Markha Valley Trek
The Markha Valley trek begins from Chilling village passing through villages, shepherd camps across the arid and surreal Ladakh towards the Markha river taking you across Markha valley. At last it crosses Kongmaru Pass and finishes at Shangsumdo.
Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.Cindy Ross
- Destination: Ladakh
- Location: Markha Valley
- Departure: Leh
- Google Map Co-ordinates: 34°00′11″N 77°12′42″E
- Nearest City (Airport): Leh
- Dates: On request
- Best Months: Mid-June – October
- Level: Moderate to Difficult
- Guide: Available
- Price: On request
Markha Valley trek is one of the popular and scenic treks in Ladakh. Slightly difficult due the high altitude, however if well acclimatised its a great hike across the beautiful Markha valley overshadowed tall Kangyatse and other majestic peaks. The trek begins at the Chilling village and crosses through the arid lands, small villages, shepherd camps and passes.
- Day 1 / Drive Leh to Chilling (3 hours) and trek Chilling to Skiu (3400m)
- Two days of acclimatisation in Leh is mandatory before starting today. The trek starts at the beautiful village of Chilling, which incidentally is the only village in Ladakh that has provided metal works such as copper, bronze, tin, silver and iron to the Leh market through the centuries. We will finish the day by hiking through a spectacular gorge before pitching camp at Skiu (3300m). Within this idyllic village lies an old monastery and ruins of an old castle (once a rest stop for the Royal family on their way to Srinagar).
- Day 2 / Skiu to Markha (3700m) : 7-8 hours
- Following the Markha River, we will hike through the lovely valley on a fairly level path. The trail crosses the river at various points, and passes through winter settlements that contain Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers). During peak season, a number of tented teahouses will be open, providing hearty refreshment. After cross the river for the last time, we will arrive in Markha, the largest village in the valley, consisting of around 20 houses, an old monastery and a ruined fort.
- Day 3 / Markha to Thachungtse (4150m) : 5-6 hours
- The Markha valley trail continues past old stone-mills, a ruined castle and the auspicious monastery of Techa, which is proudly perched on a towering cliff that looms above Markha, well worth visiting if we have the energy! The path then intersects the river several times before cutting through the last hamlets in the valley. After leaving the village of Umlung, we will be afforded our first view of Kangyatse (6400m), which will stay in sight until we cross Kongmaru La. After we break for lunch in the village of Hangkar (the last in the valley), we will press onward to the lovely green pasture of Thachungste, where we will camp.
- Day 4 / Thachungtse to Nimaling (4720m) : 4 hours
- Today the trail will lead us up to the beautiful plateau of Nimaling, where the people of the Markha Valley bring their herds to graze during the summer months. At 4720m, Nimaling is the highest camp on the trek, giving us spectacular views of Kang Yatse to the right, the Zangskar Range and the Markha Valley below.
- Day 5 / Nimaling to Shangsumdo (3660m) via Kongmaru La (5130m) : 7 hours
- After breakfast, we will cross Kongmaru La, the highest pass on the trek. Here we have a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The 2-hour descend is quite steep, but will gradually level as we enter Shang Gorge, with its strange and otherworldly rock formations. More river crossings bar our way before we arrive at the sour-spring of Chuskurmo (used in traditional medicine by the Amchi doctors). After a break, we will pass through a couple of villages before reaching Shangsumdo.
- Day 6 / Shangsumdo to Leh via Martselang : 2 hours trek, 1 hour drive
- We will have a pleasant 2-hr walk along a jeep road to Martselang, where the jeep will pick us up. On the way to Leh, it might be possible to visit some of the great monasteries of Ladakh such as Thikse, Hemis and Shey.
- Camping & Trekking equipments including tents, sleeping bag, carry mat, dining tent, toilet tent, hot water bottles, gas heater (when needed),
- Personally trained professional guides, cook, porter/ponies to carry equipment as well as personal luggage.
- Forest entry and permits wherever needed.
- Ground support from an experienced team of adventurers and guides.
- Comfortable trek facilities.
- Food & Beverages: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Tea etc. (Multi cuisine veg/non-veg prepared by well trained cooks).
- Any kind of Insurance.
- Any cost of personal nature.
- Accommodation in Leh. Could be organised on request.
- Goods & Service Tax
- Any medical expenses, evacuation etc.
- Anything that is not mentioned in Inclusions.
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Price: On request
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