Solar, Lights Up 600 Year Old Monastery

To gift solar lighting to the 600-year-old Markha monastery in Ladakh, in October of 2019, Earth Day Network Coordinator Prerna Raturi and other women trekkers of the Global Himalayan Expedition took up this daunting task.

The group took a 10-day expedition, trekking to as high as 13,000 feet to transport the solar energy equipment and set it up in the Markha monastery.

The terrain makes drawing grid lines difficult as such most of Ladakh has little to no energy supply.

Altogether, the team installed a 250-watt solar panel, 20 bulbs and a street light, complete with holders, wiring and switches. The street light on the hilltop floods the lanes and alleys in the village.

The expedition offset tons of carbon from the environment, as solar panels replaced the carbon-emitting fuel kerosene used in lamps in the monastery.

Even on days with overcast skies and rain, there would be light. Inside the monastery, the centuries-old frescoes were clearly visible.

“It is now easier for the monks to read their books, pray and chant,” said the monastery’s head.

This story is based on Earth Day Network Newsletter, edited by Clean-Future Team