I am thrilled to share a story I shot for The New Yorker in Ladakh, India.
Photography: Vasantha Yogananthan
Video: Philippe Calia
Words: Elizabeth Kolbert
A stupa—the word comes from the Sanskrit, meaning “to heap” or “to pile up”—is a Buddhist monument that often houses a relic. Over the millennia, stupas have been built from many materials—wood, stone, earth, clay, brick—and have taken many forms, from simple domes to ornately tiered towers. The ﬁrst ice stupa was created in 2013, in Ladakh. Villages in Ladakh, a high mountain-desert region bordered by the Himalayas, largely depend on glacial runoﬀ for water. Ice stupas start to melt in March, and at higher elevations—some villages in Ladakh sit more than ﬁfteen thousand feet above sea level—the process can last through July. The meltwater helps farmers get through the crucial spring planting season, when they sow vegetables, barley, and potatoes.
Pick up a copy of The New Yorker to have a look at the 14-page portfolio.
And have a look to the digital feature here.