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Two days of the Markha Valley trekking was spent for acclimatisation. Although, it is really boring, it was very crucial for a hale and healthy trek ah...
This is supposedly a rather sought-after trek in the Ladakh region. Gandala La (4800 m) & Kongmaru La (5150 m) are the two peaks that you will cross du...
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August: 18, 25
About the Markha Valley Trek:
Here is a nine-day Markha Valley trekking package with the aim to give you the astonishing views of Markha Valley. When you arrive in Leh, the trekking expedition starts with acclimatization. Spend one or two days to get familiarized with the climatic conditions there before you begin the actual trek. Sightseeing in Leh will help you know the culture and Buddhist traditions prevailing in the town. Markha Valley becomes closer after your reach Yurutse, the first camping destination. Yurutse to Ganda La that has steep ascents throughout will be the route letting you watch the Zanskar Range and the distant summits in the Himalayas. A confluence of rivers at Skiu is the one prominent site that steals our heart easily.
From Skiu, it is just a 6 to 7 hours trek to reach Markha after moderate climbing through the long unwinding trails. Several streams come your way but happily overcome those in order to relish the trove situated in the middle of the cold arid region. Green fields, willow trees and quaint villages are seen from the top of Markha Valley, more beautifully. The stunning view of Kangyatze Peak is the reward you get from Markha. Nimaling, Kongmaru La, Sumdo and finally Leh- this would be the route you take to return to the vibrant Leh to conclude the trek.
About the Destination:
The Markha Valley trek which has another nick name, tea house trek because here one can expect parachute tents accommodation at most of the villages on the way. An arid cold desert trekking area which offers the best views of Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges have admirers worldwide. You will come to see the 21000 feet Kang Yissay and 20086 feet Stok Kangri peaks also while you embark on this trek. Hemis National Park and Gandala La and Kongmaru La are the promising attractions one gets while taking Markha Valley trek route.
Another factor that makes this trek amusing is the waist deep river crossing which helps us to cross Markha River to reach the trails to Buddhist villages and rock structures. Markha Valley is in very close proximity to Leh and every traveller comes to Leh can easily find the way to Markha and do the trek.
Your initial two days of the Markha Valley trekking will be spent for acclimatization as it is vital for a healthy trip ahead. In the meanwhile unravel monasteries, museum, fort, the local market place and Leh Palace. Cross over Ganda La (4800 m) and arrive at the winsome Markha Village that is laced with green fields and willow trees and has barren mountains in the backdrop. Other thrills include camping beside a gurgling stream, getting the stunning view of Kangyatze Peak and more. Till the final day, there is something to revel in every step of the way.
Markha Valley Trek Highlights:
- Markha Valley is one of the most alluring region located in Ladakh with the support of pure greenery and streams. Make use of this appropriate chance to wander around the secluded place and dive into the comforts offered by the valley.
- Markha Valley trek takes you to enjoy the unexplored beauty of Hemis National Park as well as the two most important passes named Gandala la and Kongmaru La located at a height of about 15748 feet and 17060 feet respectively.
Trekking Distance: 75km
Maximum Altitude: 16,830ft
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Starting and Ending Point: The trek starts and ends at Leh
Meet at Leh and check in to the hotel. This day is reserved for relaxation and acclimatisation as it is vital for a healthy trip ahead.
Overnight will be spent in hotel.
Spend one more day at Leh. Unravel the ancient monasteries, palaces and museums that the place is famous for. Visit Shey and Thiksey Gompa and also Stok Gompa. Being in the same destination will assist in getting acclimatised well for high altitude. Towards the evening, enjoy a hike to Leh palace. The remaining evening will be spent at leisure.
Overnight will be spent in a hotel.
Today; on the first day of the Markha Valley trekking, indulge in an early breakfast and drive through Spikut Village to reach Zingchen. This is where your hike of short stage and moderate gradient begins. Enjoy the trail through Rumbak Village to reach Yurutse and come across several stream crossings. Pass the village before setting up camp. The site is a winsome one with barley fields all around.
This balmy day, in the initial stretch of the trek, ascend to Ganda La (4900 m). Expect a steep climb and strong winds towards the latter half. From the pass, enjoy views of valleys on both side, Zanskar range and some distant summits of the Himalayan range. Commence descending to Shingo Village, after which, the trail makes its way into a narrow gorge leading towards Skiu, where a confluence of the rivers come from Markha Valley and Shingo.
Overnight will be spent in tents.
Brace yourself for a long and moderate hike till the charming Markha Village. Cross several streams along the way. Reach the hamlet that is a trove in the middle of this cold and arid desert. The place is laced with green fields, willow trees and a deserted palace. Camp beside a gurgling stream.
Overnight will be spent in camps.
Today lap up fetching views all around and come across many stream and river crossings. Make way through settlements and grazing ground. Take in the stunning view of Kangyatze Peak (6400m) when walking towards Hankar. We will select a great camping ground and set tent there.
Overnight will be spent in tents.
Wallow in a short walk to arrive at the Nimalaing campsite. The place is a beguiling one with wide open valley with unbridled grazing grounds, and the backdrop of Kangyatze Peak. Do note that there is constant wind blowing in the area making situation slightly uncomfortable. If you wish, you can also avail of a side trip today towards the base camp of Kangyatse.
Overnight will be spent in tents.
Dig into an early breakfast and take on a steep climb to reach the top of the highest pass on the trail - Kongmaru La (5200m). Take in the great sights of Nun Kun in the West and Saser Kangri to the North. Cherish some moments here before climbing down to Sukarmo, from where your trail is a flat walk along the river till you come to the road head at Sumdo. From here, hop on to a vehicle to drive back to Leh.
Overnight will be spent at a hotel.
The charm and allurement of the Markha Valley trekking ends here as you go ahead with your onward journey or stay back in Ladakh.
Write Your Story
Rated : 5.0
Two days of the Markha Valley trekking was spent for acclimatisation. Although, it is really boring, it was very crucial for a hale and healthy trek ahead. In this particular time, we visited unravel monasteries, the museum, some forts, and the local market place. We also got to visit the Leh Palace, which was gigantic. After this we crossed over Ganda La which was 4800 m and arrived at the beautiful Markha Village. This village is super green and lively. While all these seem serene and romantic, the thrilling part of our trek included camping beside a rippling stream, the trek itself, we getting the astonishing view of Kangyatze Peak. Each day was unique and fun in its own way.
Rated : 4.0
This is supposedly a rather sought-after trek in the Ladakh region. Gandala La (4800 m) & Kongmaru La (5150 m) are the two peaks that you will cross during this trek, and the relief with this trek is that these are a feast to our eyes as there stunning sights from the peak.
Rated : 4.0
Markha valley trek is very much interesting and worthy to take. Do try it out.
Rated : 5.0
Markha Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in my life. The best time to go there is during May-July period. There are lot of fun things to do like hiking, skiing, mountaineering, etc. and I'm glad I kinds tried everything while there. Great place, Great trek and i loved the entire experience!
Rated : 4.0
Markha Valley is an amazing place. Crowned in Ladakh this is one place that enables you to enjoy the most and I loved the trekking in this region. Great place, thank God I had my friends with me who ensured that no matter how difficult the trek get, we will finally conquer it. And hell yeah we didi it!!!
Rated : 4.0
Views of the Markha valley were just awesome, the trek was little tiring but it completely thrilling
Rated : 4.0
What a scenery it was, crossed Hemis National Park, Markha River, Buddhist Villages and rocky carron's and all these places were an additional gift apart from trekking. made some great memories here. i think after i came back from the trek i feel so good and actually think i have became callmer. thank you ladakh and thank you to all the members and guide for the trip.
Rated : 4.0
It was so amazing and so challenging trekking for me, the fast blowing winds made me shiver sometimes but the zeal inside me to cross beautiful mountains kept me going forward.
Rated : 4.0
Loved the entire place, we also clicked some awesome photographs, still missing those times we spent in Camps.
Rated : 4.0
My 9 day trip to Markha Valley was awesome because of our group, our tour guide and those lovely scenes. amazing journey in the land of high passses. ladhak is seriously beautiful and with this trek i got to see it on foot. a must go for trekkers.
There are different levels of trekking and Markha valley falls in the tough category. There is quite a few steep ascend and descend. But if this is your first Himalayan trek, then you must prepare your fitness up to the mark. The best way to stay fit is to run 3 kilometers in 30 minutes.
Do this in order -For the first week, take a brisk walk for 10 minutes and then go on jogging for another 10 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of leisurely walk. -Next week pick up the pace and after 5 minutes of brisk walking, jog for 15 minutes then cool down with 5 minutes of easy walk.
Continue this routine for the subsequent week as well. -Finally, take a 25-minute jog followed by a 5-minute brisk walk to cool your body down. You will be ready to trek in the Markha Valley in no time.
We have a set of guidelines that adhere to 'Leave No Trace' & 'Tread Light' policies. These guidelines are very simple and emphasise on travelling in small groups, better planning, understanding impact of camping, proper waste disposal, respecting local cultures, sensitivity towards wildlife and so on.
The best season to do Markha Valley Trek is from the middle of May to September. The weather will be fine with sunny days and calm nights. After September, it gets colder and the snow fall starts which would cover the whole region.
Then the roads to Markha will be very difficult to cross. Also camping becomes impossible at high altitudes.
You need to be in good physical condition before the start of the trek. You should be able to jog 4.5 kms in 30 minutes to make your lungs strong to bear the high altitudes. Minimum age for this trek is 12 years.
From November to February the temperature remains below -30 degrees. This is the time when the valley gets heavy snow fall too. This is why this part of the valley remains isolated for most parts of the year. But you can enjoy trekking during other seasons.
During winters trekking is not feasible due to the extremeness of the weather. The other times when trekking is possible, the place doesn’t actually have snow fall. The best time to trek here is from June to the end of September.
Be well prepared and carry the following: A Backpack (min 60 Ltrs) with rain cover, appropriate clothing, Comfortable shoes, and wollen jackets to keep warm.
Upto 10 kgs per traveller, A porter/ mule is available on extra charges.
You will get 8 dinners, 8 breakfasts, and 7 lunches for a regular 9 days and 8 nights trekking package at Markha Valley. It depends upon the package that you take. But it is usually vegetarian food at is offered during the trekking course.
However, some trekkers might also get to have non-vegetarian momos and boiled egg with packaged sliced cheese and bread. It is a typical Ladakhi lunch which is home cooked. The breakfast is the usual chapatti with butter and jelly for that extra energy. During the trek, boiled drinking water is provided usually.
You can refill your bottles (and it is advised that you carry your own insulated water bottle) in the morning every day. You can also fill it up from the kitchen during the evening. Water is usually provided from the home stays during the trekking trip. Everything including the meal and safe drinking water is available at the home stays.
This tour requires a maximum of 12 trekkers in a group.
It is said that when all things fail you up in the mountains the BSNL SIM card stands out. The connection has a large bandwidth and therefore it is able to provide you coverage where many other networks might be dead.
If you are going to trek in Markha Valley, you might have to get yourself a new BSNL SIM card. Although there are parts of the valley where even BSNL might not be able to give you coverage, overall it still remains the best.
It is actually prohibited. Smoking, drinking or any other kind of intoxication is prohibited during the trek for your own safety. It is harmful to smoke and drink during the trek because it causes a lot of things like dehydration, which can prove to be quite an issue.
At such a great altitude, when you are already breathless, you cannot smoke. It will cause further issues with your lung. Many people think a little liquor can keep them warm but that is not the case – in fact, drinking actually lowers your body temperature.
Yes. Diamox would really helpful on any trek in Ladakh region due to the drastic altitude change and climatic variations. Having Diamox handy will solve half the problems you face while trekking down the routes to Markha Valley.
If you feel acute mountain sickness, please have Diamox which will eventually help you to overcome the uneasiness. Carry around 12 or more Diamox tablets while you come for Markha Valley trek.
Jeans or trekking pants, shirts or T shirts, windproof jackets, warm and thick fleece, woolen sweater, thermal inner wear, socks, scarfs, woolen gloves etc as clothing essentials to prevent the spine chilling cold weather at Kuari Pass.
Comfortable trekking shoes, lightweight floater or sandals, raincoat, water bottle, caps and hats, sun glasses, torch, medicines, personal toiletries, comfortable backpack bag, waterproof covers or bags etc can be the essential equipment you can carry from your side.
A Markha Valley trek would cover 65 kilometers distance and an altitude of 17000 feet in 6 days. The first-day trek would last about 2 to 3 hours, reaching Chilling before continuing onto Skiu. The second and third day will each last three to four hours, and on the fourth day, the trek will go on for at least 5 to 6 hours, reaching Hankar from Markha.
On the fifth day, the hike will again last only 3 to 4 hours. The last day of the hike will be the hardest, consisting of walking and climbing for 7-8 hours over a distance of 16 kilometers.
There are several ways of reaching Leh-
If you prefer to travel by air, you can book a flight with Jet Airways or Air India. The nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, and It receives flights from all major Indian cities like New Delhi, Srinagar, Jammu, and Chandigarh.
The tickets should be booked well in advance to avoid paying the surge in prices that are seen during emergency flights. Flights during winters are limited to one per day, but in the summer, when the weather is good, two flights a day are commonplace. Flying is probably one of the best ways to witness the untainted and spectacular beauty of the valley.
You can also take a government or private bus from Srinagar or Manali. But if you are planning on arriving by bus, it is wise to check the road conditions in advance. In extreme weather conditions like snow and hail, Zoji La Pass that allows tourists to pass from Srinagar to Ladakh may be closed. Similarly, Rohtang Pass of Manali maybe closed.
The railway station of Ladakh is called Tawi and you can take a train from any of the faraway cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, and Delhi to reach this place. But the railway station is 700 kilometers from Leh, will have to continue onward journey by hiring a cab which may cost up to 10000 INR.
It will also take you at least two days to reach Leh by cab. The most popular way of exploring the valley is taking a bike trip through the barren yet inspiring landscape. Over the last few years, it has emerged as one of the most preferable ways of reaching Leh. If you are planning to ride your bike to the valley, there are several highways that you can take. The Leh Srinagar highway is 434 kilometers in length and covers the stunning landscapes of Sonmarg,
Lamayaru, Mulbek, and Kargil. If you are traveling this way, don't forget to take your camera along with you because this route will make you feel as if you have stepped into another world. The Leh Srinagar Highway is open from May to October. The second most commonly used highway is via Manali.
It is 490 kilometers long and it covers some of the most unique and beautiful places in Kashmir, like Gramphu, Rohtang, Gata Loops, Tanglang La, and Karu. This highway is open from May to September. While deciding on a bike to take on your trip to Leh, it is wise to choose a model that you can ride through the rocky landscape of the route.
The most commonly used brand is Royal Enfield. If you don't own a bike, you don't have to worry. You can hire one from Srinagar or Manali. The cost of hiring varies. You can also use a jeep to go to Leh if you are not up to the adventurous ride that is a bike trip. You can hire a jeep from Srinagar or Manali, starting at INR 32000.
Most of the hikes through Markha Valley are held from June to September. The summer months are too hot in the desert to undertake any sightseeing or exploration activities, and the winter months are plagued by snow and extremely cold temperature.
During the above mentioned months, the average temperature varies from 20 degrees to 30 degrees centigrade during the day. At night, the temperature falls to 7 degrees. The weather is pleasant enough to explore the beauty of the region.
It is also ideal for trekking through the valley. During these months, the Manali Leh and Srinagar Leh highways are also open, so those of you who want to take a bike trip to Leh can do so.
Since this is a moderate to difficult trek, it is wise to start the training for the trek as early as possible. Work out your body daily, especially legs, and follow a diet routine to avoid getting fatigued during the trek.
You should also keep in mind the essential items to carry during the trek. These include items like a torch, swiss knife, backpack, water bottles, energy bars, first aid kit, etc. Also, keep a sleeping bag for emergencies and sun protection and a hat in case the weather gets too hot. If you are prone to altitude sickness, carry medication for that too.
Markha Valley Trek, which is also popularly known as the tea house trek starts from Leh. Since a vast difference in the altitude, it is highly recommended to spend some time in Leh to acclimatize your body to the vast variation in altitude as well as the weather before you start off with your trek.
Markha Valley Winter Trek is considered to be a moderate difficulty trek. The trek starts from an altitude of approximately 10,490 ft. and takes you all the way to a maximum of 17,060 ft. One most important thing that you need to ensure is pretty strong lungs to prevent any kind of difficulty.
Markha Valley Trek is considered to be one of the safest in the Ladakh region. There are several villages situated on the trail itself, which also solves the problem of logistics for camping to a great extent. Moreover, it is also considered to be one of the most beautiful and experiential treks in the Ladakh region. Therefore, if you have limited time and have to choose one, this should be it.
Markha Valley is one of the very few “Tea House Treks” in India. Therefore, you do not require any specialized camping or trekking equipment for the same. All you need is a pretty decent fitness and a will power to complete the trek solo.
However, make sure that you carry all the necessary items with you along with a first aid kit. Also, inform your dear ones well in advance if you are planning to do the trek solo. Collect all the necessary information so that you do not face any kind of difficulty during the trek.
If you make your booking through Thrillophilia, you can book this 9-day trek experience at a discounted cost of INR 19,500/person which includes all the meals, activities, accommodation, as well as an experienced guide.
This trek would start from Leh and end off at Leh itself. You can also avail of transportation to Leh and therefore back again to your destination at an additional cost at your convenience.
No, you do not need any kind of permit to fo ahead for the Markha Valley Trek.
The best time to go for a trek to Markha Valley is from mid-May to September. The temperatures during this time in Leh are pretty decent and allow you with sunny days and cool nights. After September, it starts snowing in the region which covers up almost everything, making it impossible to go for a trek in the mountains.
Beyond, September, camping in the Markha Valley Winter Trek region also becomes impossible due to extremely cold temperatures.
Yes, any beginner can attempt the trek to Markha Valley, provided that they possess a pretty decent fitness level. The trek difficulty is not much, however, due to the high altitude; it might become quite problematic for people with any kind of lung problems.
Being a beginner, ensure that you travel with some other familiar people or have an experienced tour guide to help you out whenever required. Also, make sure that you carry all the necessary stuff applicable for completing the Markha Valley Trek without facing any difficulty for your daily chores.
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