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Check this list of my favorite India books and movies. Since this magical country is on the top of my travel bucket list – searching for inspiring reads and colorful movies has been a part of my cultural research. But I enjoyed it so much that ended up creating for you this post.

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Experiencing the Magic of India

Getting to know new cultures

India is one of the countries on the top of my Travel Bucket List. In fact, I´ve almost made it to Goa once, but got accepted on a study-abroad program last moment, so had to cancel the India trip. Nevertheless, I´ve never really left the idea of visiting rainbow-hued India.

Also read: 7 Favorite Travel Quotes

Traveling virtually via wanderlust books and adventurous travel movies has always been the second best thing for me. Additionally, you always get the best cultural insights by reading and watching the same things locals do.

Inspire yourself with India books and movies

The funny thing is that my parents recently traveled to India and got back home with opposite opinions on that very same trip: mom loved it, dad did not. It´s like I´ve told you in my San Francisco post – we end up liking places that match our personalities.

For instance, there are so many unique places in Spain that had become a part of my heartbeat forever. Partially it was love at first sight. But at the same time, reading Spanish quotes, binge-watching TV series, checking out virtual tours and trendy Spanish novels – all this cultural immersion always helps to embrace the first impression. In case of my parents – my mom saw a few Bollywood movies as a child and was always dreaming of getting her own sari, and my dad simply joined her on that trip. Of course, being familiar with the culture is no guaranty of a successful trip, but we should all agree on the fact that it always enriches your experience.

Therefore, since I know I´m going to make it to India at some point, I´ve been stockpiling the best India books and movies for a while. Want to experience the magic of India straight from your home?! – This list is for you.

Mahndi hands India - Interesting books and movies about India to fuel your Wanderlust
India books and movies (Photo by Vitaliy Lyubezhanin)

India books and movies

Indian movies are one of its kind – vibrant, colorful, full of traditional songs and dances. But let me warn you – at least half of these are box-of-tissue-needed movies.

Heart-touching India Movies

  • My name is Khan (2010)
  • Taare Zameen Par (2007)
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • Pather Panchali (1955)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
  • Lion (2016)
  • Jungle Book (2016)
  • Life of Pi (2012)
  • Water (2005)
  • Monsoon Wedding (2001)
  • The Lunchbox (2013)
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Funny India Movies

  • The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
  • Outsourced (2006)

Bollywood Movies

There´s no movie list about India without some iconic Bollywood stories

  • Devdas (2002)
  • Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
  • Raavan (2010)
  • Guzaarish (2010)
  • Lagaan (2001)
Running woman in a sari, India - Interesting books and movies about India to fuel your Wanderlust
India books and movies (Photo by Saksham Gangwar)

Books about India

Current favorites

  • “The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga (2008) –  a Booker prize winner, very ironic, sometimes shocking and yet full of funny moments (some even darkly humorous), but extraordinary written
  • Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts (2003) – an international bestseller, loved it from the first chapter! As the debut novel of Australian writer, it is essentially an autobiographical piece of work, but parts of it are reportedly fiction as well. But you know what? You feel an author genuinely loves India, his warmth towards the country and its people literally shines through the pages! Apparently, it´s contagious, you can´t help it but feel the same way!
  • The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy (1997) – another booker prize winner. I should warn you this book has made me sad right from its first chapters, and yet I couldn’t stop reading till the last word. A forbidden love story, political and personal dramas, mysterious tale of misunderstanding and pain, echoing through the years… so many small things that ended up making a big difference!
  • Midnight’s Children by Salman Rudshie (2005) – talented, controversial, full of social criticism and very deep thoughts! Salman Rushdie’s books are not the easiest to read for me, they are full of metaphors – it´s like nothing else you´ve ever read! In particular “Midnight´s Children” won the Booker Prize in 1981 and was recognized as “the best novel of all winners” on two separate occasions, marking the 25th and the 40th anniversary of the prize. It´s enough reason to give it a try, isn´t it?

On My India Reading List

There are quite a few books about India that I´ve handpicked from forums and Goodreads reviews and marked for my Reading list. Besides, I try to enjoy India books and movies one by one – so that the impressions and storylines dońt get mixed up.

Indian spices - Interesting books and movies about India to fuel your Wanderlust
India books and movies (Photo by Pratiksha Mohanty )
India books and movies
Searching for new Indian recipes

Cookbooks

When you want to experience a new culture it´s not only about the novels. You know that I´m a huge foodie and gastronomic adventures form an essential part of my travel journey. I currently own two Indian Cookbooks, but there are quite a few on my radar.

Cooking Indian food can´t be compared to anything else. India is the world´s largest producer of spices: 75 of 100 spices listed by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) are manufactured in India. Once you get your own Indian cookbook and start stocking the groceries to make those recipes happen, you realize there´s a whole world of spices out there you literally knew nothing about. I couldn´t find even half of the spices I needed in the local Spanish shops or online (and ended up ordering all from the UK).

Also, there are a few cool books on spices – The Science of Spice, Mastering Spice, and The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs.

India Coffee Table Books

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Interesting books and movies about India to fuel your Wanderlust

For more inspiring reads check my Pinterest Board – Travel Books, Movies, and Quotes.

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