Trekking in India

Markha Valley Trek

  • Total Duration

    19 days
  • Trek Grade

    Moderate
  • Tour Duration

    14 days
  • Trek Starts

    Leh
  • Trek Ends

    Leh

Overview

A feast of scenic and ethnic diversity, the Markha valley trek is one of the Ladakh’s classic treks, a rugged high-altitude hiking on Stok range. Begin the Trek at the famous trailhead at Hemis Monastery. Along the way we pass prayer flags rippling silently in the fresh wind, and walk into small green valleys, greeted by cheery herders. We cross three passes including Kongmaru La (5150m), higher than two others’ to reach the Markha valley south of Leh. Many named & un-named peaks in the altitude range of 5500m to 6400m makes the great amphitheater. We start our trek at Martselang & end our trek at the village of Stok.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu (1300m) and transfer to hotel
On arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff, who will escort you to the hotel, where our Sherpa guide or the office staff will give you a brief orientation about the hotel, Kathmandu itself, trekking, and the do's and don’ts of the area. They will also review any additional information that you might require while in Nepal, including an overview of the next day's sightseeing tour. In the evening, you will enjoy a complimentary welcome dinner at one of the finest traditional Nepalese restaurants in Kathmandu, with the necessary transfer to and from the hotel by taxi, bus.
Overnight in Hotel
Day 02 : Guided sightseeing in Kathmandu valley
After your breakfast, you will precede to Kathmandu Durbar Square, where you will tour the ancient palace, the temple of the Kumari, the living goddess of Nepal, Hanuman Dhoka and Kasthamandav Temple with a guide knowledgeable about Nepalese history, architecture, and religion. From there, you will proceed by taxi, bus to the Buddhist site, Swoyambhunath Stupa, also known as the "Monkey Temple" because of its lively troops of resident monkeys. You will then visit Pashupatinath Temple, the holiest shrine for Hindus, situated on the banks of the holy Bagmati River, a popular cremation site. Before returning to the hotel, you will visit Boudhnath Stupa, a Buddhist pilgrimage center and home to many colorful Gompas, or monasteries. Once back at the hotel, you will receive a briefing about the trek and have a chance to meet your guides and ask any last minute questions before tomorrow morning's departure.
Overnight in Hotel
Day 03: Fly to Delhi
Today you will be transfer to international airport for your flight to Delhi. You will be received by our representative upon arrival at Delhi airport and then transfer to Hotel.
Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 04: Fly to Leh (3650m)
Today you will be transfer to airport for your flight to Leh. You’ll be met upon arrival at Leh airport and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day will be at leisure for acclimatization.
Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 05: Sightseeing in Leh
Morning will be free for acclimatization. In the afternoon, you will begin your tour with short visits and walks to nearby monasteries and Leh palace. Today you shall walk to Sankar Gompa, an easy couple of kilometers walk north of the town centre, this Gompa belongs to Gelukpa order and has an impressive representation of the Buddhist deity of compassion, Avalokiteshvara (or Chenresig), complete with 1000 arms and 1000 heads. Later on drive to Shanti Stupa, built by a Japanese order whose intention is to spread Buddhism by building temples throughout the world. This stupa is located at commanding height and gives great views and excellent orientation of Leh and surroundings. Continue driving to Namgyal Tsemo Hill, buily in 1430, contains a fine three storey-high Buddha image, ancient manuscripts and frescos.
Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 06: Sightseeing round Leh and visit Shey, Thiksey and Hemis
Leh is an excellent base for excursions to several nearby monasteries and other worthwhile points of interest. Morning proceed for a full day sightseeing of Shey, Thiksey and Hemis. Shey, the summer palace and monastery belonged to the royal family of Leh in the fifteenth century. The monastery is famous for its 30 feet Taal, copper gilt statue of a meditating Sakyamuni, called Shey Thubha (Lord Buddha). The nearby Victory Stupa, Ladakh’s largest, is crowned in pure gold. Thiksey- Set atop a hill these 800 years old Gompa offers a panoramic view of the fertile Indus Valley. The Gompa has numerous chambers, including one hall with a recently constructed enormous 2 Storey high, painted clay statue of Maitreya in the meditation pose. Hemis- Built in the 1600s by the King Singe Namgyal, this monastery is an imposing architectural tour de-force – one that hits your suddenly. Prayer flags fluttering from tall pillars in the courtyard wave you forward. Hemis also famous for gold statues, stupas studded with precious stones, and the great collection of Thangkas, including one claimed to be the largest in existence, exhibited once every 11 years.
Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 07: Drive to Martselang 01 Hr
Morning at leisure to do your own things, after a leisurely lunch at your hotel you shall drive to the Trek head at Martselang, where you shall spent your first night in camps.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 08: Trek to Chogdo (3956m) 06 Hrs
After a leisurely breakfast at your camps in Martselang you shall start trekking, late in the morning at about 0900 hrs since this is our first day of trekking, porters and mule mans will do the load distribution for balanced loading on the mules. Today’s trek is going to be gentle one. Start trekking, the trail in the beginning is a jeep able wide trek, as you cross first village of your trek, the trail becomes thin and passes through the paddy and wheat fields, after some time the trail disappears and you shall be walking in the river bed, hopping over the small streams and boulders, you shall then take a left turn in the river bed and after walking for about an hour you shall arrive at your campsite for the evening.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 09: Trek to Churkimo (4300m) 06 Hrs
In the beginning the trail shall pass through some spectacular gorges, and then shall rise gradually for a couple hours before it takes a steep ascent to reach the campsite at the base of Kongmaru La.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 10: Trek to Nimaling (4268m) via Kongmaru La (5150m) 07 Hrs
You shall begin early today, the trail starts with very gentle rise in the beginning as you start approaching the foot of the pass gradient becomes more steep and soon you shall approach one of the most strenuous part of the trekking as you approach the top of the pass, the trail becomes steep and turns into small zigzag stretches. Once you reach the pass the views of Nimaling plains on the other side of the pass and Mt. Kang Yatze (6400 Meters) on left hand side are breathtaking. Start gradual descend towards the Nimaling plains and turn left to go further below to the Nimaling pastures, you shall cross the Markha river today, either over a bridge made up of wooden planks/log or through knee deep water, you shall then arrive at one of the biggest grazing grounds of Markha valley and your campsite for tonight. An evening walk towards the ridgeline shall offer you great views of Mt. Kang Yatze. Nimaling is also going to be the highest camp on your trek.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 11: Trek to Markha Village (3650m) 06 Hrs
Start walking through the pastures and cross a small mountain lake, as you start descending to the village of Hankar, you shall cross the river for more than one occasion and the trail shall then enter in the fields of paddy as you approach the Village of Markha, we shall cross the village and river over a small village and then arrive at our campsite either at the banks of the river or amidst the plantations.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 12: Rest day at Markha Village
Today is going to be the only rest day on this trek, you shall have an opportunity for bathing, washing and exploring the Markha Village.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 13: Trek to Skiu (3567m) 05 Hrs
Today’s trek is more or less gentle along the river and fields. Arrive at the campsite just before the village of Skiu.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 14: Trek to Shingo (3450m) 05 Hrs
Start trekking and pass the Skiu village you shall turn right as the trail bifurcates for Chilling another head for exiting this valley, start gentle ascend through the shrubs and small trees and cross the village of Shingo to arrive at the campsite. Views of Ganda La (4900 Meters) are constant from our campsite.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 15: Trek to Rumbak via Ganda La (4900m) 07 Hrs
Start a gradual ascent to the top of the pass today’s prime hurdle, reach at the top to have views of Mt. Kantaka on your right hand side, descend to the valley pass a few homes and then turn right and continue trekking through the village of Rumbak.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 16: Trek to Stok via Stok La (4700m) and drive to Leh 45 Minutes
You shall start early as the trails raises gradually in the beginning and then turns into similar zigzag fashion as it was on the approach of Kongmaru La and Ganda La. Arrive at the top and then descend to the valley turn left along the river, follow broad jeep able route before arriving at the pick up point at the village of Stok. Board the mechanized transport and arrive at Leh to check into your hotel. Rest of the time will be at leisure.
Overnight stay at Tented Camp
Day 17: Fly back to Delhi and to Kathmandu
Today you will be transferred to airport for your flight back to back to Delhi and will have connection flight back Kathmandu. You will be received upon arrival in Kathmandu airport by our office representative and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 17: Free day in Kathmandu
Today it’s a free day in Kathmandu. Please let our staff know if you would like to go on another short tour in and around the Kathmandu Valley or if you would like to extend your stay for few days and join in on one of our extension trips, including white-water rafting, paragliding, or bungee jumping.
Overnight stay in Hotel
Day 17: Final departure
Today keep in mind your international flight time, so make sure to keep your confirmed air ticket and your passport handy. Our staff will take you to the airport for your final departure from our amazing country, Nepal.

Useful Information

Tea House Trekking

On the more popular treks in Nepal, particularly in the Everest, Langtang and the entire Annapurna regions, enterprising villagers have built teahouse lodges, similar to European style alpine lodges offering simple but comfortable accommodation and food. We offer a selection of single/twin sharing rooms in the best available lodges run to a high level of service. We also supply a four season sleeping bag and cotton liner free of charge on our teahouse treks. Hire of other key items if needed can be arranged in advance. During the trek you’ll have 3 meals a day, with a mixture of European and Asian style dishes and large portions. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included.

Fully Provisioned Camping Style Trekking

This type of trek is staffed by a full Sherpa crew including a Sirdar (head man), cook and assistants. Porters, yaks, horses or mules carry your main baggage. It is the Sherpa crew’s job to perform all the camp work, from setting up to providing freshly made meals,to leaving the site clean on departure. We provide twin share dome or a frame sleeping tents, a kitchen tent, mess tent and toilet tent. We also provide tables, chairs or stools,lanterns/candles, thin sleeping mattresses and all crockery and cutlery as well as a fully equipped kitchen set up. The Sherpa crew will cook, wash up, and provide hot water for washing and tea and coffee at night and for your wake up call. Food is a mixture of Asian and Western dishes, with lots of choice, freshly prepared. As with teahouse trekking you can expect 3 main meals each day. Soft drinks, sweets, mineral water and alcohol are not included. A few of our teahouse treks involve crossing high passes and necessitate camping for a couple of nights. We provide full camping services for these nights including providing four season sleeping bags.

Small Group Travel

Most of our trips, treks and tours are organized on a small group basis, usually with a maximum of 16 persons in a group. On family holidays the maximum number is 20 to allow a number of families to join a group. By keeping numbers small we are able to offer a friendly, personal and high quality service.

Tailor Made Private Charter Adventures

We offer a very competitive complete tailor made service and are happy to design private charter programs for individuals and for groups as well as to tailor any of our packages to more closely meet your requirements. We have a wealth of experience in helping many clients in designing and planning individual adventures, ranging from romantic breaks to personal challenges, fundraising programs,student programs to extreme adventure expeditions, from low budget to no expense spared. We don’t charge a fortune to tailor make a trip for you and we have plenty of ideas, suggestions and experience we’re happy to share. We’ll work closely with you to design your adventure. Our advertised brochure prices will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay but we’ll provide individual quotes based upon your itinerary, requirements,budget and number of people traveling. Let us take care of the research and arrangements for your flights, accommodation,guides,transport,permits,peak fees,equipment requirements,food and all ground handling service for treks, expeditions or tours, using our local knowledge, expertise and contacts. And you can get on with enjoying yourself.

Group and Club Organizers

If you are organizing a trip for a group or a club we will offer one free* additional place for every 10 bookings made. You can use this for your own travel, use it to reduce the overall cost of the trip for everyone or perhaps offer it as a fantastic prize for your group members or for a charity. Contact us for more details and for conditions (*permit fees, national park entry fees, airfares and departure taxes not included).

Grading System

In Nepal, the trails often zigzag with plenty of ascents and descents and it is better to think in terms of hours spent walking rather than miles covered. A typical day’s walking is from five to seven hours with a number of ascents and descents. This includes a one hour lunch stop, a comfortable pace of walking and time to enjoy your surroundings. We use four grades for our treks, intended to give you a general sense of what to expect and to help you choose which adventure will suit you best. Factors such as weather conditions, altitude, fitness level, experience, interests and how you feel on a particular day all contribute to how easy or strenuous you find a trip. If you’re unsure of whether a trek is suitable for you just contact us before making your booking.

Equipment Checklist

A pair of light hiking boots
A pair of sandals
2 pairs of woolen socks and 2 pair of hiking socks
1 medium poly pro shirt
1 pile jacket
1 down jacket
1 woolen hat
A pair of sunglasses
A pair of glove shells with liner or ski gloves (opt.)
A pair of woolen gloves
One Trekking pack 3000 cubic inches capacity
One Sunscreen lotion SPF 10 to 30 and One Sunscreen stick SPF 10 to 30
Two Reading books (Optional)
One Walkman (Opt) and Music tapes (Opt) iPods Digi Camera and its Charger
A one liter water bottle
A pair of trekking poles
One flash light with 4 sets of batteries one -5 to -20 sleeping bag
Two T-shirts and one long sleeve T/city shirt
Two Trekking baggy pants

Toiletry Items

Towel, pre-moistened novelettes, wash cloth, lip balm, and any additional personal items such as toothbrush, comb, etc.

Miscellaneous Items

Photo equipment with plenty of films and spare batteries, reading/writing materials, postcards of hometown and/or photos of home and family to share with Nepalese people, safety pins, sewing kit, zip lock bags for small items.
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