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I could not resist the opportunity to travel back to Varanasi, barely 6 hours away by train, one weekend. Our previous trip here was in December 2001 -- when the weather was much more bearable. I did not plan for the extreme heat of the monsoon season. Still, Varanasi is one of the most captivating and colorful cities I have visited anywhere in the world -- full of pilgrims, con artists, entepreneurs, and sadhus. Here is a view from Dasaswamedh Ghat, one of the most popular bathing sites along the Ganges.