People’s Alternative University, Ladakh

Project- People's Alternative University

Typology- Master Planning

Client- Phyang Monastery, SECMOL, and the People of Ladakh

Year- Ongoing

Location- New Delhi

Area- 27,00,000 sft

The continents collided. Indian and Eurasian Plates thrust into each other as the earth released from her bowels.
A crag was formed.
A canyon of air carved itself into the palm of the earth. Craters churned its depth, ridges flayed its geo-membrane. And rocks folded in tectonic undulations. Heating and cooling, rising and falling in the gait of the Himalayas.
The Indus sutured this convulsing land and pale ice. Frosting it. Forcing, the large magnetic sky to cling to this mineral stratum.

Blurring the boundaries. Merging margins. Weaving folds of sky with earth, morphing ocean to mud. And lava to rock. All into one… into Ladakh.
Entwined the plates created new landscapes. Knitted and knotted.
Laced and crossed.
Many and diverse, easy and adverse. All combined to make one.
Its openness dependent on its ability to be diverse.
The more it becomes the other, the more it grows in oneness.
In ‘Upekkha’
The vision of the university was a collaborative exercise between the students and the professionals in 2015. The adjoining Thangka style drawing was the outcome of weeklong workshop at the site itself. In it lies a collective dream more powerful and more resilient than an individual one. A dream that incorporates Earth, Sun and Water to build a unique university.




Not only in physical manifestation but also in the manner in which it educates. It inspires all seekers of knowledge and teaches through real life experiences. Allowing students and teachers to explore both outside and even within themselves. The internationally acclaimed experts who volunteered their time for this cause included Sanjay Prakash, a renowned Indian green architect, internationally renowned transportation expert Prof. Geetam Tiwari from IIT Delhi, passive solar expert Robert Celaire from France, expert hydrologists Walter Klemm from Europe, and Ann R-iquier from Auroville. Apart from the above, many young architects and professionals from different parts of the world participated in the campus design as a project during the Earth Architecture and Passive Solar Design course at the SECMOL Campus. Together they studied various aspects of designing the township and painted a Thangka painting of the future of Phyang desert – as a smart green city with earth as the building material and the sun as the source of energy.