Markha Valley Trek is one of the most famous and popular treks of Ladakh Region. It ventures high into the Himalayas crossing two high passes Ganda la Pass 4,878 metres (16,000 feet) and Kongmaru La Pass 5,274 metres (17,300 feet).
Duration : 13 Nights / 14 Days
Location : North India- Leh-Ladakh & Himalayas
Best Season : Mid June to Early October
Category : Trekking
Covering : Leh > Markha valley
You can take it : As a private, personalised tour (tour dates would be of your choice)
Special About Tour :
Markha Valley is located between the Zanskar Himalayas and Ladakh Himalayas, in the North Himalayan region in India. The trail to Markha valley starts near Leh ( Ladakh) -“ The Buddhist Kingdom of Indian Himalayas”. After the initial period of acclimatization sightseeing tour, to famous monasteries in high altitude at Leh and rafting on Indus River, we will set out to explore the Markha valley – The heartland of the central Ladakh.
Markha Valley Trek is one of the most famous and popular treks of Ladakh Region. It ventures high into the Himalayas crossing two high mountain passes Ganda la Pass 4,878 metres (16,000 feet) and Kongmaru La Pass 5,274 metres (17,303 feet). As the trek passes through Hemis – High Altitude National Park (4100 sq. km) so there are also opportunities to glimpse rare and endangered Himalayan wild lives including the Snow Leopard.
The trek circles from the edges of the Indus Valley, down into parts of Markha valley, and passes through terrain those changes from incredibly narrow valleys to wide-open vast expanses. The trails are decorated by elaborate 'chortens' (shrines) and 'Mani' (prayer stone) walls that further exemplify the region's total immersion in Buddhist culture. The highlight of the trip is the camping near the base of the 'KANG YATSE' peak 6,400 metres (21,00 feet) on the High Altitude pastures of Nimaling, before crossing the 5,274 metres ( 17, 300 feet ) high Kongmaru La Pass.
As we reach the pass we are able to see the magnificent and spectacular views of snow capped peaks of Tibet and the Karakorum Mountain Ranges of the Himalayas.
The beautiful Buddhist monasteries – where old form of Buddhism is still preserved, traditional Mountain Villages with livelihoods of the Ladakhi people, High altitude pastures of Nimaling where we have the opportunity to meet nomadic families as they herd their yaks, the spectacular views of the Himalayan snow capped peaks
Brief Itinerary : New Delhi > Leh > Zingchen > Rumbak > Ganda La Base Camp > Skiu > Markha > Thachungtse > Nimaling > Chuskurmo over Kongmaru La pass > Chuskurmo > Shang Sumdo > Leh New Delhi > Leh > Zingchen > Rumbak > Ganda La Base Camp > Skiu > Markha > Thachungtse > Nimaling > Chuskurmo over Kongmaru La pass > Chuskurmo > Shang Sumdo > Leh
You will be met from your flight to New Delhi International Airport by Summit Safari’s representative, and he will accompany you to your hotel in Delhi. Rest of the day is free at leisure to relax after the flight.
Today you will be transferred to the New Delhi domestic airport to board your flight to Leh. The flight to Leh across the different Mountain Ranges of Himalayas presents Spectacular views of the Himalayas. On arrival at Leh you will be met from your flight by Summit Safari’s representative/ guide, and he will accompany you to your hotel. After the rest in the late afternoon, you will be given a short acclimatization walking tour of Leh town including Leh fort, Shanti Stupa and the local market. Overnight in hotel in Leh.
After the breakfast we will be going on a half day acclimatization tour to raft on the Indus River, on our way back to Leh we will be visiting Spituk & Phyang monasteries. Rest of the evening is free to explore in Leh Town. Second night in the same hotel in Leh.
After the breakfast we will be driving you for the half day Indus valley monastery tour. We will be visiting the Thiksey monastery and Stok palace and museum. Later on return back to Leh by afternoon and rest of the time is free to get you ready and to finish final shopping for the Markha valley trek. Third night in the same hotel in Leh.
After the breakfast we will start from Leh and will travel by jeep to Zingchen village (1 hrs.), where horses will be waiting to carry our equipment. Till Zingchen we will be driving on a rough jeep road. Zingchen is a lush green village with only two houses. We will load our equipment and luggage on the horses here and will start our Markha valley trek from here. Here onwards we will enter Hemis National Park, where we may be fortunate enough to get a glimpse of wild lives as diverse as the Snow Leopard, lynx, Ladakhi Urial (a type of goat), Argali (great Tibetan sheep), blue sheep, red fox, Tibetan wolf, Dhole (wild dog), marmot and mountain hare. After paying the entrance fee, while following the Rumbak River we will climb gradually through a beautiful gorge. Many times we have to cross the Rumbak River; at many places there are temporary or permanent bridges to cross the river. After a trek of 2-3 hrs we will reach the campsite of Rumbak village 3,800 metres / 12,468 ft (Drive 1 hrs / Trek 2-3 hrs), where there is a tea shop run by the local people of the village. Rumbak village is one of the best places in the Himalayas to trace the Snow Leopard. Dinner & overnight in camp.
After the breakfast we will visit the Rumbak village where we will have a warm cup of tea with a local family. This visit to the local family will give you a chance to see and understand the life of local people from much closer. Later on we will continue our trek through Yurstse village, where there is only one house. We will reach the camping sight at the base of Ganda La 4,200 metres / 13,780 ft (Trek 3 hrs), from where we can have spectacular views of Stok Kangri mountain ranges. Overnight in camp.
After the breakfast, we will begin our ascend to Ganda La Pass 4,878 metres / 16,004 ft (Trek 6 hrs), from where the views of the lofty Zanskar Himalayas and Stok Kangri Ranges will leave you breathless. The usual chortens and prayer flags mark the top of the pass, where one may see yaks, Himalayan blue sheep and marmots roaming in the hills. After a short rest, we will make a gradual hour-long descent to Shingo village where we will have our lunch. From Shingo we will make another descent to Skiu village, at many places we will have to cross the water stream. We will finish the day by trekking through a spectacular gorge before pitching camp at Skiu village (3,400 metres). At Skiu there is a confluence of the rivers coming from Markha valley and Shingo. Within this idyllic village lies an old monastery and ruins of an old castle (once it used to be a rest stop for the Royal family of Ladakh, on their way to Srinagar). Overnight in camp.
After the breakfast we will start our trek and follow the Markha River while passing through the lovely valley on a fairly level path. Today we trek through parched and exposed region, so water and sunscreen are absolutely vital. The trail is quiet confusing at many places at it suddenly disappears under the Markha River at many places. The lush vegetation along the riverside is in stark contrast to the dry and barren upper valley slopes. Slowly and slowly we arrive in the vast open valley as we reach Sara camping sight with a house and a tea shop. Further on the way from Sara to Markha 3,750 metres / 12,303 ft (Trek 4-5 hrs) we passes through winter settlements that contain Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers). During the peak season, a number of tented teahouses will be open by the local people, providing hearty refreshments on this route. We will pass by the wolf trap at the Markha village boundary, as these stone walls (wolf traps) are created by the villagers to protect their herds against the Wolf and Snow Leopard attacks in the winters. There are bridges at many places to cross the river but just before the Markha village, as there is no bridge on the river we have to cross it through the cold river water. After crossing the river at last, we will arrive at the camping sight in Markha village (another half hrs.). Markha is the largest village in the valley, consisting of around 20 houses, an old monastery and a ruined fort. Overnight in camp.
After the breakfast we will start our trek and very soon we will cross the Markha River two times and a small water stream in the foothill of Techa monastery. One can choose to walk uphill on the cliff to visit this Monastery or just continue your walk to Humalung village where you can have a cup of tea or something to eat in a small shop run by a local family of this village. There are only 3 houses in the Humalung village. After leaving the village of Humalung, we will be able to have our first view of Kang Yatse Peak 6,400 metres (21,000 feet) which will stay in sight, until we cross the Kongmaru La pass. Further on we continue our walk to Thachungtse - 4,150 metres / 13,615 ft. (Trek 5-6 hrs) and enroute we will pass by the beautiful village of Hankar which is the last village in the valley and we will have our lunch over here. After the lunch we will start our ascend and will pass by Hankar Gongma (upper Hankar village), which is a summer settlement with fields and pastures of the people from Hanker village. It takes almost another 2 hrs from Hanker village to the lovely green pasture and campsite of Thachungtse, where we will camp.
After the breakfast we will start our ascend through the trail that will lead us up to the beautiful high altitude pastures of Nimaling - 4,720 metres / 15,485 ft (Trek 2-3 hrs), where the nomadic people from the Markha Valley brings their herds and yaks to graze during the summer months. At 4, 700 metres, Nimaling is the highest and coldest camp on the trek, giving us spectacular views of Kang Yatse Peak to the right, the Zanskar Range and the Markha Valley far below in front of us. Overnight in camp. Later on after the lunch we will hike in the nearby mountains of Nimaling.
After a hearty breakfast, we will start our final ascend towards the Kongmaru La Pass 5,274 metres (17,300 feet) (Trek 5 hrs) , the highest point on the Markha valley trek. As we reach the pass we can have a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. There are snow peaks in every direction and on a clear day the giants of Karakoram Ranges including K2, can be seen on the north-western horizon. From here the trail descends to the Martselang valley, following the Martselang stream to the village of Shang Sumdo. The first 2 hour descend is quite steep, but will gradually level as we enter Shang Gorge, with its strange and otherworldly rock formations. There are many river crossings and up and down on our way before we arrive at the sour-spring of “Chuskurmo” (medicated water–used in traditional medicine by the local Amchi / Doctors). There are possibilities to see Ladakhi Urial (a type of Himalayan wild goat), Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep), Himalayan blue sheep near Chuskurmo. There is a local tea shop at Chuskurmo. After lunch there is free time to explore the local area. Overnight in camp at Chuskrmo.
After breakfast we will trek down to Shang Sumdo (Trek 2-3 hrs). Enroute we will cross a couple of small villages and will reach at Shang Sumdo village in 2-3 hrs of easy walking where we will be picked up by our jeep , which will arrive from Leh in the morning. We will drive you back to Leh town (2 hrs.). Check in at your hotel in Leh, rest of the day is free for you to explore local market in Leh / or to have rest at your hotel.
After breakfast, in the early morning we will assist you to Leh airport to board the flight back to New Delhi. After your arrival at New Delhi airport you will be met & assisted by Summit Safari’s representative, and he will accompany you to your hotel. Check in at your hotel and have time to fresh up yourself, later on you may wish to go for a sightseeing tour of Delhi to view some of the famous sights of the town with a guide. We will take a walking tour of the Old Delhi covering the Chandani Chowk, historic Red Fort, and the busy market. If interested we will arrange for a bicycle rickshaw ride in old Delhi or a Tuk - Tuk (Three wheeler ) ride in New Delhi for you. We will also visit Gandhi Smriti, also known as the Birla house where –Mahatma Gandhi had lived the last 144 days of his life from 09 September 1947 to 30 January 1948 when he was assassinated in 78th year of life at Birla House Prayer Grounds by Nathuram Godse. Thus, the house treasures many memories of his life. Return back to your hotel in the evening. Overnight stay and dinner in the hotel in Delhi.
Today after breakfast at your hotel, you will be assisted and will be transfer to the international airport at New Delhi to board your return flight.
This is where the tour ends. However, if you wish to stay longer in Delhi or want to take extension tour, we can make arrangements for you to be transferred to the airport at a later time.
End of the services and the tour…!
Please ask us, about the details of suggested extension tours.
A minimum of two three day of acclimatization is recommended for this trek at Leh. This is a suggested itinerary based on our regular tour programme. Changes can be made into the suggested itinerary (Driving & acclimatization part). It can be altered, and we like to discuss plans with clients and can make suggestions about special places to visit depending on our clients’ interests, and available time. The itinerary is planned in such a way that you gain height gradually and gets a good time to acclimatize very well while trekking in the Himalayas.
Leh is well connected by flight from New Delhi, by road from Manali and Srinagar and further arrangements will be provided as per the request. The drive from Manali to Leh over six high mountain passes is one of the most adventurous jeep safari tours into the Himalayas. If you want to take this thrilling and adventurous jeep safari tour to Leh, let us know and further arrangements will be provided as per your interest and request.
You will follow the itinerary as a private tour, accompanied by one of our excellent Guides/ tour escorts through out the trip. Internal travel chauffeur-driven luxury jeep / car.
You stay in comfortable mid range hotels, including 07 nights in tented accommodation on the Markha Valley trek.
Meal plans: Breakfast + Lunch & Dinner including mineral water
Cloths: Cottons with Woollens.