Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A review: Lonely Planet Magazine, India Edition

Really a LONELY PLANET??!!

Some pour over it in coffee houses, others have their nose between its pages even while crossing a road in India! This almost-accessory and  firangs go hand in hand, quite literally! It is none other than the ever Loved and informative Lonely Planet Guide to India.

From having unraveled many a clandestine destinations, to being the best trusted guide, lonely planet is not just a book, it is a traveler’s necessity, a fashion statement, a TV channel and now an India specific magazine!

They claim the Planet to be Lonely. I suppose through this venture they’re out to make it little less lonely!

I always thought reading magazines was passé, not anymore!

I set my eyes on this magazine on a hoarding, while waiting at the bus stop. Its launch and promotion was grand. The response I’m assuming was grander still, for every possible magazine-wala I contacted had the same answer, “Out of stock!” Having missed out on the First India Edition, I was desperately waiting for March month to lay my hands on the magazines second edition! Finally, I bought the LP magazine from a humble street vendor outside of Churchgate Station. The minute I saw the stunning cover and the contents, I knew it’d be worth my Rs. 100. LP certainly did not disappoint!

The launch price of the magazine-Rs. 100- is easy on the Indian pocket. My concern is their ability to maintain such a nominal price for a 200 page magazine of this stature. The popularity of LP may depend upon the price, but if the quality and interesting content is maintained the same will not deter most travel-crazy readers.

The editors have maintained an informal tone. This lends a certain friendliness and homely feel to the destination diaries. The mix of local and foreign destinations is skewed slightly towards the latter as the foreign destinations are covered in much more detail as compared their domestic counterparts. The broad theme of the second issue revolves around wildlife travel, with special emphasis on going beyond spotting the big cat and the usual game parks and sanctuaries.

Apart from the usual suspects like write to the editor, ask a travel related query, LP offers the reader a chance to get their memorable travel photos published. A bonus treat is the four stunning bookmarks sporting a spectacular photo and a delectable travel quote along with 6-tear out mini guides which they claim would be free with every forthcoming issue also.

To judge the content, one should have traveled to that particular destination. I leave the judgement to you, the reader because in each one of us there is a traveler!

The magazine is a visual treat. The photos are an appreciators prize and every photographer’s envy! The king size photos are for the keeps though in parts the quality of photos has been compromised for the sheer beauty of the object being covered. Overall the photos are stunning, intriguing and inspiring.
Reading LP may not affect your travel plans. But as their tag-line says, and I quote “Don’t just travel, travel well!” Who knows, you may just end up traveling better than before!

AND if you thought this planet was lonely, think again! Maybe you will find the answer in the 200-odd pages of LP magazine, or better still re-frame the question!

The Verdict: Highly recommended for every traveler, photographer, travel writer or those aspiring to be either of the three! 
Image from here

1 comment:

Ashrita said...

I first heard abt LP fm a friend of mine who refers to it b4 makin travel plans. Never figured tht it was so famous!
N now after reading ur review i also want to lay my hands on the book asap.


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