Incredibly diverse in topology, culture, heritage, religion, language, people and everything tangible - India is aptly referred to as a sub-continent. Organized chaos in itself, the country gives new definition to “Unity in Diversity” with astonishing differences in each micro community it houses. A feast for your senses, life here is celebrated with the wildest splash of colors and the volume turned all the way up. A country of extremes, you will either fall intimately in love with India or completely the opposite without much room for in between. But once you open your arms to India’s stark contrasts, it will be that song playing on repeat, that perfect memory that always manages to conjure a smile, that incredible connection that only grows with time.

Each state offers a taste of a different culture, completely new and refreshing. Trying to quantify India’s eloquence is a futile exercise, but here are just a few of amazing experiences you must have in this incredible country.

"The Kashmir Valley" by taNvir kohli via Flickr Creative Commons

Be Awed By Kashmir

Kashmir has been an inspiration to poets and a muse to many as Cashmere, Qashmir, Cashmir, Cashmire, or Kashmere. Words fail when trying to paint a picture as a picture can only be a poor imitation of its exquisite beauty, a mere shadow of what it was before being riddled with political controversies. Inhabited by beautiful people inside out, you will feel at home and wonder why you hadn’t been for so long. Snow-capped mountains, turquoise rivers, happy faces and intimate warmth, Kashmir will leave you spellbound with its blue skies and blossoming meadows.

"The Greater Himalayan Range" by gkrishna63 via Flickr Creative Commons

Experience the Himalayas

Standing tall and pristine, haughty and young, wise and daunting are the Himalayan mountains that have been an important part of Indian mythology and rightfully so! Anybody who has had the pleasure to be acquainted with these eternally tranquil ranges will wistfully tell you how difficult it is to describe their experiences, because the power of language has its limitations. The snow-capped peaks, green meadows filled with flowers of every color, rivers that personify Goddesses, will all fall terribly short of reality. An experience with the Himalayas at any of the various provinces will leave you each time the wiser, more peaceful and will reiterate how insignificant so many things are in comparison to these ranges that pierce the skies without regret. A pilgrimage in itself, a trip to the Himalayas is meditative, introspective and frankly, necessary.

Photo Credit: Navaneeth KN

Have an Affair with the Western Ghats

Wild, unruly and brimming with life, the Western Ghats is an immaculate range of hills that boasts some of the most scenic views in southern India. Rich with various flora and fauna, it is an earthy paradise that casts a spell on you and enhances your craving to return over and over again. The Western Ghats provide a getaway that is so rejuvenating and eye-opening you'll instantly feel reconnected to nature.

"ganga maa" by the opoponax via Flickr Creative Commons

Witness the Mighty Ganga

Feral in her advance and majestic in her poise, the Ganga flows through northern India with a determination that is awe-inspiring. She is the cause for one of the oldest human settlements in the world, lovingly offering fertile lands and dazzling landscapes, subconsciously instilling a feeling of respect in all those that pass. Whether you take a chance with adventure sports at Rishikesh or grand displays of worship at Varanasi, the marvelous Ganga will leave you spellbound and commanding attention. Nestled amongst massive Himalayan ranges, it is known to be the holiest river in the world, and India is forever grateful for her metaphorical descent from the heavens.

Photo Credit: Vinoth Chandar

Go Back in Time at Hampi

If there ever was a place that transports you back in time, it is Hampi. A UNESCO World Heritage Site that's an exquisite remnant of the Vijayanagara Dynasty, the land is speckled with ancient palaces and temples lovingly built with imagination A larger city than Paris during its time, Hampi was a beacon of the powerful kingdom, with rocks and stone structures narrating stories of bygone eras with so much intricacy and passion you'd be remiss not to feel connected to the past.

Photo Credit: Nick Irvine-Fortescue

Fall in Love with the Seven Sisters

Untamed and uninhibited, the northeastern states of India famously known as the Seven Sisters offer an experience you'll never forget. With untapped potential and raw landscapes, any one of the northeastern states will accept your thirst for adventure and welcome you with open arms to push you to the limit. There is a subtle blend of Sino-Tibetan ethnicities inhabited by some of the most liberated people on Earth, and you can expect to be blown away by their hospitality as much as the natural splendor of the area. “Paradise unexplored,” these states have a magnetism that attracts travelers from around the world.

"Arambol Beach, Goa" by Ruben Alexander via Flickr Creative Commons

Beach Bumming In Goa

A beach paradise and easy getaway from chaotic city life, Goa is India’s favorite holiday location and yet, confounds you with pristine beaches that invite introspect in seclusion. North Goa is famously known for its intoxicating and psychedelic parties to release your inhibitions and be led by the night. After all, what happens in Goa stays in Goa! On the flip side, south Goa has quaint churches and hushed beaches where you can kayak amongst dolphins and watch the sunset on a beautiful horizon filled with hues of satisfaction. Welcoming to both old souls who appreciate vintage architecture and to young people who love to rave, it is not surprising to hear mention of it around the world.

Photo Credit: Chris Brown

Soak in the History of the Mughals

India is known for its Mughal history and it definitely has left a lasting mark on the country. The alluring symmetry of Islamic architecture, the stirring devotion instilled in the fierce Mughal forts of the impressive dynasty. Delhi and Agra, having been the seats of power during the Mughal reign, contain some of the most astounding remnants of their prosperity including the world renowned Taj Mahal. Infused with tales of immense bravery and romance, exploring the Mughal strongholds demand your attention without narcissism.

"Paläste von Udaipur" by Geri via Flickr Creative Commons

Let Rajasthan Color Your Life

Dotted with graceful palaces and effervescent tales of royalty, Rajasthan glows with an aura that invariably elates your spirit. Exquisite architecture native to Rajasthani Dynasties will inspire the artist in you to blossom as you marvel at the delicate attention to detail in all its monuments. As you ride camels in the Thar Desert and lounge beside a bonfire while you soak in some heady folk music, there is a certain charm, a certain splash of color about the place that will usher in a radiant smile. Rajasthan has a landscape that cannot be matched and it seems like it is inspired by a dream.

"20071125_082827" by Giridhar Appaji Nag Y via Flickr Creative Commons

Find Peace in Amritsar

Home to the world famous Golden temples which is the cultural center for the Sikh, Amritsar transcends religion and race. Harmonious in all its spheres, the Golden Temple is an example of tranquility and humble acceptance to all citizens of earth, regardless of skin color, language, race, or faith. Palliative and convalescent, this temple is the highlight of Amritsar and spiritually rejuvenating, steering a sense of calm into your psyche. When you're ready for a celebratory feast, Amritsar also boasts some of the most mouth-watering Punjabi cuisine anywhere.