- Places: Leh, Spituk, Zingchen, Yurutse, Skyu, Markha, Hankar, Tchatchutse, Nimaling, Shang Sumdo, Hemis
- Activities: trekking, sightseeing.
The Marka Valley is in Ladakh. Markha Valley is one of the most famous treks of Ladakh Region. It is an amazing trip to get introduced with magical and remote Buddhist Kingdom of Ladakh. While trekking on through this trek, trekker’s passes through beautiful Buddhist Monasteries, Mountain Villages, High altitude pastures of Nimaling and High altitude peak Kangyatse.
A deservedly popular trek that follows the beautiful Markha valley. It is almost always done in the direction described, as in the reverse direction the approach to the Gongmaru La is very steep and unpleasant. This means you get an impression of there being fewer trekkers on this route than there in fact are. It is a reasonably straight-forward trek, with many villages on the way, and even the odd tea "house" tent, it is possible avoid camping out except for the night before crossing the Gongmaru La, which necessitates a tent, and good sleeping bag as it gets very cold here even in summer.
Day 1: Leh – Spituk – Zingchen (5 hours). After the breakfast drive to Spituk Bridge behind the Spituk monastery, around 7 kms from Leh town. From Spituk bridge starts the trekking along Indus River walking through flat and desolate plane at the foot of the Stok Mountain. Gradually, you will leave the view of busy Leh-Srinagar highway and move towards wilderness of Himalaya. Soon you arrive at Zingchen through a gorge, which gives you a feeling of complete isolation. Stay overnight in Camp at Zingchen.
Day 2: Zingchen to Yurutse (4 - 5 hours). Leave Zingchen for Rumbak through a straight forward road; leaving village, you enter Hemis national park for the preservation of Snow leopard, Baharal, marmot, wolf etc. Walk through a narrow trail and valley widens as you arrive Rumbak and camp at Yurutse below Gandala Pass. Overnight in Camp.
Day 3: Yurutse to Skyu (6-7 hours). From Yurutse follow the path along the mountain side, then cross a small valley and follow zig zag steep path. There after cross Gandala pass (4380 m). Then walk the long descent towards Shingo for 2 hrs that will lead to the valley of Markha and after few hundred meters you reach Skyu. Overnight halt in tents.
Day 4: Sku to Markha (7-8 hours). From Skyu, follow a good path on the right bank of Markha where one can find great vegetation. Then cross the right bank of river then the barren plain and arrive at Chaluk. Thereafter, walk along the left bank of river and after another crossing climb towards Markha village. Towards the end of the village there are good camp site near the river. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 5: Markha to Thachungtse (5-6 hours). Right after breakfast you start trekking in the morning to reach Tchatchutse via Hankar village. Overnight in tents.
Day 6: Thachungtse to Nimaling (4-5 hours). After breakfast start trekking to reach Nimaling. Nimaling (4900 m) has a sweeping pasture where thousands of sheep, goats and yaks graze during the summer months. Rising to the south is 6400 m high Kang Yatse (Nimaling Peak), a lovely mountain, but not an easy one to climb. Overnight in tents.
Day 7: Nimaling to Shang Sumdo (6-7 hours). After breakfast start trekking to reach Kongmaru La (5100 m). The trek to Kongmaru la passes through narrow gorges. From the top of the pass, you can have a view of Ladakh ranges and the sight of villages to the north of Indus valley is excellent. Cross the pass and proceed to Shang. Overnight in tents.
Day 8: Shang Sumdo to Hemis to Leh (6 hours). Walk along the stream down to Hemis monastery, which is one of the oldest and richest monasteries in Ladakh. Visit Hemis monastery and drive to Leh, enroute visit Thiksey Monastery, Shey Palace and Stok Palace cum museum.
- Fixed Departure: 12th July 2011.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia India Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Cultural Journey