The quaint Buddhist temple, made almost entirely of wood, is surrounded by fluttering prayer flags, between rows of silver-blue solar panels.
The chams is more than a dance – it is a tale of tradition that unveils itself as masked monks whirl to a drum.
Before the first rays of the sun awake, prayers begin at this 14th century masjid.
The faithful line up to do their ablutions with freezing cold water.
Two 5 KW solar home lighting systems quietly hum into action when grid electricity fails - sometimes power cuts last all day.
The Spituk Gompa was fitted with a 5 KW power plant, which fulfils most of its lighting needs. A home lighting system and solar lanterns illuminate devotees and monks at fervent prayer.
Tsering Angchuk stands guard over the inner chamber of the Spituk Gompa. Fading murals are lit up by a CFL bulb and a solar lantern sits amongst an unusual array of gifts — garlands often rupee notes, bottles of rum and vials of oil.
The Spituk Gompa is an 11th century monastery, 18 km from Leh. The usually terrifying Kali is like a shy bride in this shrine, her huge face hidden in a thick, silken veil, only to be revealed once a year on an auspicious day.
Some rooms in Matho Monastery need electric light even in the day. The dark rooms closely guard invaluable antique artefacts, from threadbare thangkas to sculptures and masks.
Today there is a unique effort at restoration spearheaded by a local leader, and executed by one of the world’s leading restoration authorities, Nelly Rieuf.
Teams of international and local youth have been trained to painstakingly research and recreate the wonders of Buddhist history. The work is intricate and adequate lighting is essential which is now powered by TPS solar panels.
Many local youngsters are trained in the skilled restoration work, like Dechan Angmo, a 26-year-old girl. This provides them with an alternative career to the earlier practice of leaving their village to find work in Leh.
TPS solar panels that power Matho Monastery, are silently lighting up Buddhist history.