I prefer this book over Lonely Planet for several reasons. First, I find the maps easier to read and use. As a woman who travels alone, I use maps a lot to find my way around and they are one of my priorities when picking a guide book. The lonely planet maps are rather tricky to read in my opinion.
Secondly, there is a lot more interesting cultural information in the Rough Guide. This makes interesting and useful reading when you're on a train/bus/ wherever without anything to keep you occupied!
The only thing that Lonely Planet does "better" is listings of hotels and so on. However, when I say "better" I mean that they have more. However, I find reccomendations in most guides very hit or miss, therefore having more of them is not necessarily useful. Guide reccomendations are often out of date or aimed specifically at foreigners so you end up in some place that serves tourist food and so on. Also, you can end up in a hotel of tourists in a district full of tourists so it can be hard to really get immersed in local culture! Basically, I would rather get up to date hotel and restaurant reccomendations off local friends and the internet.
So, to sum up, I find this guide useful for maps and interesting little facts about different regions. Like many guide books on India it is quite large and unweildy, and also some of the cultural facts are written slightly weirdly (from a foreign perspective), but overall it is pretty good. I would choose it over the Lonely Planet guide every time.
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