LEH, Mar 4: A unique Ice Cafe -a restaurant build inside a giant Ice Stupa in Gya Meeru village is attracting thousands of visitors, including local and Tourists in the isolated village located on the Leh-Manal National Highway at a distance of 75 KM from here.
Inspired from the works of Rolex Awardee Sonam Wangchuk’s concept to conserve the winter water in the form of artificial glacier build in a shape of cone known as Ice Stupa, three local youths namely Jigmet Tundup, Nawang Punchok and Sonam Chosdup decided to build a unique kind of Ice Stupa in Ladakh this year.
The winter snowfall in Ladakh forms natural glaciers on the higher reaches of mountains, which melt slowly during summer and melt water is used for irrigation and drinking but due to the global warming shrinking glaciers forced the people to look for alternate ways to conserve water during winter. Thus Ice Stupa is one of the most popular form for conserving winter waste water and this year as many as 12 villages in Ladakh made Ice Stupa to compete for the cash price money of Rs 5 lakh for winner followed by Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh for second and third positions, respectively, announced by Sonam Wangchuk’s HAIL.
One of the tourist visitors, S P Rudh from Jharkhand said that he was amazed to see such unique kind of Ice Stupa with restaurant inside. One of the Ice Stupa team members Sonam Chosdup said that they were highly inspired by works of Sonam Wangchuk and decided to build one in their village. He added that they felt the need of having a restaurant as visitor coming to see the Ice Stupa ask for some hot tea, coffee or noodles so they decided to build Ice Cafe inside their Ice Stupa and got huge response, said Sonam. He added that water from Ice Stupa will be used to grow a herbal garden in the village and income from cafe will be used for organising a pilgrimage tour for 90 aged people of the village. The youth voluntarily contributed from their pocket to build the Stupa besides HAIL also helped them with equipment and the youth promise to build bigger Stupa next year.