GUWAHATI, July 18 – Counted among the most reliable of travel guides on India by many, The Lonely Planet India now appears to contain erroneous material that would confuse scores of readers.
The 30th anniversary edition of the travel guide published in September 2011 has several references about Assam, which have been pointed out as incorrect by readers, who have been left bewildered.
According to Saptarshi, a young professional based in Bengaluru, a description of Tezpur is highly misleading. The guide mentions, “Tezpur, with its large Bangladeshi immigrant population, is probably Assam’s most attractive city ….” The reader, originally from Assam, found that inexplicable. “For me and many others Tezpur is a city synonymous with art, culture, literature, and not an immigrant population!” he said.
Readers may also be a bit surprised by the entry on Kaziranga, which does mention the Indian one-horned rhino but falls short of celebrating its other major wildlife, which include a number of mega fauna such as wild buffalo and tigers.
On page 26, the ‘plan your trip itineraries’ shows a map that depicts Manas National Park on the route to Shillong and Cherrapunjee. Manas, actually, is located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra more than three hours by car.
Another error looks no less out of the ordinary. The entry on Assam describes Pobitora as a National Park, while its current status is that of a Sanctuary. The protected area is also termed the ‘world’s rhinoceros capital,’ for reasons not mentioned.
In a comparative assessment, the guide mentions tribes, wildlife, and adventure as three major attractions of the North East.