t doze off to sleep.
City Of Djinns is based on the author’s experience of having stayed in Delhi for 6 years. It’s also extremely well-researched and you’ll realize that as you read through the book. Tales of the partition in 1947, insights into the fall of the Mughal Empire in 1857, and other major historical events have been touched upon.
By reading this book, you’ll have most of your facts in order and won’t feel lost when you make your way through the historical landmarks of the city. This is a must-read, not just for history buffs but for anyone traveling to explore Delhi.
Around India In 80 Trains
Author: Monisha Rajesh
A twist to Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days is what’s in store for you in this novel. The story revolves around the author’s way of learning about India by commuting on Indian railways – the country’s lifeline – to tourist destinations. The author reminds us of how Indian Railways are the best way to travel to so many nooks and corners of the country.
Trains indeed are an inexpensive way to travel to the coasts, mountains, and cities of India. As Monisha pins down the destinations she’ll explore on the Indian map, you will get a good number of ideas of where you can travel next. The plot of this book also encourages women on the fence about traveling to embark on their journey. It’s a light read that will probably remind you of crazy memories you’ve had while traveling on an Indian train.
Truck de India!: A Hitchhiker’s guide to Hindustan
Author: Rajat Ubhaykar
If you consider yourself a backpacking traveler, then you’ll relate to most of the scenarios painted by the author of this book. This book essentially tells us the story of a journalist hitchhiking through destinations in India from one truck to another. It’s an unconventional road trip with ups and downs but a rollercoaster to read. It will bring back moments of travel where the kindness of strangers elevated your travel experience.
The author takes us through his journey to Srinagar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, the northeast, and more. The story takes readers through a refreshing and offbeat way to travel, teaching you to survive an unplanned journey like a pro. The author writes about the meals he relished and the beautiful views he was surrounded by. In an interview about his book, Rajat Unbhaykar reveals that of all the roads he took, the one from Pathankot to Dharamshala was the most memorable. Perhaps you’d like to try that road trip too?
The Room On The Roof
Author: Ruskin Bond
Looking for a heartwarming story set in the beautiful Himalayan foothills of Dehradun? Then head right over to books written by the legendary Ruskin Bond. The author does a more-than-excellent job at it in his short novellas like The Room On The Roof. He wrote this novel at the age of seventeen but it’s a classic that you must read. Once you do, you’ll agree that reading Ruskin Bond is therapeutic and similar to meditation.
All Roads Lead To Ganga and A Town Called Dehra are some of the other best travel books by Ruskin Bond that you should pick up to read. His picturesque descriptions of Dehradun will have you planning your trip to Uttarakhand in no time. For a taste of offbeat unexplored Uttarakhand, the hilly hamlets of Almora and Mukteshwar are a perfect choice. goSTOPS has properties in both these destinations. You’ll truly find yourself reminiscing about passages from Ruskin Bond when you travel here.
The Shooting Star: A Girl, Her Backpack and the World
Author: Shivya Nath
Ever thought of backpacking in Himachal but have no clue what to expect? Reading this book written by Shivya who quit her corporate job at 23 to travel will give you a ton of ideas. Her episodes of travel will inspire you to travel to destinations that you’ve been putting off. You’ll also find snippets of information on the challenges of traveling solo. Even with the downsides, it’s a trade-off Shivya was ready to make for the noteworthy memories she received in return. The book also gives readers a peek into the digital nomadic lifestyle that many have begun venturing into.
Man-Eaters Of Kumaon
Author: Jim Corbett
Wildlife enthusiasts are sure to go gaga over this novel that takes readers into details of Jim Corbett’s experiences in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Readers are reminded of the rich flora of the Jim Corbett National Park and you’re truly transported into the wilderness of the forest. The story goes over all the incidents of Corbett from the perspective of a naturalist trying to get a grip on why the tigers have started attacking the villagers.
The entire story keeps you on edge and trust us, you won’t be able to keep this book down. Just a heads up that it can be a little gory because it’s a story of a man-eating tiger on a killing spree of humans.
On a Shoestring to Coorg: An Experience of Southern India
Author: Dervla Murphy
On a Shoestring to Coorg is a non-fictional story about Dervla and her young 5-year-old daughter exploring most of Southern India. They take the road less traveled and reading about their excursions lets you feel like you’re traveling along. If you’ve already traveled to the South of India, you’ll resonate with the scenarios in the book.
This is a must-read especially if you’re a fan of the author itself, Dervla Murphy. If you like her writing style in this book, you can also read her most iconic book – Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle.
These are some of the best travel books that will take you on countless adventures from the comfort of your home. When you’re ready to travel for real, you can always count on goSTOPS for your stay. Bring your books along with you too because our hostels do have cozy reading corners too!
What Are The Top Three Travel Books Of All Time?
There are dozens of travel books that people love to pick up to read to get a sense of a destination. The top three travel books change every year but few must-read ones are –
- All Roads Lead To Ganga by Ruskin Bond
- Midnight’s Children By Salman Rushdie
- A Short Walk In Hindu Kush By Eric Newby
What Are The Best Travel Stories?
There are many travel stories on the internet, you could find one in a personal blog, a podcast or an actual physical book. The best travel stories that have gained a lot of attention from readers are –
- Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
- The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
- City of Djinns by William Dalrymple
What To Read When You Can’t Travel?
When you can’t travel, here are some books that send you to the destination –
- Maximum City by Suketu Mehta
- Bombay, Meri Jaan by Jerry Pinto
- City of Djinns by William Dalrymple
- The City Of Joy By Dominique Lapierre
Who Is The Best Travel Writer?
Few notable travel writers that have gained a huge readership for their travel writing are –
- Ruskin Bond
- Amitav Ghosh
- Sudha Murthy