About Markha Valley Trek

This trek follows a circular route around the Hemis National Park. The trek is a thrilling experience what with two 4800-5000m high passes to cross as well as waist - deep rivers to ford on the way. The campsites are among aromatic shrubs and wild roses. You can spot blue sheep on the bare mountains or get entertained by the antics of the marmot while following the beaten trail. 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 is to cross Markha River to reach the trails to Buddhist villages and rock structures.

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  • Markha Valley Trek (Detailed Itinerary)

    Apart from the striking contrast of trekking in an arid cold desert valley, you get an outstanding view of Zanskar ranges, the 21,000ft Kangyatse and the 20,086 ft Stok Kangri peaks.


  • Day 1: Travel from Delhi to Leh by air / road.
  • The early morning flight from Delhi gets to Leh in less than two hours. From the airport guests would be transferred to city hotel / Guest House. Leh is at an altitude of 3500 Mts and all guests are advised to rest for the entire day. A successful trek in Ladakh requires you to acclimatize well.


  • Day 2: Visit Shey Palace, Thiksey and Hemis Monastery
  • We start with a visit to Shey the ancient capital of Ladakh. The monastery here has a huge gold-gilded statue of Buddha Sakyamuni with a large silver lamp burning in front of the statue, built in the memory of King Singgey Namgyal by his son Deldan Namgyal in 1633 A.D. Then we visit Thiksey Gompa an impressive complex rising tier upon tier on a hill above the village. The monastery has a beautiful 30 m high gold-plated statue of Maitreya Buddha; the Buddha of the future is one of the most beautiful monasteries of Ladakh. Drive return to Leh. Later we visit to famous Hemis Gompa; this is the largest monastic foundation of Drukpa Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built during early 17th century with the blessing of Lama Stagtsang Raspa (Shambunatha), by famous Namgyal dynasty king Singgey Namgyal. Overnight stay at the Hotel


  • Day 3: Leh to Zingchen drive trek to Yurutse Homestay (4/5 hours)
  • From Leh to Zingchen drive 45 minutes and from Zingchen we walk upstream and then climb up the hill till we get to Gandala Nallah, along which a path leads to high pastures. On the east is a path that leads to Rumbak Village which we avoid taking. Instead we go westward following the path to Yurutse Homestay.


  • Day 4: Yurutse to Shingo Homestay (6/7hours)
  • Today is a long day. The trek up to the Gandala Pass (4870m) takes a little under two hours of steady climbing from the base camp. From the pass a well-defined path leads down to Shingo. This descent takes around two hours. Overnight at the Shingo Homestay.


  • Day 5:Skiu to Markha (6/7 hours)
  • An early start is recommended for this day as it gets very warm when it is sunny, although the walking is not very strenuous. The trail from Skiu leads to Sara where one can stop for a quick lunch. Beyond Sara the trail goes up to the village of Chalak. We cross a river and keep going ahead for around two hours till we reach the swift Markha River. After fording across the river from the shallowest spot we carry on further to arrive at Markha Village. There are a number of options for camping here.


  • Day 6:Markha to Thujungtse (6/7 hours)
  • This day is a moderately tough walking day, passing through the villages of Umlung and Hanikar. The Kangyatse Peak (6400m) dominates the landscape. The trail goes northwards up to the confluence of two rivers Luntang Chu and Nyimaling Chu. At the end of the trail we get to Thujungste village. The campsite is excellent.


  • Day 7: Thujungste to Nyimaling (3 hours)
  • Today is a easy walk. The trail from Thujungste leads you to Nyimaling passing through several Mani walls and shepherd camps. On the way the views of Kangyatse Peak are simply spectacular. Nyimaling is a beautiful place and one can spend the afternoon exploring the valley. You can spot Blue Sheep and other wildlife in this area.


  • Day 8: Nyimaling to Chokdo across Kongmaru La (6/7 hours)
  • From Nyimaling the trail crosses the Nyimaling Chu and ascends steeply upwards to the pass at Kongmaru La (5130m). From here the descent is sharp and an hour's walk takes you to Lhartse. The trail leads to Shang River and beyond this are the shepherd camps at Chuskumo and Chukdo. Camp at Chokdo.


  • Day 9: Chokdo to Hemis Leh. (3/4 hours)
  • Follow the Shang River after the 2 hrs. walk you reach Shang Village then drive back to Leh by Taxi. Overnight stay at Hotel.


  • Day 10: Depart for Delhi by the morning flight.
  • For the more adventurous a drive to either Manali or Srinagar can also be arranged on request. The road journey is covered in two days with an overnight halt at either Sarchu, which lies on the Leh-Manali highway, or Kargil, which lies on the Leh-Srinagar highway.

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Markha Valley Trek Highlights

    1. Get the chance to explore the multi-hued Tibetan markets and historically rich Buddhist monasteries
    2. Witness some of the most sublime Himalayan sceneries throughout the picturesque trek
    3. Get the opportunity to stay at remote mountain villages and interact with its sweet and simple inhabitants
    4. Camp at scenic locations under the starry sky

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