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Photo credit: Sonam Wangchuk

High in the Himalayas in northern India, at a remote village near Phyang Monastery in Ladakh, stands two gigantic ice cones. They were built last winter by piping water from glaciers and streams high up in the mountains, and allowing the water to freeze in the cold winter nights. All throughout spring, the sun slowly melted the cones providing a steady supply of water for the villagers to irrigate their fields of barley, apples, and other crops. These ice cones are called ice stupas, because of their distinct shape resembling the mound-like Buddhist shrine. If everything goes as planned, there will be fifty more of these ice stupas everywhere in Ladakh providing farmers with tens of millions of liters of water to irrigate their crops with it.

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