Figuring out what to do in India can be an overwhelming task. Every small town, city or state has a never-ending list of things to try your hand at. So how can you pick a few places and experiences out the hundreds of options? Leave it to us!

Here are five parts of the country that offer distinctly different impressions of India. From the hectic and jumbled cities to the idyllic and charming countryside this intoxicating country is sure to rule your memories long after your holiday is over.

Delhi

While Delhi’s first impressions can be of a frantic and chaotic city, once you get beyond its appearance, you’ll discover the secrets of India’s capital. Catch glimpses of sacred and ancient monuments scattered around every corner, spell-binding museums, an active and illustrious performing arts circle and out-of-this world food. A true melting pot of humanity, Delhi is a wonderful combination of old and new parts of India and gives visitors an easy place to plunge into the rich and dramatic history of the city.

Mumbai

This lively city is India’s financial powerhouse and the focal point of its fashion, film and after-dark activities. Mumbai is a contrast of wealth and poverty, of chaos and order, of skyscrapers and slums, of fervent religious convictions and tranquil spaces of spirituality. If you’re a social creature, Mumbai is the place for you, where you can eat like a king at a number of their fine dining options and then party the evening away in any of the cities ultra-chic clubs.

Varanasi

This is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities and is considered to be one of Hinduism’s seven holy cities. The old city of Varanasi is located along the banks of the Ganges river and is the beating heart of the Hindu world. It’s a magical place but not a place for the faint-hearted. Varanasi is unapologetically chaotic and brilliantly unique. The sights, sounds, and smells can be overwhelming, but if you persevere and push through, you’ll be treated to an authentic and intense part of India that is beyond compare.

Goa

If you are looking for a tropical, resort, beachy holiday, then you must take a week or weekend to visit the sunny shores of Goa in western India. With vanilla-scented plantations, varied and distinctive wildlife and ancient ruins to discover, there is no shortage of sightseeing in Goa. If exploring doesn’t tickle your fancy, then relax on the calming and charming beaches, found everywhere in Goa. Environmentally-conscious travellers will find a home and plenty of volunteer opportunities in this beach-side city. If you are on a budget but still want beautiful beaches, check out neighbouring Gokarna for a similar experience and lower prices.

Kerala

Where Delhi and Varnasai are the madness of city life, Kerala is the comfortable charm of rural living. This state in India has it all. From perfect beaches that beckon to the sun-crazed, to lush mountainous terrain and wildlife whose siren calls bring adventurers from around the world, Kerala is a flourishing example of rustic India. Influences from China, Portugal, Syria, and more create a mélange of vibrant traditions, delicious specialties and can’t-miss experiences.

These can’t miss destinations in India are just a jumping off point of the hundreds of places and things that you can see and experience in India. Even if you are fit and healthy, protect your holiday and your health with an international travel insurance plan from Cover-More Australia. Rest easy knowing our team of experts are at your back as you travel around the world.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Ryan.

Disclaimer: Please exercise caution while travelling in India and always be sure to check Smarttraveller’s website for the most up-to-date precautions and travel advice.