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The Himalayas are not merely a geographical feature, a range of mountains. they epitomise people's civilisational identity that goes back to the dawn of history. If these majestic mountains were not there, the rain clouds sweeping up from the Indian Ocean.
India Tours » Trekking

The Markha Valley Trail

Duration : 17 Days

Markha Valley TrailThis wilderness trail skirts the hi-altitude Hemis National Park with its abundance of wild life and heads through far flung villages with lush green fields of barley and potato the chief crops in the region. These tiny oasis appear as welcome sights as you traverse an otherwise stark barren landscape. Far to the northwest extend excellent views of the mighty Karakorum mountain ranges.

Day 01: We welcome you on your arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and escort you to your hotel where you stay overnight.

Day 02: Take the morning flight to Leh and check into your hotel. Afternoon free to wander around the bazaars and relax. A couple days in Leh is strongly advised due to the high altitude.

Day 03: We visit the ancient monasteries of Shey with its enormous state of Buddha and Thikse one of the most important Gompas in central Ladakh which has some beautiful wall paintings besides gilded statues of the Buddha. In the afternoon we drive down to the famous Hemis Gompa in a secluded grove of poplars. Return to your hotel for the night.

Day 04: We drive to Lamayuru 3420m / 11,217ft. a journey of 5 hours visiting the Alchi monastery on the way. Overnight camp.

Day 05: Lamayuru - Prinkiti-La at 3726m / 12,221ft to - Wanla - 3550m / 11,844ft. 5 hours. Visit the Lamayuru monastery built in the 16th century and said to be the biggest in western Ladakh. The Gompa hugs a cliff side overlooking a deep canyon and houses numerous intricately done wall paintings. From here the trail descends to a valley from where it climbs steadily towards the Prinkiti La pass and then gradually slopes down to the village of Wanla. Camp overnight.

Day 06: Wanla - Hinju - 3900m / 12,792ft. A 6 hour walk through an arid and barren valley takes us to the small village of Phanjila from where the trail turns into another valley besides the Ripchar river to Hinju. Camp overnight.

Day 07: Hinju - Konke La -4950m / 16,236ft to Sumdha at 4150m / 13,612ft. 7 hours.
The trail ascends steeply towards the Konke La pass from where you are afforded extensive views of glacial fields, sweeping barren valleys dotted with splashes of green. From the pass the trail leads downward over mountain ridges to the village of Sumdha. Camp overnight.

Markha Valley TrailDay 08: Sumdha Chenmo - base camp below Dungdungchen La - 4050m / 13,284ft. 6 hours.
We now descend towards the tiny village of Lanak at 3750m / 12,300ft then climb up towards the base of Dungdungchen La. Camp overnight.

Day 09: Base of Dungdungchen La - 4050m / 13,284ft -over the Dungdungchen La at 4700m / 15,416ft. to Chilling at 3350m / 10,988ft. 6 hours. A steady climb to this small pass from where again you are rewarded with glorious views. The trail then winds downwards to the large village of Chilling on the banks of the Zanskar river. This village is known for its fine metalwork particularly exquisitely made cups and cutlery and local gold ornaments. Camp overnight.

Day 10: Chilling - Skiu - 3510m / 11,512ft. 5 hours. The trek now converts into a river crossing by a cable cart over the Zanskar. We leave our pack ponies behind and get new ones once we're across. From the other side we pass the village of Kaya before we reach Skiu, a pleasant walk away. Camp near the village.

Day 11: Skiu - Markha - 3850m / 12,628ft. 6 hours. A leisurely trek that involves a number of river crossings across the Markha river. At times the water may be low solely depending on the
weather conditions. We camp near the Markha village with its green fields on the banks of the Markha river.

Day 12: Markha - Hankar - 4000m / 13,120ft. 4 hours. The trail involves a day of a few river crossings till you reach the Umlung Gompa high up on a hillside. The climb is stiff one but there are good views of the valley far below. The Umlung village is a little ahead and from here the walk is almost a level one to Hankar village. We camp at the foot of the soaring Kang Yaze peak - 6400m / 20,992ft.

Day 13: Hankar - Nimaling - 4650m / 15,252ft. 4 hours. Passing below the ruins of the Hankar Gompa we continue crossing a stream and then walking through fields to a the Nimaling chu. We go along the right bank of the river through a rocky gateway and pass incredibly balanced boulders on thin spike like spires. Crossing a bridge a bit further we continue past a small lake and high pasture land finally reaching Nimaling village. Cam overnight.

Day 14: Nimaling - Kongmaru La - 5150m / 16,892ft. to Shang Sumdo at 3750m / 12,300ft.
7 hours. A long days trek as we climb up to the summer pastures, to the top of the ridge and the saddle of Kongmaru La from where you get spectacular views of the Zanskar range and the vertical ice walls of the Kang Yaze peak. Descend to the valley floor and continue on to the small village of Shang Sumdo. Camp near irrigation channels gurgling through fields near the village.

Day 15: Shang Sumdo - Hemis - 3600m / 11,808ft. 3 to 4 hours. This is a short days trek as you head down to the village of Martselang and further down to Hemis Monastery.

Day 16: Hemis - Leh. After exploring the ancient Hemis Gompa, we drive on to Leh stopping briefly to visit the palace and monastery at Shey and then further on to the Thikse monastery which startlingly resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa Tibet. Overnight in a hotel in Leh.

Day 17 : Catch your early morning flight to Delhi. Your afternoon is free to relax and unwind at your hotel before catching the late night / early morning international flight to your next destination.

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Other Trekking routes in jammu & kashmir :
Lamayuru to Darcha Darcha to Padum Padum to Lamayuru
The Markha Valley Trail Markha to Rupshu Trail Extended Markha and Rupshu Trail
The Rupshu Plateau Trek The Indus & Nubra Valley Traverse Ladakh Nubra Circular Trek
The Indus Tso Moriri Traverse Indus into the Spiti Valley via Tso Moriri The Chadder Trek

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