Himalayan expedition to light up monastery
The Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) has announced that its fourth expedition will be to Ladakh, India, in June 2016. This year the carefully selected team will light up the 2550-year-old Phuktal Gonpa Monastery, built in a natural cave in Zanskar in the northern part of the country.
The remotely located Buddhist monastery is believed to have been visited by important sages, scholars and translators beginning around 2 550 years ago. The name Phuktal (or Phukthal) reflects this, coming from the two words "Phuk" meaning cave, and "tal" or "thal" meaning '"at leisure"; a second spelling of Phuktal is Phukthar - "thar" meaning liberation.
It takes two days of trekking from the nearest motor-able road to reach the Phuktal cave monastery. One needs to cross the Tsarap river multiple times to reach Phuktal Monastery.
In the past three years, GHE has been promoting 'impact tourism’ and setting up solar microgrids for the off-grid remote Himalayan communities. To date, GHE has been able to provide ten villages with access to electricity. GHE plans to take forward its mission of providing electricity to 40 villages in the next year and directly impact more than 20 000 lives.
GHE has created an online booking portal for tourists and trekkers to visit the remote villages whose electricity has been provided by the team. The portal will allow anyone from around the globe to book Himalayan home stays directly and create a customized itinerary.
GHE is a social impact initiative in India that combines development initiatives, including establishing sustainable infrastructures, with a focus on providing clean energy, education and leadership, while also leveraging adventure tourism as a means to create a positive social impact.