Photos: The Ganges River at Sunrise

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Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Varanasi is unlike any other place on Earth. The city is considered to be over 3,000 years old –one of the oldest in the world– and it hugs the Ganges River, which is held sacred by nearly one billion Hindus. Sunrise is the best time to visit, when thousands of people stream into the ghats to bathe and make offerings, while hundreds of boats ferry tourists up and down the river.

Mark Twain summed it up best when he said that it “is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”

Here are a dozen of my best shots, taken over a five day period. I hope you enjoy them.

Free desktop wallpapers are available HERE

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

Travel Photos: The Ganges at Sunrise, India

 

 

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{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

balisign February 14, 2011 at 11:40 am

Beautiful! Nice photos. All are so good!

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SpunkyGirl February 25, 2011 at 3:54 am

Gorgeous photos, Wes. Very well done!

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Bethany February 28, 2011 at 1:19 am

Ok, the seagull shot #2 is absolute perfection! I am jealous it’s not mine. I LOVE IT!!! Great job Wes!

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wes March 5, 2011 at 10:48 am

Thanks so much! Got really lucky with that one :)

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Jeremy B March 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Wow, stunning photos. Love the contrast of the red clothing against the sunset. Normally red and the peach and orange color don’t go well together (in my opinion) but nature did a good job of creating it and you did a great job of capturing it Wes!

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Dina March 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Stunning photos!

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wes March 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

Thanks, Dina. I don’t know if I’ll ever top this batch — it’s an amazing place…

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Aly March 28, 2011 at 1:44 am

Just jaw-droppingly gorgeous photos! Great shots of a great location!!

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Riitaa March 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Amazing Picture great Work

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Satu April 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Love these photos, they brought back lots of Varanasi memories from years ago…

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Justin April 28, 2011 at 8:03 am

Fantastic! Really amazing work.

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wes April 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

Thanks, Justin :)

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Jim May 2, 2011 at 2:07 am

Amazing images really photographed well.. The composition is grate and DOF wonderful

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Yvonne June 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm

A M A Z I N G PICS!!!

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Gareth Leonard June 21, 2011 at 12:56 am

Incredible photos Wes!
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agravat gautam June 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm

really superb pictures they feel us like divine of india

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chris July 2, 2011 at 12:48 am

Wes, is there a way to sign up so I am notified when you post new stuff?

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wes July 2, 2011 at 7:59 am

Sure, Chris: at the top of the homepage is a big blue box. Right under Subscribe for free updates, you can choose to follow via RSS or have each new post emailed to you :)

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agravat gautam July 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm

i am very happy that you are in the quest of incredible india these picks touch the soul of every human being they feel us spiritual

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Elizabeth July 10, 2011 at 1:20 am

These are some of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen!! I have been to India, but haven’t visited mother ganges yet. Can’t wait to take my family there one day, as well as Belur Math!

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wes July 11, 2011 at 7:07 am

Thanks so much. India is an amazing place.

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Erick July 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

These photos are amazing!

I left my job as an architect a little under a year now so that I can travel. My initial goal was to end up in India for the very same reasons you took all of these wonderful photos. I started with very little money and have been couch surfing most of the time with friends, family, and some well-picked strangers. The closest I’ve gotten to India is Singapore, but I can’t seem to find my way into the country.

I have been losing a little steam lately, but after coming across your website and these photos, I feel motivated again. I will eventually make it to the Ganges. Thanks!
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Rosie July 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Wes, the colours in your photos are amazing. Did you go early in the morning to get the hazy shots?

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wes July 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Yeah, most of these were taken between 6:30 and 9:00 am. Not much to do there at night, so it’s pretty easy to get up early :)

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Bama July 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Incredibly beautiful! My favorite is the one with a man holding a torch looking to the Ganges.

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Mi Lawrence August 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm

WOW!! Impressive, beatiful photos

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teyssir September 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm

weird! indian find it clean and so spiritual but i think it’s so filthy!!!

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Katie September 24, 2011 at 12:48 am

I hope you’re getting paid for this blog. These shots are breathtaking.

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50+ and on the Run November 26, 2011 at 7:32 am

These photos are absolutely spectacular. Thank you so much for sharing.

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Barry - WorldlyNomads March 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm

As everyones said, photos are incredible Wes! Also, love the layout of this post – nice big first image, small descriptive text and then…boom! Hit us with some great photos! Thanks again.

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Natasha @ Wandering Kiwi March 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Absolutely stunning photos! Varanasi is certainly a mysterious place and I loved spending a few days there.

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Alex May 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Absolutely beautiful! Very nice work!!!

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worldtraveller2 August 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

this place is a photographer’s dream! Amazing photographs you have taken.

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Patrick Fitz-Gibbon August 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I never had much desire to go to India but your photos make me thing I could be missing out on something truly worth seeing, thank you.

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Natalie November 9, 2012 at 2:24 am

Hi your pictures are beautiful. Really enjoying the blog although I’m a little later than most!

Out of interest what camera do you use? The shots are amazing. I’m trying to advance my photography and would love to be able to take travel shots as good as these. Do you use any editing software on them?

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wes November 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I’m shooting a Canon T2i DSLR — it’s about 2 years old at this point. All of my shots are run through Adobe Lightroom for editing.

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mahesh May 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm

very nice pics, i feeling like GOOD MORNING INDIA

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Sam @ Green Global Travel October 10, 2013 at 8:03 am

Stunning Photos! I love the angles and the light capture!
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Bobcock November 19, 2013 at 7:51 am

I’m going to Varanasi next month for the first time in 24 years, I have always dreamed of going back especially with a decent camera. I love your photos, your style and presentation is so different to mine, I see the world as a dark place in my pictures, I think I need to change…..5555
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wes November 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm

In my experience, the world is not dark. It can be at times, certainly, but on the whole it’s a pretty good thing. Steel yourself and go in with an open heart. India can be tough. But it’s worth the effort, imo…

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Rawat January 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm

These are absolutely amazing and so beautiful. I am so happy to have found your website. Varanasi. considered as the most holy place of pilgrimage for Hindus but your pictures make this place very special & sacred.

thanks for sharing these stunning pictures!

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Gaurav Ganesh June 13, 2014 at 7:54 am

Waw!Amazing photos.I astonished while,I`m Banarsian.

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Lauren Metzler July 12, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Absolutely stunning imagery!
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Brad Bernard August 17, 2014 at 1:58 am

Really amazing photography, Wes. Damn, it makes me feel like I’m back in Varanasi, such a powerful place.
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Amanda September 23, 2014 at 11:16 am

Hi Wes,
I love these photos! They are beautiful and capture something more then just an image. I really love the one with the man rowing.. thanks for sharing :)
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