THE GOOD NEWS AT ICE STUPA... 24th January 2015

From today broadband internet started working at our basecamp of Ice Stupa site in Phyang village. Thanks to the national telecom company BSNL, who have been working hard to install this, going out of their way. In time we might even be able to live webcast the Ice Stupa making process. But knowing how erratic connectivity can be in Ladakh I wouldn’t hold my breath for that.

Secondly we started the primary process of Ice Stupa making from 21st January. While the main pipelines are still being laid by Ladakh Scouts volunteers and monks we have already started work to begin the painstaking primary steps of ice formation, using a drinking water pipeline from the monastery.

So here I present to you … the process of seeding of an Ice Stupa artificial glacier…scenes from last two days at the Ice Stupa site.
In our design of the Ice Stupa there will be a central ice dome (reception hall ) at the heart of the Stupa (like a pyramid) and an ice tunnel leading to that dome. The dome and the tunnel are first made in light iron pipes and clad with plastic sheet. On top of this formwork the ice starts forming… slowly burying the dome and the tunnel into solid ice. But solid ice is not easy to start, as water even if cold needs some surface area to spread out and quickly freeze with exposure to the cold air. Otherwise it would just flow down and seep into the sand. And for this Stanzin Shara one of my students working on last year’s ice stupa prototype… and this year head of the execution team, came up with the idea of using sea-buck thorn bushes. The thorn bushes work like magic as you will see in the pictures.

Hope you will enjoy this pictorial update straight from the Ice Stupa base camp. You may want to read the photo captions also.
And for more details on Ice Stupa Project:

Setting up the dome and tunnel framework... Stanzin Shara and Dadul.

Central dome and tunnel framework ready in place.

The framework becomes a form-work after its is clad with plastic sheet. Ice will form around this form-work leaving the tunnel and dome as empty spaces.

Ice Stupa volunteer Thupstan Dawa fixing up plastic on the dome roof.