Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Ice Stupas in Ladakh

Ancient practices in the age of climate change


SEMCOL Alternative Institute


Farmers in Ladakh have used artificial glaciers for years to preserve water in time for spring, when it melts and irrigates crop fields. Without the artificial glaciers, the water runs off into the rivers and is wasted. Ladakh sits at the very north of India in Jammu and Kashmir near the borders of China and Pakistan, making it a strategic and often contested location. In a time of climate change and pollution, the artificial glaciers are at risk, endangering the population of Ladakh and potentially resulting in climate-related unrest in the future.


Ladakh-based engineers have developed a low-cost prototype for an artificial glacier in the age of climate change. The prototype can be installed on a pole and melts gradually, irrigating fields until the larger glaciers melt in June.

Peace Engineering Takeaway

The reliance of the community on local engineers and schools produces a design that is based on years of innovation tailored specifically for the Ladakh region.
Last updated January 2018. Powered by Webflow.