'The Source of the Ganges; - Ice Cave at the Foot of the Glacier', c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of the source of the River Ganges, taken by Samuel Bourne. The Ganges is the most sacred river of the Hindu religion. Its source is the Gangotri glacier in the Himalayas. Two men can just be seen at the foot of the glacier. Bourne often conveyed scale by including human figures in his photographs. Bourne, a pioneer of travel photography, began his working life as a bank clerk. ln 1863 he went to India where he established a studio in Simla, in partnership with Charles Shepherd. Between 1863 and 1870 he undertook several photographic expeditions, including trips to the Himalayas, producing a collection of landscape views unsurpassed in technical skill and compositional elegance.