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on 13 February 2010
As a long time fan of the rough guides, I bought a Lonely Planet for South India based on the reviews I read here. I was disappointed. It turns out to just be long lists of hotels, rather than containing any cultural information, or inciting me to visit any of these places. In this time of the interenet I find lists of hotels to be obsolete. It is not hard to find an interenet cafe whilst travelling and read reviews of hotels in the next place you're visiting, or to do this from home. (Since you are reading this online now I assume you have the internet) I had hoped the lonely planet would be useful for me as I travelled around south india, but find it lacking. I will now have to go and buy a rough guide to give me any sort of background to what I'm looking at, or ideas about where to go next. The way the guide is written is also quite odd. The advice is not very useful and mostly a mixture of common sense and long words. I do like to have a guide in my bag while I travel, but prefer ones with more information in them!
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on 19 January 2011
A Rough Guide fan during previous travelling trips, I begrudgingly bought the Lonely Planet guide to South India as it was the most up to date. Up to date it maybe, useful it is not!

The writers seem fixated on using fluffy jargon to descibe various places and in doing so fail to provide the basics needed, the section on Allepey is a particular nauseating chapter. At various points throughout our trip we found ourselves in locations which LP had recommended as a good base - Munanthavady for Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary - yet on arrival we were on our own with little to no pointers in terms of accommodation or how to even gain access to the sanctuary, 'Hire a jeep' was their general recommendation.

We decided to get a bus to Kalpetta and after finding the DTPC, We found out essential information which would've a)saved us a day of bus journeys, b) accommodation and c) what to do in the surrounding area. I have no idea why this information, seeing as Wayanad is seen as one of the places to visit, was not included in the book. Instead the authors prattled on about how when asked what is the most beautiful place in India, many sigh and whisper 'Wayanad'. Useful.

There are many other instances I could describe but in general I felt as if none of the writers had actually been to the places they were writing about, maps and distances were misleading and furthermore unless India has experienced severe inflation in little under a year, prices were wrong and usually half of what we paid.

In short, I wouldn't recommend buying this unless you want to spend your trip reading charming descriptions of all the places you could've visited if only they had told you how to get there.
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on 3 February 2010
This book is a typical LP travel guide, you will find everything you need. Could be good to have a suplement maybe in the form of a Rough Guide as well. But nothing wrong with the product as such.
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on 4 November 2010
I used this guide for my travels in Kerala, South India and it has helped me a lot (October 2010).
Good points:
- Fantastic with providing you with detailed information on how to get from one place to another, what source of transportation is the best, price tickets, buses, trains, timetables, etc. We travelled around Kerala and used Lonely Planet, as well as RoughGuide for most of the time. Without it we would waste a lot of time, especially that everyone in India gives you different information. Also, good guide on how much you should be paying for rickshaw & taxi, very helpful as we avoided being ripped off (the price the rickshaw people give you, when they see you are usually ca 3-4 times higher than what you should pay!)
- Very good in providing the range of hotels for various budgets. It helped us many times, especially, that we didn't book many hotels in advance. One thing though, we have found many times that what they described as `decent' accommodation was in fact quite rough (and we are not a fussy kind, but some of the places were dirty and disgusting), so depends whether you up to several months of backpacking or just 2 week holiday (like us), use your own judgement. I.e. in Cape Comorin, most of the hotels that were described in `luxury range' were million miles away from `luxury'. Don't rely solely on their definitions of "budget", "mid-range" and "luxury". It's worth always to go into the hotel and view the room yourselves before deciding on staying there. Sometimes mid-range turns out to be fantastic accommodation and not far away from many hotels that are described as "luxury" or "top end".
- Very good in providing info on trips and activities, that tourist offices have to offer at certain tourist spots. We have read it thoroughly and used it when visiting Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Most of the time that was in line what actually was on offer when we went there (obviously certain activities are subject to the weather and seasons).
- Basically if you go to any country for the first time, it gives you everything what you need to know to adjust and prepare at the very short time. Lots of useful tips and info.
- Doesn't have much information about the actual place, so you better have another guide as a back-up, or do your own research on the internet before you go. I.e. More info about a place, area, etc. Rough Guide was much better in that.
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on 15 August 2010
Firstly a confession- i am a man previously converted to the rough guides and the only reason i went for this LP is that it was published days before i went to India and the RG was 2 years old at that point.
On a few occasions hotels and restaurants had closed down despite the book being new. General info and listings was good but sometimes inaccurate.
The map of Kerala has some major inaccuracies in it such as having Tamil Nadu and Karnataka written over places which are clearly inside Kerala. The map appears to have gone to print unfinished and i struggle to see how it was not picked up on by the proof readers. This makes me think that LP may be spreading itself too thinly and not considering the consequences of inaacuracies for travellers on the ground.
the guide is useable but having used more than 8 RGs in print currently aroung the world, I have found them far more accurate and more 'readable' to get info on history, culture etc.
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on 20 September 2010
I pretty much only use Lonely Planet guides when travelling. I have bought the South India one before but have lent mine to someone and not got it back. I thought it was time for a newer version anyway. I am very pleased with it. There are always considerable changes between updates - some of my favourite places are not mentioned and I can't help wondering why, but new ones are and I will try them out. The Lonely Planet guides are a wealth of information and easy to use. I live and work in India as a volunteer every second year and the Lonely Planet tends to become my bible while I am there. A satisfied customer!
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on 7 August 2010
This book is a must for anyone who intends to travel to SOuth India.
There are lots of good suggestions for hotels, places to see, food to tastes and of course how to get from place to place.
We had a comfortable start to our journey from Tamel Nadu to Kerela to Bangaluru.
Wish you were here!
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on 1 August 2010
this book was really informative as we are going back packing to India for the 1st time in jan 2011 at the ripe old age of 63 and 65
so the moer info we have the better.
its also very intsresting and the way it is written is very simple to read.
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on 15 March 2010
I found this book very disappointing.The reviewers seemed to vary greatly in outlook,perhaps because some were Indian and some not.It Included chapters of little use to the average traveller,eg spas etc and was short of up-to-date and pertinent data.The description of Ganpatipule being an excellent example....the book describes the beautiful sandy beaches and clean water,alas no mention of the dangerous sea conditions and the fact that their recommended place to stay has big signs up warning against the dangers of sea bathing here.The water was not that clean either!wasted two days of my holiday that would have been better spent elsewhere.
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on 23 January 2015
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