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The Maitreya Temples: Community’s Mountainous Power

Ladakh, India

The heroic restoration of the Maitreya Temples Complex in Ladakh, India, sets a regional standard for conservation that combines grass-roots advocacy with the highest levels of technical excellence. The project has overcome tremendous challenges due to its remote location, precarious setting on a rocky outcrop undermined by erosion and years of neglect.

The stabilization of the three temples and the conservation of the significant wall paintings were carried out on the basis of meticulous documentation using both traditional craftsmanship and modern science.

The sustained efforts by the Basgo Welfare Committee to underpin development with heritage conservation have placed culture at the centre of community revitalization; while the contributions of the local community, in terms of both skills and resources, have allowed for the safeguarding of an iconic but endangered part of the heritage of the Himalayan region.

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