The prospect of a visit to India, be it a package holiday or independent trip, can be daunting, as this vast country can be fascinating, confusing, frustrating and exhilarating. To help visitors prepare for the trip of a lifetime, “Friend” travel writer, Neil McAllister, has written an illustrated eBook, ‘‘Beginners India,’’ which is now available on Amazon and Apple’s iBook service.“The book is the result of more than twenty-five years of travelling in India, and the surrounding countries,’’ Neil explained. “Last year we spent six weeks in Kerala, Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, Rajasthan and Kashmir where we completed our research, undertook interviews and ensured what we wrote was accurate and interesting. “The culture shock on arriving in Delhi or Goa can be immense, which is why many visitors are content to isolate themselves from the country in their air-conditioned tour bus, but everyone should have a more fulfilling experience of India, which is where this book comes into its own.“Over the years, we have stayed in everywhere from fifty pence lodges to palaces costing a king’s ransom. We have used all manner of transport, from horse carts to camels, experiencing temperatures from freezing in the mountains to cooking in high temperature on the plains. I was keen not to write a guidebook telling people where to go, stay and eat but to help people prepare for their trip.Neil’s fame has spread and late last year, when working in Mauritius, he was filmed by MBC, the national television service, for a news item about ‘‘Beginners India’’, and a longer documentary film about his travel photography and journalism. Even if a visit to this alluring place is just a pipe-dream, the 300-plus stunning photographs and many amusing and fascinating anecdotes will make you feel that you have truly experienced India, regardless of whether or not you leave your own fireside.Neil’s wonderful photography brings his travels vividly to life, and is perfect for real and armchair travellers alike.
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