The Ganges at Sunrise

This is our entry in nancy merrill photography’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Texture.

In November 2014, we visited the ancient city of Varanasi in the northern India state of Uttar Pradesh. We went out in a rowboat on the Ganges River early one morning to experience the sunrise, as Hindu pilgrims have done for centuries. We gazed east, while just to our west, the never-ending funeral pyres burned on the shore. The photo contrasts the texture of the worn paint on the boat with the smooth rippled surface of the water. The solid darkness of the water is broken by striations of sunlight reflected on the ripples created by the oar.

This photo was taken on November 19, 2014. Specs are:

Olympus TG-3, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/160 sec, 4.5 mm.

Sunrise Cacophony on the Ganges

This is our entry in The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Cacophony.

Each sunrise on the Ganges in Varanasi, India, welcomes a cacophony of birds as they swarm rowboats expecting to be fed by tourists.

This photo was taken on November 14, 2014.  Specs are:

Olympus TG-3, ISO 100, f/4.9, 1/100 sec, focal length 55mm (35mm-equivalent).

Rowing on the Ganges at Dawn

This photo was taken on the Ganges River in Varanasi, India, around 8 AM. We were on a rowboat like the ones shown and took the photo into the sunrise, which was opposite the funeral burning ghats on the shore behind us. The Ganges is magical at any hour, but sunrise is one of our favorite times.

This photo was taken on November 18, 2014. Specs are:

Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/640 sec, focal length 25mm (35mm equivalent).

Descending Kedar Ghat

This is our entry in The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Descend.

In November 2014, we visited the city of Varanasi (formerly Benares or Kashi) on the banks of the Ganges River in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.  Pilgrims to Varanasi descend ghats (steps) to perform their ritual baths in the Ganges.  Pictured here is Kedar Ghat.

Ritual Bathing at Kedar Ghat

This photo was taken just after sunrise on November 19, 2014. Stats are:

Olympus TG-3, ISO 800, f/3.6, 1/30 sec, 11 mm

Solitude on the Ganges


Boatman on the Ganges at Varanasi at sunrise

At sunrise on the Ganges, it is easy to feel the solitude: one boat, one man, one bird, illuminated by the one sun.

Facing the sun, whether in a boat, or bathing in the river, or standing on the ghats at the shoreline to offer flowers or candles to Ganga, each devout Hindu makes a personal and private connection with the goddess of the holy river Ganges.