“As each journey extends into the world around us, it reaches an equal distance into the world within us"
Once upon a time, in 2007, India Guide set up a small office to pilot and publish their first travel guide. The seed, however, was sown several years before during a conversation between two friends. One friend had cofounded what is now a well-established fellowship program for Indian Diaspora that encourages community immersion, grassroots development and leadership building. The other friend had spent one year as a fellow in that very program in the rural region of Kachchh before settling in Ahmedabad to work with an inspiring non-profit based in the Gandhi Ashram. Both friends had roots in the US. They got to talking about the idea of a series of guide books that not only conspired to share their deep bond and love for the country but one that captured real knowledge and insight into the way of life. They wanted to create a series that would inspire people to connect with the spirit of India and in the process connect with themselves. They continued to talk about the idea, until they decided to make it happen in cohorts with a third friend, the founder of a graphic and web design company who was based in the U.S. for several years before returning to his homeland. After India Guide Gujarat, the team took a breather to continue their work in their relative fields, but saw the demand and interest shown by thoughtful travelers from around globe and decided it was the right time to take India Guide to the next step. And so with that, India Guide has two editions of India Guide Gujarat on the bookshelves and new destinations in the pipe works.
India Guide is a humble endeavor to highlight the hidden treasures of the country while encouraging mindfulness, connectivity and a meaningful sojourn. Our values are strongly embedded in knowledge-based traveling and built upon four principles: cultural sensitivity, encouraging the local economy, loving nature and reducing the negative impact of our footprint wherever we may tread. India Guide encourages travelers to be global ambassadors of peace and understanding. The India Guide series is a tribute to fellow pilgrims who seek the road less traveled.
Our TeamIndia Guide Publications is driven by a young and passionate team of travelers (supported by individuals with extensive insight in specific fields) who speak the local language and understand the culture.
Mindful TravelingSince our choices and attitudes impact the world around us, we must each do our part to take care of it now and for the next generation. We have highlighted a few suggestions that promote conscious traveling.
Cultural SensitivityTravel with an open mind to really immerse in a new culture. Remember to look, listen and learn in order to understand and internalize the local way of life. Try to do some research and get to know the area - its history, customs and cultural norms. The proper context will help enhance your sensitivity towards the place. Make friends with locals. Take the time to learn a few phrases of the language to really connect with people. Smile often. Respect the dress codes and norms of each environment.
Encourage the Local EconomyStay in locally owned accommodation, eat foods native to the area and purchase products made with local materials. Help support artisans and preserve craft traditions by buying handcrafted goods. And always try to get to know the person behind the craft.
Love NatureMake the effort to conserve water and power. Recycle whenever possible. Minimize the use of plastic by keeping a cloth bag with you to carry your purchases. Avoid water pouches when possible. Hold onto your waste until you have access to proper disposal facilities. Treat living things with care. Do not remove anything from its natural environment, and when in nature, follow trails and travel in small, unobtrusive groups.
Reduce the Negative Impact of your FootprintAlways try to be conscious of your actions and their possible effects. Experiment with simple living. When taking photos, especially of women, ask for permission first since it can be obtrusive and disrespectful; in some communities it may even be taboo. Be a role model. Try not to make promises to people such as return visits if you cannot follow through with them. If you want to contribute in some way, get involved with a local organization.