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Ladakh Trek with Markha Valley – 12 Days

Visit this magical Buddhist ex-kingdom and explore its peaceful, challenging and unspoiled trails and landscape.

OVERVIEW OF THE TRIP

Trip:
Tour Type: Sightseeing and High Altitude Trekking
Trip Duration: 12 Days
Max Altitude: 5,150 m/16,892 ft
Trip Starts From: Delhi
Trip Ends At: Delhi
Trip Region: India
Best Season: 
Mid-June to Mid-October
Trip Level: Strenuous
Ventures at this grade are 'Tough Treks' and must be fully supported. The altitude attained is between 3,500 to 5,000m. These treks also involve several nights stay above 4,000m. These are genuine expeditions where preparation and a willingness to 'rough it' are necessary. You must have be physically fit for this trek.
Trip Route: New Delhi - Leh - Uletakpo Village - Lamayuru Monastery - Rumbak - Kanda-la Base Camp - Shingo - Chalak - Markha - Tahungtse - Nimaling - Chukirmo - Shang Sumdo - Leh - New Delhi

Trip Information

Ladakh, which means “land of high passes”, is one of the finest regions for trekking in India. It is Buddhist ex-kingdom with Leh as its capital. This magical region mostly inhabited by people following Tibetan Buddhism offers trekkers exhilarating, spectacular, challenging and diverse trails. Since trekking isn’t as developed as in neighbouring country Nepal, the trekkers get to experience more peaceful and unspoiled beauty and landscape.

Markha Valley, wild and barren, is one of the most beautiful valleys in Ladakh. It is very near to Tibet, which gives trekkers the feel of Tibetan culture. The valley with Mt Kang Yatze (6,400 m) on its top is one of the main attractions of this trek.

The journey starts from New Delhi. From here, you fly to Leh. Before trekking commences, there will be some sightseeing activities. Visit monasteries in and around Leh. Hemis Monastery is a major attraction. Then drive to Zingchen and start trekking. Once trekking begins, enjoy the remote scenery of northern India and walk in the largely undisturbed landscape. Two big challenges for you in this trek are Kanda La Pass and Kangamaru La Pass. They lie at 4,985 m and at 5,150 m respectively. And after trekking through beautiful valleys, pastures and plateaus, arrive back at Leh.


    ITINERARY

  • Day 01: Arrival in Delhi. Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 02: Fly to Leh (3,500 m). Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 03: Free Day for Acclimatization and Sightseeing in Leh. Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 04: Sightseeing in and around Leh by Tourist Vehicle. Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 05: Drive to Zingchen (3,400 m) and Trek to Yurutse (3,53 0m) – 5 to 6 Hours. Overnight at Tented Camp.

  • Day 06: Trek to Skiu (3,400 m) via Kanda La Pass (4,985 m) – 6 to 7 Hours. Overnight at Tented Camp.

  • Day 07: Trek to Markha (3,800 m) – 6 to 7 Hours. Overnight at Tented Camp.

  • Day 08: Trek to Thachungtse (3,589 m) – 4 to 5 Hours. Overnight at Tented Camp.

  • Day 09: Trek to Nimaling (4,700 m) – 3 to 4 Hours. Overnight at Tented Camp.

  • Day 10: Trek to Shang Sumdo via Kangamaru La Pass (5,150 m) – 5-6 Hours. And Drive to Leh – 1 Hour. Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 11: Flight from Leh to Delhi Early in the Morning. Overnight at Hotel.

  • Day 12: Flight Departure from Delhi to Next Destination.


    TRIP DETAILS

  • Day 01 - Arrival in Delhi

    Our airport representative will receive you at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. You will be then transferred to the hotel in a tourist vehicle.

    Overnight at a hotel in Delhi. No meals included.

  • Day 02 - Fly to Leh (3,500 m) - 1 hour and 20 minutes

    Today you have an early morning transfer to the domestic airport for your flight from Delhi to Leh. The spectacular show is outside the window as your flight takes you over the main Himalayan range and onto the Tibetan plateau. As soon as you land you can tell the difference. The air is clear and cool and people are relaxed and friendly. You’ll hear the welcoming Ladaki greeting “Julay! Julay!” Transfer by car to your comfortable hotel.

    It is very important that you rest this afternoon. It will aid in your acclimatization if you drink plenty of water. Never drink water from any other source unless it is from a sealed bottle!

    Once Leh (population 20,000) was a main trading point on the Asian silk route and one of the most exotic bazaars of Asia. Farms are surrounded by stone-lined walks that meander along small streams and are fun to wander. You will see mani walls made up of hundreds of stones each inscribed with the mantra “om mani padme hum.” Explore the market of Leh in the evening.

    Overnight at a hotel in Leh. Breakfast included.

  • Day 03 - Free Day for Acclimatization and Sightseeing in Leh

    After breakfast, take an excursion to visit the 1000 year old paintings of Alchi Monastery 68 km from Leh. En-route visit the great statue of Maitreya Buddha at Likir monastery, Sangam of Indus & Zanskar rivers which are the two major rivers in Ladakh, Magnetic Hill and Military Hall of Fame.

    Overnight at a hotel in Leh. Breakfast included.

  • Day 04 - Sightseeing in and around Leh By Tourist Vehicle

    On this day, after breakfast, go on a sightseeing trip to some ancient monasteries in and around Leh. One such monastery is Shey Gompa. It is located 17 kilometers from Leh. It was once the summer capital of Ladakh kings. Around this place are situated several Gompas and Stupas. Deldyan Namgyal built this palace in 17th century. 12 meters long Shakyamuni Buddha effigy positioned inside the Dresthang Gompa is the prominent attraction of Leh. Located near Shey, Thiksey Gompa is at the distance of 20 kilometers from Leh. This monastery is said to be one of the most stunning structures in Ladakh and it belongs to Gelukspa order. Located at about 45 kilometers south of Leh, Hemis is one of the most popular and largest monasteries in Ladakh. This monastery belongs to Drukpa Order. Hemis was founded in early 17th century. The monastery clandestine in lovely valley is surrounded by streams and fronted by large Mani Walls. Later drive back to Leh.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast included.

  • Day 05 - Drive to Zingchen (3,400 m) and Trek to Yurutse (3,530m) – 5 to 6 hours

    In the morning after early breakfast, pack up and take a drive to Zingchen village approx 20 km west of Leh. Arrive at Zingchen and meet the horsemen. Begin the first day trek to Yurutse. The trail from Zinchen ascends gradually all the way along the Rumbak Nala until you reach Rumbak, the largest village in the Zinchen Valley. If the fields are cultivated, you may have to ford the river a few times up to Rumbak junction. Then follow the well-marked trail on the left bank of the Rumbak Nala, passing cultivated fields and scattered houses until you enter a side valley leading to the south. Further trek on along the river until you reach Rumbak where you can see the snowcapped peaks of the Stok Mountains. Here take the right fork of the river and continue a gradual ascend towards Yurutse, where the villagers grow barley, potatoes and some green vegetables. Near the village are some impressive purple and green rock formations.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 06 - Trek to Skiu (3,400 m) via Kanda La Pass (4,985 m) - 6 to 7 hours

    Make an early start to ascend the Ganda La Pass (4,985 m). The climb to the pass will be bit tiring, so you must trek slowly without rushing. From the top of the pass which is dotted with many Tibetan prayer flags, one can enjoy a spectacular view of Stok Kangri massif and surrounding valley. From here descend to the tiny village of Shingo. Have your lunch here, later the trail descends steadily to the head of the Skiu Village, where a number of rivulets join to form a small stream. The broad grassy shoulders of the upper valley narrow sharply to the pinched waist at Sumdo, with its few houses and fields at the junction of a small stream with the Skiu Nala. From here the river swoops exuberantly down a tight, narrow gorge, choked with willow and wild roses, and we follow the trail as it leaps from bank to bank all the way to the village of Skiu on the banks of the Lower Markha. You enter the village confronted by towering rock faces. Since Skiu is only at about 3,400 m and the Markha Valley is quite narrow, the temperature is higher here.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 07 - Trek to Markha (3,800 m) – 6 to 7 hours

    Cross the river and trek up to the Markha village. It is the longest valley and this will also be the longest trek day. A beautiful oasis terraced green fields and small irrigation canals can be seen in the villages en-route. At dusk just as the evening shadows begin to envelop the valley, it is worth walking along the trail where the Skiu Nala meets the Markha to visit a small monastery. This is cared for by an old nun, who comes every morning and evening to light the butter lamps at the altar of Chamba – the Future Buddha.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 08 - Trek to Thachungtse (3,589 m) – 4 to 5 hours

    A very pleasant walk up one of the loveliest sections of the Markha valley. Woody bushes grow thickly along the river, which is spanned by several bridges over which the trail marches to Thinlespa village and further to Hankar village from where we get a good view of Gyalpo-Ri peak.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 09 - Trek to Nimaling (4,700 m) – 3 to 4 hours

    The trail climbs steadily up the narrow valley, past villages smaller and seemingly poorer than those in the lower areas. The Nimaling plain is a broad undulating meadow, sloping upwards to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse peak (6,440 m) which dominates the area. Nimaling with tiny ponds and rivulets flowing all over its meadows provides pasturage in the summer for an astonishing number of animals such as yaks, sheep, goats, dzos and horses, not only from the Markha, but also from villages all around. Himalayan marmots and white-tailed hares are seen in plenty and it is not unusual to spot the occasional blue sheep or wolf.

    Overnight at a tented camp. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

  • Day 10 - Trek to Shang Sumdo (3,800 m) via Kangamaru La Pass (5,150 m) – 5 to 6 hours And Drive to Leh – 1 hour

    Crossing to the north of the Markha, climb to the top of the Kangmaru La Pass with its wonderful views from the top. Snow peaks in every direction and on a clear day the giants of the Karakoram, including K2, can be seen on the north-western horizon. The trail descends steeply to the head of the Martselang valley past the sulphur springs of Chyushkarmo, and follows the Martselang stream to the village of Sumdo or Shang-Sumdo, at the confluence of the Shang Nala and the Martselang. You will be picked up by tourist vehicle. A 55-km drive to Leh.

    Overnight at a hotel in Leh. Breakfast and lunch included.

  • Day 11 - Flight from Leh to Delhi Early in the Morning

    Early in the morning, take a flight from Leh to Delhi. The flight takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The rest of the day is for you to rest and explore on your own.

    Overnight at a hotel. Breakfast included.

  • Day 12 - Flight Departure from Delhi to Next Destination

    The trip ends today. Transfer to the airport in Leh and then fly from Delhi to your next destination.

    If you want to extend your trip, then you can stay in Delhi and visit its major attractions. Or you can head to Rajasthan. Or you can do the classic Golden Triangle.

    Breakfast included.


    COST INCLUDES

  • Airport pick up and drop off on a tourist vehicle in Delhi and Leh

  • Twin-sharing accommodation in A-class standard hotel in Leh (4 nights only) and in 3-star hotel in Delhi (2 nights only)

  • Breakfast on non-trekking days and all three meals on trekking days

  • Two-person 4-season alpine tents during the trek (5 nights only)

  • All ground transportation for sightseeing and transfers by tourist vehicle

  • An experienced and qualified English-speaking local Ladakhi trekking guide

  • Complete trek arrangements with a very good cook, helpers, nice comfortable 2-men alpine trekking tents, comfortable mattresses, tables/stools, toilet tents, kitchen cum dining tent (Members will have to bring their own personal 4-season sleeping bags.)

  • Mules/horses for carrying member luggage and camping equipment’s (Luggage allowance is max 8-10 kg per person.)

  • Camping fee en-route and monastery entrances

  • Hemis High Altitude National Park entrance fee

  • All applicable taxes


    COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Lunch and dinner during non-trekking days in Delhi and Leh (Depending upon your spending habit, USD 10-20 per day is enough.)

  • International airfare, and Delhi-Leh-Delhi domestic airfare (Approx. USD 300 to 400 per person; fares are indicative only)

  • Travel insurance that covers rescue and evacuation (Compulsory)

  • Extra costs for transfers and hotel stay due to flight cancellation

  • Any other sightseeing activity which is not mentioned in the itinerary

  • India entry visa fees

  • Alcoholic, cold and hot drinks

  • Personal trekking equipment (See the Equipment tab)

  • Tips for trekking staff (Tipping is expected)

  • Any other expenses not mentioned in the Cost Includes section


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