Being an Indian myself, I can tell you that this book is an authentic account about India. It is obvious that the author is someone who has lived and traveled in India over a long period of time. India is such a vast country that it is difficult for even Indians to gain such a depth of knowledge about the country as this author has achieved.
[. . . ]It is a must for anyone to carry and read if they are visiting India even for a brief time. This book prepares you for the surprises that await here.
The author's observations are presented without bias and prejudice. It was an open minded thesis that delved deep into the psyche of the Indian phenomenon. This is obviously an effort that should have spanned several years of unrelenting research and observation.
Whatever it is, this certainly is not anything that falls under the genre of books that typically stereotype India. It looks beyond the usual shocking point of view of India as a country of elephants and tigers. This book is about the real contemporary India and about real Indians.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in India. --Satyanarayana Pamarthy (Chennai, India), posted on amazon.com (USA), June 18, 2010
This is my favorite travel book on the market for India. Every page is worth reading, as the author obviously has years of experience traveling in India. If you are planning to go to India, this is the top book on the market. Take it with you -- you'll find that the advice given is like having your own personal guide, telling you things that you may have never thought about. I fully recommend this book! --Thomas Egenes (Fairfield, IA, USA), posted on amazon.com (USA), June 13, 2010
There are other guide books to tell you where to go and what to see, but this book explains in relevant detail what you need to know about the culture, customs--and the plumbing! The author is a Westerner who fell in love with India and stayed, so she writes with a deep respect for the culture. Being from the States, and never having been to India, we were looking for advice on such things as what kind of gifts to bring the hosts, what to expect when booking a train, what to eat and drink, how to properly interact with people, how to stay safe, what to wear...and more. It's all here, written in a fluid, easy-to-read style. Study up and prepare for a rich experience! --Barbara E. Leary, posted on amazon.com (USA), July 12, 2011 Barbara E. Leary, posted on amazon.com (USA), July 12, 2011
With one billion people, there is a whole lot of culture to embrace in India. "Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook" is a guide filled with simple and recommended wisdom as J. D. Viharini walks readers through the best ways to enjoy the cities and culture of the this massive country well. From overcoming language barriers, cultural taboos, safety concerns, and many more, "Enjoying India" is a strongly recommended read for trying to avoid the pitfalls of culture shock. --Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA), posted on amazon.com (USA), September 5, 2011
I have been traveling in India for over 25 years, and this book encapsulates much of what I believe is essential for a sojourner in India. It is written with a deep respect for the culture and traditions that permeate the land, and contains many insightful and practical tips on how to blend in seamlessly into the diverse landscape of India, without creating waves or calling unnecessary attention to the fact that you might be a Westerner. Highly recommended for anyone contemplating a trip to India--including seasoned veterans.
--Robert E. Cox, posted on amazon.com (USA), November 10, 2010
About the Author
J.D. Viharini is a single woman who has lived and traveled alone extensively in India. With the help of fellow travelers that she has met over the years, she has learned that it's essential to travel smart and to function in harmony with the local culture. For her, living and traveling in India is a great delight.
She was born in California, but has spent more than two-thirds of her life in other states and other countries. Having earned an MS in Vedic Studies in Europe, she came to India in 1980 and loved it immediately, though she had to wait a few years for her next visit.
She has been living in India for several years, and has traveled extensively throughout the country. Although she has an apartment in a remote village high in the Himalayas that's her home base, she tends to move around India with the seasons.
At one time or another, she's spent time in nearly every part of India except the Northeast. Over the years, she has traveled around India first class, sardine class, and everything in between. From the Ritz to the pits, so to speak, she has stayed and dined in some of the most exclusive places in India and some of the least. She has stayed with families and attended their celebrations. She has rented apartments and learned how to contend with all that living here entails. She has experienced the intense, seething crowds of the Kumbha Mela and the serenity of the sparsely populated, high Himalayas. She has gone on pilgrimages and done business. She has been sick and learned how to stay well. She has made many friends and has come to regard India as home.