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Ice cathedrals on the Roof of the World

A montage of recent ice stupas from Ladakh. A well-constructed ice stupa can be up to 40 m high and store 7 million litres of water.


The magnificent frozen flying buttresses that add strength and form to stupas match the splendour of mediaeval cathedrals.

All heart

Ursi is a typical perched village on a steep slope that doesn't appear to have been much impacted by time. It is as it has been for centuries. The villages showed us an extraordinary artificial icefall which exhibited the best of their resourcefulness and ingenuity. Over butter tea they remarked to us that they had nothing except heart.

How to build an ice stupa

Over the last five years Ladakhi ice engineers have learnt to counter the extreme cold environment and developed a unique engineering skill.

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