About The Markha Valley :
The Markha Valley Trek is also called the ‘Teahouse’ trek since in this trek there are lot of parachute trek accommodation for trekkers. This region is a dry and cold desert that gives trekkers magnificent views of the Zanskar and Ladakh which are beautiful regions cherished by travelers throughout the world. The majestic and wonderful peaks of Kang Yissay (21000 ft) and Stok Kangri (20086 ft) awe trekkers. They also get to see the Hemis National Park, Gandala La and the Kongmaru La, which are also splendid attractions in the Markha Valley Trek Route. Yet another aspect that makes the trek entertaining is the excitement of crossing the Markha River to reach the path to the Buddhist villages and rock structures.
This valley is very close to Leh and every trekker who comes to Leh, can easily trace the way to the Markha to do this splendid trek. Trekkers initially should get themselves acclimatized for atleast two days as it will cleanse their mind and make them fit and healthy to undertake this trek. In the meantime, they can discover monasteries, fort, and local market and see the beautiful and wonderful Leh Palace. Trekkers also cross the huge mountain peak of the Ganda La (4800 m) and finally come to the charming Markha Village, which is located amidst lush green fields, willow trees with barren mountains in the backdrop. Other excitement and adventure include camping beside the flowing streams, splendid views of the Kangyatze peaks.
The Markha Valley Trek:
Trekkers after arriving in Leh spend their time to acclimatize to the climate before starting the trek. Sightseeing in Leh will make trekkers to come to know of the Buddhist traditions and culture. After reaching Yurutse the first camping destination, trekkers can see the Markha Valley from a close angle. The route from Yurutse to Ganda La is a steep ascend and trekkers can reach the giant Zanskar Range and farsighted majestic Himalayan peaks. At Skiu, they can see the convergence of the Markha and Zanskar rivers, which is a feast to the eyes.
From Skiu it is a 6 – 7 hour moderate trail to Markha and there are lot of beautiful streams that trekkers see located in the center of the cold region. Green fields, willow trees and picturesque villages seen from the top make it more beautiful. From Markha Valley, trekkers can see exotic views of the Kangyatze peaks that is really a lifetime experience and reward that trekkers get. Nimaling, Kongmaru La, Sumdo and lastly Leh would be the route that trekkers take to end the trip and come back to the wonderful destination of Leh thereby concluding this splendid trek.
Markha Valley Trek Highlights:
Some of the highlights of the Markha Valley Trek are as follows:
- Trek unique landscapes of Ladakh, exploring the desolate villages, and Buddhist monasteries.
- Capture the splendid views of the Kang Yatze peak (6400m) from the highest point of Kongmaru La (5200m).
- See the century old Hemis monastery the richest and most famous in Ladakh.
- Enjoy the walk alongside the banks of the Zanskar and Markha river.
- Cimb to the Markha valley to an altitude of 17000 feet it is very exciting and challenging but not that much difficult.
- They can interact with the locals of the villages and come of know of their culture and tradition.
- Camp in a region untouched by any of the modern day practices.
- See 11th century monasteries of Spituk , Hankar, Humlung, Thiksey and Shey.
- Trail to Zinchen, Yurutse, Skiu, Markha, Hankar, Nimaling and Shang Sumdo villages.
- Explore the Leh palace.
- Relish the delicious food, stay in a relaxed accommodation, and get to see the warmth and hospitality of the people of this region.
- Trekkers get hypnotized by the beautiful Khardongla pass.
- Discover the small remote villages of Ladakh.
- Soak in Ladakhi culture and tradition by spending some time with Ladakhi people.
- Trekkers cross the giant and elevated peaks of the Kongmaru La at (5200 m) and Ganda La at (4900 m) passes.
- Explore the stunning deep gorges of the Ladakh region.
- Get some splendid views of the Stok Kangri and Kang Yatze peaks.
- Trekkers spot some rare animals like the Bharal (blue sheep), Yaks and the Marmots.
- Swim across several streams and the Markha river.
- Trek through the Hemis National park.
- Climb through the steep rocks and narrow ridges.
- Set up a campfire and camp gaze the sight of the beautiful stars.
Key Facts About The Trek:
- Region: Leh- Ladakh
- Starting Point: Leh
- Ending Point: Leh
- Duration: 9 Days and 8 Nights
- Ideal Time: The best time to visit this region is somewhere between mid-May – September since the weather will be pleasant, sunny in the daytime, and calm during nights. After September, snowfall starts and the whole region is covered with dense snow and heavy rain starts so it is not an ideal time to visit this place. Temperature: Summer temperature varies between 22*C to 30*C but it can be hot, dry and sultry but in winter it can drop to – 5*C.
- Level: The trek passes through barley paths, difficult regions, and rough environments, which sometimes has tough weather conditions; it is a solo trek and sometimes has steep ascents. This is a high altitude trek and requires great amount of physical fitness, good health and a positive attitude.
- Total Distance: 85 km.
- Maximum elevation: 10,500 ft at Spituk and reaches a maximum altitude of 17,060 feet at the Kongmaru La pass.
- Weather: Hot and sunny in summer (May- August) (June to October) is the best time to visit Markha valley. Post monsoon (November- February) the temperature drops to -5*C and the entire region has snowfalls.
- Communication: Only BSNL networks get connectivity and work, and there is no phone connectivity during the whole course of the trek to Leh, in case of emergencies only satellite communication works. Battery drains out very quickly in this region especially when trekkers are carrying smartphones, so in case trekkers are using smartphones they must carry an extra reserve of batteries or they must switch to airplane mode to retain the battery life of their cell for a longer time.
- ATM Point: The last ATM point in this region is Purola before the trek starts.
- Health insurance cards and policy waiver.
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination – If in case the trip needs travelers to take completed International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis card or medical waiver.
- Copies of all prescriptions- Be sure to have copies of all prescriptions that have generic drug names. Also, carry prescriptions for eyeglasses/ contact lenses and other essential medical supplies.
- Photo Identity ID card, PAN, Driving License, Voter ID ( better to carry copies for submission to any higher authorities)
- Contact details
- Travelers must carry cards having contact numbers and e- mail id of their friends/ relatives in case of any emergencies.