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Markha Valley Trek Ladakh

16 Nights & 17 Days

Overview

The Markha valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in Ladakh and a popular destination due to the proximity of its whole circuit to Leh. A varied trek across high passes with tremendous views of the snow capped mountains, gorges, arid landscape dotted with villages with their colourful fields of mustard and barley and meetings with locals make this trip a trekker’s delight. However, on this particular itinerary, we do not take the standard route but begin from the little village of Chilling, the only village where metalwork is done in Ladakh. Chilling is sleepy and gorgeous tiny village.  One of the reason that we start our trek from Chilling to avoid crossing any passes in first few days of our trek so that we do not encounter any altitude related problem. Spending a night here, we cross the Zanskar River by cable to meet with our horses on the other side which joins the popular route at Skiu. At the end after crossing the Kongmarula, we make a diversion into a lesser known but again another beautiful valley with high pastures and great views to Stok Base Camp and the ultimate highlight of our trip – the summit of Stok Kangri (6137m). It is best to do this between end of June and end of August.

Top Places

Leh | Shey, Thiksey and Hemis | Chilling | Skiu | Markha | Thachungtse | Nimaling | Chuskirmo | Shang Phu | Gangpoche | Base camp of Stok Kangri | Upper Base Camp | Summit Day | Stok Village | Leh | Delhi

Highlights

Hemis Monastery | Shey Palace | Thiksey Monastery | Zanskar River | Kongmaru La | Matho La | Stok Kangri | Stok Palace Museum | Alchi Monastery



Leh / Day 01

Arrive in Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Only opened to foreign tourists in 1974, Leh has changed somewhat from the day’s yak trains would set off from the main bazaar toward Central Asia. It has, however, retained that Wild West feel. Wander the alleyways of the main bazaar, viewing traditional wares and sampling the local […]
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Shey, Thiksey and Hemis / Day 02

After a leisurely breakfast, we drive to visit Hemis Monastery situated 45km west of Leh; Hemis is the largest and the wealthiest monastery in Ladakh. From Hemis, you are driven back taking the same route to visit Thiksey Monastery, located on a hill-lock with formidable views of the Indus valley. Thiksey is especially noteworthy for […]
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Chilling / Day 03

Today we will drive to Phey the pointing point of your raft trip to Nimmu village. This trip is ideal for beginners. You will get upto grade 2+ rapids. The trip will finish just after the confluence of the two rivers Zanskar and India. From here you will drive along the Zanskar river to get […]
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Skiu / Day 04

After leaving the camp you will be hiking on a dot road along the Zanskar river for 2km, from here you will be crossing the river on a trolley and trek over a small hump to trek to Skiu. Skiu is the lowest village during your trek; it is consist of two small villages Skiu […]
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Markha / Day 05

Following the Markha River, we will hike through the lovely valley on a fairly level path. The trail crosses the river at various points, and passes through winter settlements that contain Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers). During peak season, a number of tented teahouses will be […]
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Thachungtse / Day 06

The Markha valley trail continues past old stone-mills, a ruined castle and the auspicious monastery of Techa, which is proudly perched on a towering cliff that looms above Markha, well worth visiting if we have the energy! The path then intersects the river several times before cutting through the last hamlets in the valley. After […]
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Nimaling / Day 07 - 08

Today the trail will lead us up to the beautiful plateau of Nimaling, where the people of the Markha Valley bring their herds to graze during the summer months. At 4700m, Nimaling is the highest camp on the trek, giving us spectacular views of Kang Yatse to the right, the Zangskar Range and the Markha […]
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Chuskirmo / Day 09

We climb to the top of Kongmaru La (5100m) which offers excellent views and descend to enter a narrow gorge to our Campsite at Chuskyurmo at 4000 metres
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Shang Phu / Day 10

From Chuskyurmo, we turn into a tributary valley which leads to Gyuncho La at 4700 metres. Descending from the pass, we make camp at Shang Phu at an altitude of 4365 metres.
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Gangpoche / Day 11

Today we climb to cross the Shang La (4960m) and then descend to the Tokpo River and trek further downhill contouring around spurs and over a 4550m pass to our camping place at Gangpoche (4435m).
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Base camp of Stok Kangri / Day 12

Again we have a steady climb in the morning, this time up to the Matho La (4965m) with views of Stok Kangri (6137m). Descend to camp near Shepherds huts at Zurlais (4544m). From here we will cross over small stream and climb on the hill side. Cross one more Shepherd camp to reach base camp.
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Upper Base Camp / Day 13

Summit Day! We have an early start, leaving camp at 3am and if all goes well we should be at the top with the first rays of the sun. After soaking in the amazing panoramic views we descend to Base camp.
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Summit Day / Day 14

We descend and take rest on this day.
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Stok Village / Day 15

Trek back to Stok village and see the Stok Palace Museum and then drive to Leh. The walk is nearly all downhill taking 3 1/2 to 4 hrs through a dramatic canyon with amazing red sandstone formations.
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Leh / Day 16

Or an optional tour to drive upto highest motorable pass or visit to Alchi Monastery one of the oldest monastery in Ladakh. Overnight stay at hotel.
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Delhi / Day 17

On time depart to Leh airport board flight to Delhi
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