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Mark,
If you don't get better specific reply to your query - here is what I do
when planning or considering a foreign birding trip.

Go to Surfbirds and/or Travelling Birder and read a few current trip reports
- the author's often list the field guide(s) they used, example from one I
skimmed:

http://www.surfbirds.com/trip_report.php?id=2036

I ordered the Grimmett/Inskipp Guide to North India but when I got it there
were no range maps and the book covers a vast area so this was a bit
annoying. There are state codes with frequencies but it’s better to take the
other book by them covering the whole area though the range maps are on
different pages. I also ordered the Ripley Guide to the Birds of South Asia.
This is by far a much better book. The artwork is better and sharper with
range maps and info about the birds on the left page and plates on the
right. This is a two part set with the Field Guide the first book and the
Second book with more detailed status and habitat information. I ordered the
book direct from Lynx Ediciones but the second part is not in print anymore.
The only issue I had with this book is that it is hard cover. I hardly
noticed this and ended up never even pulling out the Grimmett/ Inskipp
guides as the Ripley guide was so much better to use.

Often the trip reports include the author's email - you can drop the author
a note and ask what field guide they used.  

Then go to Amazon and check out the field guides that are appropriate for
your area(s) and read the reviews - often very helpful - like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Birds-Northern-India-Princeton-Guides/dp/0691117381/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1322350814&sr=8-2

Hope this helps - sorry if long-winded. India has been on my list for ages -
birding /nature should be fabulous!
Ev

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