Colors of the Ganges
Varanasi is a city of beautiful chaos. Located on the banks of the Ganges River, it's one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and also one of the holiest. The river is the pulse of the city and it's worth setting your alarm so that you can be on the water for sunrise. Locals descend the ghats (the stairs leading down to the banks of the river) to bathe, pilgrims perform Hindu ceremonies, and women wash their laundry then hang it along the stairs to dry. Even more fascinating are the burning ghats that send plumes of smoke and flames into the air as they cremate the bodies of the dead. Anyone visiting Varanasi must read Geoff Dyer's book "Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi." It perfectly captures the spirit of the city.