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Markha Valley Trek

Markha Valley Trek (7 Nights / 8 Days)

Tour starts from : ex - Leh
Destinations covered : Ladakh , Leh
Theme : Trekking Tours In India
Markha Valley trek explores trans-Himalayas, Buddhist monasteries and intriguing Ladakh culture. ... more

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  • Leh Palace
  • Thiksey Monastery
  • Shey Monastery
  • Shakyamuni Buddha statue

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Markha Valley Trek

Unfolding on the dramatic landscapes of Ladakh, Markha Valley trek is an invigorating tale that weaves together the natural and cultural aspects of India’s arid cold desert and spices it up with unlimited adventure. Starting at the historical town of Leh, the itinerary embarks on a distinguished route dotted with high-altitude passes, serpentine rivers, unanticipated green pastures and some never-seen-before vistas. Markha Valley trek gets even more compelling as it crosses paths with the uplifting Buddhist heritage with numerous monasteries and heritage ruins acknowledging the trekkers.

When you trek Markha Valley, you would testify snow-capped Himalayas rising to the sky and how nature switches its attributes like a magician. Adventure finds a new dimension as you dare to cross gushing rivers over their breadths and stay inside camps, thousands of foot above the usual level and thousands of miles away from the chaotic world. Sharing space with the nomads and watching their distinct style of living is another take away from Markha Valley trek.Wait no more to accomplish this milestone trekking adventure.

Itinerary Details

Day by Day itineraryDay 1: Leh Arrival

Markha Valley trek begins at Leh (height 3,524 m.), the largest town with the only airport in Ladakh. Dominated by the royal Leh Palace from a cliff, the town retains its old world charm and is dotted with Buddhist structures. Trekkers, as well as bikers, rafter, campers and other adventurers in Ladakh, get acclimatized to high altitude at Leh before moving ahead. On arrival, check in at the hotel and accustom yourself to the high-altitude sickness. Stay overnight at Leh.

Day 2: Leh Sightseeing

On the second day of Ladakh Markha Valley trek, you would continue to acclimatize, while using this opportunity to explore the rich heritage of Leh. Have breakfast and start the sightseeing trip with a visit to Leh Palace (open 07:00 a.m.-04:00 p.m.; entry fee INR 15/100 for Indians/foreigners). Representing the fascinating Tibetan Architecture, the palace hosts fabulous collections of jewellery, crowns and royal costumes, while its roof promises panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and sprawling valleys. Later, visit Thiksey Monastery (about 18 km. from Leh; height 3,600 m.; open 07:00 a.m.-07:00 p.m.; entry fee INR 20) which features a 15 m. high statue of Maitreya Buddha and artifacts like paintings, thangkas, and swords. Then, visit Shey Monastery (about 13 km. from Leh; height 3,415 m.; open 07:00 a.m.-07:00 p.m.; entry free) featuring 12 m Shakyamuni Buddha statue, chortens and Shey Palace in ruins. Get back to the hotel and stay overnight before we begin Markha Valley trek the next day.

Day 3: Leh – Chilling (about 56 km. by road) – Skiu (7 km. trek)

Post breakfast, we leave for Chilling via the village of Taru in a jeep. Make a small stopover at the mesmerizing confluence of River Indus with River Zanskar and watch the blue and brown waters of the rivers dramatically merging. Cross Indus River and drive along Zanskar River to reach Chilling. Located inside Hemis National Park, Chilling (height 3,195 m.) offers the first encounter with a Ladakhi village. It is one of the biggest villages, though there are only 30 households. Enjoy a thrilling cable trolley ride to cross Zanskar, after which the real Markha Valley trek itinerary begins.

After loading bags on ponies, we begin the trek to Skiu. Get enchanted by the splendid valley views and remarkable sights of Zanskar Range and Himalayan summits. Cross the first mountain pass called Ganda La (height 4,980 m.) which offers some incredible views of the region. At a height of about 3,366 m., Skiu on the banks of River Markha is a small village with just 9 households. On arrival, retire to the camp and stay overnight.

Day 4: Skiu – Markha (about 21 km. trek)

Get up early on the fourth day of Markha Valley trek to begin the final leg to the village of Markha. You would traverse through beautiful valleys, crossing paths with a number of playful mountain streams and constantly feasting your eyes on the enticing landscapes. During this part of Markha Valley trek route, you would come across a number of signs of Buddhist culture and small hamlets with smiling faces. Discover Lhatos, the small shrines dedicated to the local deities and Mani Walls and Stones that are like stone tablets carved with Buddhist inscriptions. According to the belief, these walls must be crossed from the left side.

You may find parachute tent teahouses on the route (the reason why it is also called a tea house trek) where you may seek refreshments. Continue the trek and after crossing the river for one last time, you arrive at Markha Village (height 3,760 m.). Comprising of 20 households, the village also has a fort in ruins and an old Buddhist monastery. On this amazing Markha Valley trek India, you would now be in a valley with Stok Range of the Himalayas on one side and Zanskar Range on the other. Retire into tented accommodation for night stay.

Note: You are advised to carry adequate water and sun protection as important items to the valley.

Day 5: Markha – Thachungtse (about 14 km. trek)

Markha Valley trek continues as we begin in search of even more fascinating avenues. Walk past a number of stone mills that are decades old and a castle, now in ruins. Get fascinated by the eagle-nest setting of Techa Monastery and wonder about the reach of mankind. Depending on time and energy, you may choose to access the monastery. Keep on experiencing the thrill as you cross the river at many points and make way through villages like Umlung.

One of the most exciting moments of Markha Valley trek Ladakh tour arrives as the sky-touching Kang Yatze Mountain (altitude 6,400 m.) flaunts its hoary summits. You are bound to feel proud of choosing Markha Valley Ladakh as your adventure destination at this point. Reach the last inhabited village of the valley, Hankar (or Hangkar, height 4,030 m.) which boasts of colorful slopes and green fields, apart from a Dzong (fortress). Have lunch before we resume the trek and reach Thachungtse (height 4,150 m.). You would be staying in a camp over lush green pastures.

Day 6: Thachungtse – Nimaling (about 7 km. trek)

Nimaling Plateau is the destination of this day on Markha Valley trek. At the height of more than 4,700 m., it would be the highest camp of the entire trekking route. Kang Yatze continues to be in the frame as you reach the plateau’s pasturelands where herders can be seen grazing their herds. Enjoy the captivating views of Markha Valley and Zanskar Range before you retire to your tent for the overnight stay.

Day 7: Nimaling – Shang Sumdo (about 17 km. trek) – Leh (about 2 hr. By road)

Have breakfast and bid adieu to the green landscapes as we move towards the second mountain pass, Kongmaru La (height 5,260 m.). The highest point of Ladakh Markha Valley trekking trail, the pass acts as an exclusive vantage point to absorb the beauty of Kang Yatze and numerous glaciers. Start descending over a steep route and after around 2 hr., you reach Shang Gorge which is famous for its unusual yet surreal rock formations.

Continue to cross the river at many points and arrive at Chuskurmo springs that have been the source of carbonated waters with medicinal properties to alleviate joint pains for centuries. Markha Valley trekking adventure reaches its culmination as you arrive at Shang Sumdo after passing through a number of villages. From there, ride the taxi to reach Leh for the overnight stay.

Day 8: Departure

Check out from the hotel and drive to the airport to board the scheduled flight. Markha Valley trek ends here.

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Price Guide detail

    Room Sharing Basis
    • 2 Persons – 1 Double Room
    • 3 Persons – 1 Double Room with extra bed
    • 4 Persons – 2 Double Room
    • 5 Persons – 2 Double Room with extra bed
    • 6 Persons – 3 Double Room
    • 7 Persons – 3 Double Room with extra bed
    • 8 Persons – 4 Double Room
    • 9 Persons – 4 Double Room with extra bed
    • 10 Persons – 5 Double Room
    • 11 Persons – 5 Double Room with extra bed
    • 12 Persons – 6 Double Room
    Special Terms Related to Vehicle
    • Transportation as per itinerary only (not available at disposal).
    • For upto 3 persons, AC Indica Car or similar vehicle shall be provided. In case you wish to upgrade to Innova car it can be done by paying extra cost.
    • For 4-6 persons AC Innova car or similar vehicle shall be provided.
    • For 4 persons in case they wish to take AC indica, extra charge per person shall be less in the per person price.
    • For 7-12 persons AC Tempo Traveller or similar vehicle shall be provided.

    Package Inclusion

    Package Exclusion

    Travel Tips For Markha Valley Trek

    Markha Valley trek unveils the unusual face of nature where lush green valleys and pastures constantly challenge the otherwise desert profile of Ladakh. Throughout the tour, you would be overwhelmed to experience:

    • High-altitude mountain passes that invoke thrill
    • Spectacular views of towering mountains like Kang Yatse
    • Old fortresses and Buddhist structures like chortens and monasteries. Lhatos (religious shrines) as well as Mani Walls (sacred stones with engraved Buddhist prayers) are other features
    • Canyons, gorges, lakes, rivers and other aspects of raw and unspoiled beauty
    • Ever-smiling people who are extremely warm and friendly
    • Wildlife attractions like Ladakhi picas (micehare) and marmots
    • Captivating sunset views
    • Memorable stargazing experience

    Getting Prepared:

    • Markha Valley trek might be a cakewalk for the expert trekkers, but first-timers and amateurs may find it moderate to highly difficult.
    • Preparations in the form of medical checkups, routine exercises (stretching, cardio, cycling, uphill walking etc.) are recommended.
    • Though, it is a year-round option, the best time to undertake this trekking expedition is between mid-may and September, when the valley is appropriately warm and at full bloom. Popular festivals like Hemis Festival too are organized around this time.
    • Also, the roads to Leh (from Srinagar as well as Manali) stay closed during winters (October-April). While Srinagar-Leh Highway opens up for the traffic in May, the Manali-Leh Highway opens up in June. So, the ideal way to reach Leh in winters is by air.
    • You must pack items like jackets (prefer windproof), pullovers, full-sleeve t-shirts, comfortable waterproof trekking pants, woollen caps, gloves and woollen socks.
    • Footwear plays a crucial role on a trekking expedition like this on. Choose water-resistant trekking shoes that are ideal for hiking, climbing as well as for river crossing.
    • Torch/flashlights, raincoats, zip pouches to secure mobile phones and cameras, sunglasses, sunscreen lotions, lip balms, tissue rolls and toiletries are also important.
    • Carry hydration packs, medications for altitude sickness, fatigue, headaches, stomach issues, pain relief etc. are recommended.
    • Dry fruits, glucose, chocolate bars, candies and other items would keep you in good form.

    Things to Know:

    • There are parachute tents and tea tents throughout the trek route (that’s why it is also called tea house trek) where you can take rest, purchase water and sip-in hot tea.
    • Drinking directly from the mountain streams is safe. Though, it is recommended to buy boiled and filtered waters from the local sellers (they charge around INR 15 per litre).
    • You may be required to cross rivers/streams at few places. Be careful and don’t be in a hurry.
    • Nimaling is extremely windy and starts getting highly cold towards evenings. Make sure you wear the right clothes.
    • Trek to Kongmaru La is full of dirt, stones and rocks. Watch your steps.
    • Take small steps; don’t be in hurry as it may waste your energy in the very start.
    • BSNL is one mobile carrier with decent service.
    • It is recommended to arrange adequate insurance before starting Markha Valley trek.

    Enjoy the company of trekkers who arrive from all corners of the world to this heavenly