Markha Valley Trek Tour Ladakh, Markha Valley Trekking, Location, Best time to visit Markha Valley, Accommodation, How to Reach Markha Valley, Tour Highlights of Markha Valley, Trekking Tips for Markha Valley Tour, Climate at Markha Valley, Food at Markha Valley.
Markha Valley Trek
Ladakh is one of the driest regions in the Indian Himalaya. Leh, the capital of Ladakh, experiences an average of only 110mm of rainfall per year and heavy snowfalls are rare as Ladakh’s position to the northeast of the Himalaya Range isolates it from the Indian monsoon.
Markha Valley Trek is one of the famous trekking areas in Ladakh to meet the magical kingdom of Ladakh. Trekking across the Markha Valley and its famous Markha River is will take the trekkers along the beautiful monasteries, quaint villages, lush greenery of Nimaling and the tall peak of Kangyatse. Markha Valley Trekking is actually an incredible journey to the “Little Tibet” where the vicinity is all set for the amazing hill vistas and dry mountains with rural parishes and lavish grazing lands altogether. Although the area remains snow-bound in winters but during the summers or rest of the season, the landscape panorama of this place, Markha Stream, mustard areas and the small towns of Stok, Matho and Zanskar attracts many people around the world for trekking.
Markha Valley trek is also known for being a ‘tea house trek’ where one can expect accommodation in parachute tents at most of the villages enroute. Apart from the striking contrast of trekking in an arid cold desert valley, you get an outstanding view of Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, the 21,000 ft Kang Yissay and the 20,086 ft Stok Kangri peaks. The trek goes inside a beautiful Hemis National Park and involves two pass crossings- Gandala La (15748 ft) and Kongmaru La, (17,060 ft). Some exciting waist-deep river crossing sections on Markha River to trails going across interesting Buddhist villages and rocky canyons are some of the features that give this trek a unique fervor. With close proximity to Leh, which is one flight away from most Indian metropolitan cities, the Markha Valley trek can be something any traveler to Leh could definitely consider doing.
Trekking across this region also brings an opportunity to spot Blue sheep and Ibex over the shaky slopes very often. One can also have the spectacular views of the Karakoram, Saser Kangri- peak of 7670m, Stok Kangri of 6150m, Kang Yatse of 6400m and Nun Kun of 7135 meters. While trekking up the hill you will find the overwhelming scenery of high towns, each with irrigated areas of wheat, barley, and mustard, and can also discover different species of animals at Hemis National Park which is an essential part of the Markha valley hike.
Markha Valley is located between the Zanskar and Leh region of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir State. This valley runs parallel to the Himalayan range and is at a short distance from Leh. Markha Valley trek has beautiful, wild and barren landscapes and therefore it is often called as Little Tibet. Strategically located, the valley offers the stunning views of Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, the 21,000 ft Kang Yissay and the 20,086 ft Stok Kangri peaks.
Markha Valley Trekking Tour Highlights
- Get the chance to explore the multi-hued Tibetan markets and historically rich Buddhist monasteries
- Witness some of the most sublime Himalayan sceneries throughout the picturesque trek
- Get the opportunity to stay at remote mountain villages and interact with its sweet and simple inhabitants
- Camp at scenic locations under the starry sky
Markha Valley Trekking
The ubiquitous “Chortens” – Stupas, Tibetan multi coloured prayer flags and Monasteries signify the regions immersion in Buddhism. During the Markha valley trek one can connect with Tibet and immerse oneself in Tibetan culture.
Since 1974, when Ladakh first became accessible to foreign visitors, this high and arid region has captured the imagination of adventure travelers. This itinerary between Ladakh and Zanskar offers a large diversity of landscapes, from the jagged Kongmaru La pass (5000m) to the green oasis of the Markha valley with breath-taking views of the Korakoram snow-capped peaks. Many scattered high villages, each with irrigated fields of barley and potatoes, add color to this otherwise quite barren environment, and provide the chance to meet the Ladakhi peasants in the simplicity of their daily life. Markha will be an opportunity to visit the old monastery, famous for its paintings.
Trekking Information on Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh
Region: Ladakh Himalaya
Grade : Strenuous
Altitude: 5030 mtrs
Trekking Routes: Delhi – Leh – Marteslang – Chokdo – Latza Kongmaru – Kongmaur La – Nimaling – Hankar – Markha Valley – Chalok – Shingo -Ganda La – Rumbak – Namlung La – Stok – Leh – Delhi
Minimize your impact in culturally and ecologically sensitive areas by being as self-sufficient as possible, especially with food and fuel. Buying provisions along the way puts unnecessary burden on the villages’ subsistence-oriented economies. It also encourages hordes of temporary ‘tea shops’ (usually run by outsiders), to sprout along the trails.
Always burn kerosene, and avoid burning wood because it is scarce and trees don’t grow easily in Ladakh. Refuse should be packed up, not disposed of along the route, no matter how far from the nearest roadbed you are. Plastics should be retained for recycling at the Ecology Centre in Leh. Do not defecate in the stone huts along the trails; local shepherds use them for shelter during snow storms.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Markha Valley is between June and mid-October. During this time, the weather is Ladakh is pleasant and the average temperature ranges between 20 and 30°C in the daytime. July and August are the ideal months for Markha Valley trek as during these months Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh highways also opens for private vehicles.
Markha valley remains cold in the month of November to February and minimum temperature goes down to minus 30 degree celsius during the month of January and February. March to Early may, sunshine remains abundant. Summer remains from May to August. From Mid of July till August, Markha Valley can get very varm, but it is also the rainy season. But in general, Ladakh is in rainshadow of the Himalayas. There is a lot of exposure to the sun. Make sure that you bring sunscreen, hat and sunglasses.
All the villages mentioned in this itinerary have guest houses, with basic but comfortable rooms and most of the families are very friendly. Homestay: The price per person is about 800 rupees, including food and water.
How to Reach
There are several buses from Leh to Spitok. However, part of the trek up to Jingchan is pretty boring, so it’s a good idea to take a taxi to Jingchan and start the trek from there.
To return from Shjang there is no bus until the next morning, but you can get a ride to Hemis where there are more options.
By Air:Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the main airport in Leh City. It has a number of flights that connects Leh with Delhi as well as few major cities of India.
By Road:Leh is connected to the rest of India by two highways: NH 1D (Srinagar-Leh Highway) and Manali-Leh Highway. The Srinagar-Leh Highway passes through Kargil and Zoji-La (3505m), whereas Leh-Manali Highway passes through famed Rohtang Pass and Tanglang La (5325m). It also passes through the upland desert plateau of Rupshu whose altitude ranges from 3,660 m to 4,570 m.
No need to bring food, except for some biscuits, energy bars or whatever. In every house, they will serve you dinner and breakfast plus a small snack for the day. The food is basic but good, usually soup, rice, boiled potatoes and similar things.
You can try the yak milk tea. It’s awful in my opinion, but you are in the Himalayas, so go ahead. The Chang, which is like the local beer, is not going to lack in the houses.