I changed my mind about Benares—it is now my second favorite place in India. My favorite is Bihar.
Tell Indians you're going to Bihar and you'll get a lot of strange looks. It's not exactly a major tourist destination. But I realized a long time ago that my dream of traveling has a lot less to do with beautiful historic places and cultures and a lot more to do with wanting to visit the outer planets on Firefly.
The border cities of Bihar seem a lot more like Badger's kind of town than Calcutta and and Benares. You can see beautiful sunsets over beautiful places in Benares, but here, you can see a beautiful sunset over massive oil refineries through the thick dust clouds kicked up by the constant stream of trucks heading into Nepal.
There is no comparison.