Markha valley trek is all about experiencing the snow-covered peaks, yaks found on green plains at the highest points, and the Tibetan culture most of all. It is surrounded by huge rocks and extensive valleys which will make your exploration more stunning as well as memorable.
Markha Valley trek is set at an altitude of 17,100 feet located over Ladakh and holds the most authenticity of all the treks. It takes a duration of 5-8 days to cover Markha valley which is 65kms away. And it is the largest valley in the region of Ladakh.
There you see the Markha river which goes around covering the whole Markha. It is surrounded by rocky mountains and it is said to be known as the tributary of Zanskar. Markha valley was discovered in the 19th century giving rise to Tibetan settlements that have turned into small villages and Buddhist gompas.
What you can look at:
The trek goes to the drylands of Indus, Markha, and various streams. The trail passes through Hemis national park where you get to see mountain sheep, argali, rabbits, and snow leopards. There are two cardinal passes that will be covered en route via Ganda La and Kongmaru La which offers you exquisite views. Not only this you see the stunning views of K2 mountain, Stok Kangri, and Kang Yaste ranges which give you the motivation to move further on the trek. You can also see the Tibet region which is ahead of the Markha valley. Each day you will see the splendid sights concealed behind the mountains.
Whether you require a guide:
Initially, it is not necessary to hire a guide for the Markha valley trek as you will come across Tibetan villages so you can ask for the way from them. You will also meet a lot of shepherds with their herd and their horses so you can ask for directions from them. There are also plenty of horses you will see there which will allow you to follow a certain path as these horses are used as a means of transportation from different villages. So be free to go independently on the Markha valley trek.
Day 01- Arrival at Leh
Markha valley trek starts from Leh itself. Arrive at Leh either by fight or by train as you choose. Explore leh its temples and places and monasteries and enjoy the night view at Leh.
Day 02- Acclimatization day
The next day you have to acclimate your body by staying outdoors. You can hike to Shey Palace, Thiksey monastery of Thiksey gompa to have knowledge about Buddhist tradition. You can visit the bazaar at leh and have some shopping if you wish to. Don’t forget to see the sunset at Shanti Stupa as it looks dazzling in the evening.
Day 03- Leh to Chilling and then trek to Skiu
Now your trek journey begins as you marvelous landscapes while trekking towards Chilling. You will be pleased when you see Sangam. Indus and Zanskar rivers will offer you the most spectacular views. You will cross a river on a trolley at Kayo Da place.
Day 04- Ski to Sara
Then your trek begins from Skui to Sara. You will be encountering Magpie birds and enormous wildlife there. After an hour you can take a break by visiting a cafe there and have something to eat. You will be reaching Sara where you will see the mountain goats, black sheep, and deer there. You come across Nagding village where you will see the mountain caves that have paintings of the 20th century.
Day 05- Sara to Markha
Trekking from Sara to Markha will be mysterious for you as you will find Mani stones on every step. It is said that these stones have Buddhist prayers and there is a unique authenticity in them.
Day 06- Markha to Hankar
You will see the beautiness of trails as it merges with flowing rivers and streams. You get to see the sight of Mt. Kang Yaste which is 6400 meters. You enter the Hankar village where you will see the Tacha monastery on its peak.
Day 07- Hankar to Nimaling
It is a short trek and an easy one too. You see the pastures of Thochuntse and engulf yourself in nature. You will see that Kang Yaste peak seems to grow bigger and bigger. So feel the tranquility of Nimaling and engross yourself in sleep in peace.
Day 08- trek from Nimaling to Choke and then Kongmaru La trek to Leh
Here your trekking ends as it would be the last day of your trekking. You will come across Karakoram ranges which will make your day exciting and with lots of surprises on the way. You see the sight of K2 mountain, the second-highest peak in the whole world. The trail descends via Leh as you will return with loads of fun and memories.