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Markha Valley Trek Ladakh

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Max Altitude :- 17,100 Ft. 


Approx Trekking Km :- 65 Kms. 

 

Brief Itinerary

 

Day 01 - Arrival Leh

  • Altitude:- 3,500 m/11,500 ft
  • Check in Hotel
  • Briefing about the trek at 5 pm (mandatory)
  • Bring a copy of ID proof and 2 photo graphs. foreigner, a copy of passport and visa
  • Network is available (only post-paid)
  • ATM is available
  • Can purchase or rent trekking equipment from Leh
  • Visit of any very high altitude place or pass is not advisable
  • Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited
  • Stay in hotel

 

Day 02 - Acclimatisation at Leh

  • Acclimatization and sightseeing in Leh
  • Can visit to monasteries: Shey, Thiksey, Sangam, and Hemis
  • Visit of any very high altitude place or pass is not advisable
  • Stay in hotel

 

Day 3 :- Drive Leh to Chilling and trek to Skiu

  • Altitude: Chilling 3,200m/10,500ft, Skiu 3,400m/11,150ft
  • Drive:- 65 km, 2-3 hours (Leh to Chilling)
  • Drive through GurudwaraPathar Sahib, Magnetic Hill and the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus
  • Trek:- 9 km, 4-5 hours (Chilling to Skiu)
  • Accommodation in Home Stay/Camping

 

Day 4 :- Skui to Sara

  • Altitude:-Skui: 3,400m/11,200, Sara: 3,500m/11,490ft
  • Trek 10 km, 3-4 hours
  • Very well marked flat trail
  • Women café, tea houses at Nagding village
  • Spot meditation caves
  • Blue sheep, mountain goats, Makpai bird etc. can be found
  • Accommodation in Home Stay/Camping

 

Day 5 :- Sara to Markha

  • Altitude:-Markha 3,700m/12,200ft
  • Trek 10 km, 4-5 hours
  • Flat trail with minor ascend
  • Tea houses at Chalak village
  • Find mani stones and white stupas
  • 2-3 river crossing
  • Monastery and palace to visit at Markha
  • Accommodation in Home Stay/Camping

 

Day 06 – Markha to Hankar

  • Altitude:- Hankar 4,000m/13,100ft
  • Trek:- 11 km, 5-6 hours
  • Teahouse at Umling village
  • Last village of the valley
  • View of a beautiful monastery
  • Path will intersect the River a number of times
  • After Umlung, you will have a first look of Mt. Kang Yatse(6400m)
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Home Stay/Camping

 

Day 07 – Hankar to Nimaling

  • Altitude:- Nimaling 4,700m/15,400ft
  • Trek:- 9 km, 3-4 hours
  • An easy trek
  • Amazing view of Mt. Kang Yatse
  • Amazing view of Tigu lakes (double lakes)
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Tent

 

Day 08 – Hankar to Nimaling

  • Altitude:- Kongmaru 5,200m/17,100ft, Chokdo 3,700m/12,100ft
  • Trek 16 km, 7-8 hours
  • Descent to Chokdo (Shang Valley) from KongmaruLa is little long
  • Highest Altitude pass crossing to the trek makes it a difficult day
  • Cross a stream terrain and then proceed to the north
  • It will take 2-3 hours of hike for Kongmaru La Pass
  • Amazing view of Indus Valley and Ladakh Range
  • Steep descent and rocky terrain
  • From Chokdo drive to Leh (2 hours drive)
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Hotel

 

 Detailed Itinerary

 

Day 01 -  Arrival Leh

 

Markha Valley trek begins from Leh. Arrive in Leh through flight or train. Take it slowly once you arrive in Leh. Since it is at the hazardous height of 11,000 ft direct landing to this height may trigger AMS. Make sure you rest well and not strain your body during your stay in the hotel. Leh has gained popularity as the adventure capital of India. It is quite famous amongst wanderers, which you can evidently see as you roam here and there.

 

Cafes are loaded here which are hanging out places for adventurers. There is a good network connection in Leh and has ATMs. Leh is the good option to fill up your things to carry list if you have forgotten any item. Despite cafes in close vicinity try to stay away from alcohol and avoid smoking. Apart from that, Leh is also known for monasteries, palaces and temples. Make sure to visit them as you enjoy your small treat in Leh.

 

Day 02 -  Acclimatisation at Leh

 

This is an extra day added in the itinerary to help you get acclimatized better. Therefore utilize this day and try to stay outdoors. Hike up to the Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery, Thiksey Gompa to experience the Buddhist culture. Thiksey Gompa is the largest in central Ladakh, located on a hill. Avoid gaining height by hiking to nearby passes or valley. This is only to avoid stressing your body, as it may hinder the process of acclimatization.

 

Additionally, you can interact with the locals and fellow travellers to gain some knowledge about the adjacent areas. Roam in the Leh city and the Leh Bazaar. You can collect souvenirs from the variety of shops. You must spend the sunset at the Shanti Stupa, which is known for its dazzling lights in the evening. Say goodbye to the wonderful Leh and rest in your hotel.

 

Day 3 :- Drive Leh to Chilling and trek to Skiu

 

Get set as your real trek journey commences. You will be riding along the skillfully paved roadways crossing marvellous landscapes. Throughout the road, you will encounter military camps decorated with colourful big rocks around the camps. Do not miss GurudwaraPathar Sahib on the right and Magnet Hill on the left as you move ahead. The Stok Range remains on the right until it vanishes slowly when you reach Hemis National Park. You will be pleasantly surprised once you reach Sangam. Indus and Zanskar rivers, both bottle green, yet so unique, form the most spectacular confluence. This point is also famous as starting end for rafting. Take a diversion here towards Chilling. The surrounding view henceforth changes magically. The open terrain beside the road enters into the closed valley. Valley having stunning purple, black, grey shades of the mountains. Juniper and tall alpine trees will border the route as you cross the Zanskarriver over green iron bridges. Take a deep breath once you get down at Chilling, as the walking will begin in a few minutes.

 

The trek ahead incepts with a steep ascent going through Zingchen gorge. Amidst you will also cross the river on a trolley at Kaya-Do place. The trail many times comes across the river. Skiu will mark the first camping in the tents. It is located at the confluence of rivers Shgri Nala and Markha. Skui village is largely divided into two sections, upper and lower village. Lower Skui has 12 houses quite close to each other. A small trudge, old monastery and ruins of a palace, separate it from upper Skui. There are small white stupas and mani stones laid towards upper Skui. Markhariver lies on the right of the village.

 

Most of the places here offer homestays. Relax after a mini-trek, while looking forward to the upcoming trek.

 

Day 4 :- Skui to Sara

 

Start fresh for the actual first trekking day. Be vigilant about birds and animals. Markha valley harbours enormous wildlife. Magpie bird will be visible right after you step out of the house. The trail is quite evident and well paved intermittently. The Markhariver will remain escorting on the right, which incepts from Kang Yatse peaks. In an hour a hut of Women Cafe can be spotted, take a small break here and keep walking. The trail is enclosed with the valley that goes through sparse forest cover. Another hour's trudge and the first wooden bridge comes at Zanpa Yoakma.

 

The bridge marks halfway of the day's trek to Sara. Despite that, try not to relax here, because in merely 25 minutes another coffee shop at Hamourja is waiting for you to rejuvenate. Look out for black sheep, deer, mountain goats on these banks. Keep walking straight till Nagding village for another 40 minutes. Right in front of the houses spot meditation caves at a height on the valley walls. These caves are believed to be having paintings of the 20th century. The banks of the Markha river gets wider and you can find yourself stepping in the powdered sand. Enjoy the feeling of Himalayan sands.

 

After about 1 hour from Nagding village, a big entrance of Sara village appears. The entrance is decorated with skeletons of wild animals. Unlike Skui, Sara seems like an open area. The homestay has a traditional round seating outside, giving it a unique look. You can have your lunch and then just roam around to get familiar with nature. Fill in your stomach with hot drinks and a delicious dinner, then get into a warm bed at the homestay.

 

 

Day 5 :- Sara to Markha

 

Start early today from Sara, carry along packed lunch. The trail is somewhat similar to the previous day. Despite that, you will always find something new in this mysterious valley. The first tea houses arrive immediately after 30 minutes at Chalak village. The village has houses placed on small hills with stone protection shelter for domestic animals at the base. Visit any of the villagers they will greet you with Namkin Chai and biscuits. Re-energize by affectionate talks and hot drinks. The destination is 2 hours away from here.

 

Every small distance you can find Mani stones laid around white stupas. These stones are engraved with Buddhist prayers, some of them in the Sanskrit language too. Be humble in front of these historic symbols. Do not dare to touch these stones. The villagers believe these stones are protected by some powers, any harm to them will cause harm to that person. Do not forget to notice ruins of the palace at every turn in the valley. This can be figured out by flags at a height on small temples. These palaces were considered as viewpoints and signalling points during the reign of the Kings. Markha village is considered as the largest village, you can find numerous houses, scattered away. You will have to walk in the running stream of Markha river to reach to the Markha village. The cold water will bring back all the energy. In 20 minutes, you can see the hamlet. Find your homestay and pack up for the day.

 

Day 06 – Markha to Hankar

 

Take the most advantage of the innocence of the salient villages because today will probably be the last habitats on the route. The trail is beautiful and refreshing when it merges with flowing river and streams. These water bodies can also be crossed over a bridge. Umlung village is a small village and will serve the last teahouse of the trek with yet another serene monastery to your sight.

 

After Umlung you can get the first sight of Mt. Kang Yatse(6400m). It seems as if the peak is calling you! Follow its voice, again overcome the river several times and enter the Hankar village. Try to spot the magically placed Tacha monastery on a mountain. It is the last hamlet of the trek and your refuge place.

 

Day 07 – Hankar to Nimaling

 

Get all enthusiastic, after yesterday's tough trek, today will be an easy and short trek. Start walking and in 1 km you will find diversions or paths separating out. The other route goes to Rupshu and Zanskar. Keep walking on the left path until a stone bridge. This marks that you are on right trail. Henceforth, you can see many diversions, please be careful and follow the trek leader/guide. In the next 2 hours, the pastures of Thochuntse becomes visible. There camping sites and tea houses here.

 

Try to engulf yourself in nature and move slowly just as you focus on the Kang Yatse peak. The peak seems to grow bigger and bigger. Surprisingly, tranquil twin lakes also come along the path. The trails enter into a huge grassland after a few fights crossing streams of the high altitudes. Sheep, mountain goats, sometimes rabbits are found grazing at Nimling. It is a pleasant camping place. It is the high point you will attain on this trek. There are instances of snowfall at this site hence we prepared for that. Above all that, just try to merge into the high world and sleep in peace.

 

Day 08 – Nimaling to Chokdo via Kongmaru La drive to Leh

 

This day will be nostalgic and exciting, as this is the last day of the trek landing to the highest pass of the trek. Also, this day will be filled with surprises. After a strenuous climb of 2 hours to Kongmaru La pass, you will be pleasantly welcomed by the Karakoram Range Mountains and the excellent array of peaks. Hold your breath for the mind-blowing sight of the huge K2 Mountain, the second highest peak in the world. There are prayer flags moving along the wind. To your surprise, there is a good network connection from the pass.

 

The trail then gradually descends, coinciding with villages to say goodbye. The immediate trail from pass has steep and narrow descend which later opens to Chikirmo village. Throughout the route, you can get indulged into the scenery of Indus valley and Ladakh range. After a gradual climb down and rocky terrain, you will reach Chokdo. This this the last stop of the entire trek, that also has many homestays. Get into the pickup vehicles that will take you to Leh.

 

Take a sigh of relief in this village, as your next stop will be the last stop, Leh. The further road is descending that shows monastery and Hemis Gompa. Fill them in your eyes, heart and mind. Close your eyes to rewind the entire Markha Valley diaries.

 

How to Reach

 

By Air :-

Jet Airways, Go Air and Air India provide daily (once every day) flight service between New Delhi and Leh. In the summer season, the services may even be provided twice a day. However if you plan a trip to this area of the country, you must try to book your tickets well in advance. This might even cut down the prices which may be levied on booking at the last time. You would enjoy the flight as you would fly over many untouched areas and even some mountain ranges. The aerial view is just fascinating and gives a great start to your tour.

 

By Road :-

The road from Manali to Leh is only open in the summers. The road trip may take you 2 days, but depending upon the weather conditions, the travel may also extend to 3 or even 4 days. You should also make sure that you carry at least two spare tires. A good advice would be to carry a sleeping bag with you well, as the bus may stop in the middle of nowhere for the overnight stay. Another route to Leh via Srinagar, also takes around two days. On this route, you would pass through some lonely yet famous villages like Kargil and Khalsi. 
Cost per person (INR)
Rs.20475
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Date Selected Dates
Where Leh, Ladakh, J & K
Duration 8 Days / 7 Nights
Difficulty Difficult
Capacity 15 Seats
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7838984471, 8368292699, 01142156013
in collaboration with
Trek The Himalayas
7th Sep, 2019
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