Leh Makes Power As Sun Shines

Leh, Ladakh, India [Reuters] The Tibetan monk fingers his beads as he climbs up the stone steps of a 1,000-year-old monastery perched on a hilltop spur overlooking the Himalayas. The rooftop is bare and drab like the surrounding hills, save for a low wall adorned with painted tridents, ancient symbols of power. The only sign of modernity is a solar panel. Many of the monasteries, or gompas, lining Ladakh’s Indus valley, in northwest India near China, boast a small blue rectangle of photovoltaic technology. Standing 3,500 meters high, they have the advantage of being closer to the sun than many other inhabited places.