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The Markha River is a river in Ladakh, India. It is a tributary of the Zanskar River and starts at the junction of the Langtang Chu and Nimaling Chu. Villages along the river valley include Skiu Markha, Umlung and Hangkar. The Markha River lies within the Hemis National Park.
v The Markha Valley is one of the most popular trekking routes in Ladakh, accessible from Ganda La pass near Spituk in the west, which is usually the beginning point of the trek, and Gongmaru La pass near Hemis, where the trek usually ends. Villages on the route of Markha valley trek are Rumbak, Shingo, Skyu, Sara, Markha and Hankar.
v Towards the head of the valley you can find the Kang Yatze, a 6,400-metre-high (21,000 ft) mountain. The Markha River also passes to the south of the Stok range which includes the 6,153-metre-high (20,187 ft) Stok Kangri mountain.
Nomadic families herd their yaks in this valley. Many small monasteries exist, of which Techa gompa is the most important Buddhist monastery in the Markha valley.
Arrival Leh, Our representative will meet, greet, assist and transfer you to Hotel in Leh. Rest of the day free to acclimatize to the high altitude of Ladakh. In the evening take a walk to the local bazaar in Leh.
Waking up to a wonderful morning in Skiu, today we trek to the village of Markha. An easy trek with almost a flat walks on most part of the trail, with occasional short ascents and descends like yesterday's.
The views throughout are breathtaking. Watch out for the different and unique rockscapes and structures of the mountains formed by wind and water erosion. With our previous experiences, we tried to tickle our imagination with the illusions created by these unique structures and strongly supported our conclusions of what they looked like - ‘trunks of elephant’, ‘doorway to a very old tomb’, 'dinosaurs', etc. Its an interesting game to play which keeps us engaged with the mountains continuously and it goes unrealized when we reach our campsite.
Markha is a very beautiful campsite. The campsite is designated on a flat meadow with the a stream flowing by. Do take time out in the evening to visit an old monastery nearby.
The trek to Thochungtse goes via Hankar from Markha. It is a beautiful trek and takes about 4 - 5 hours. The route to Hankar is mostly flat with occasional ups and downs. Soon, we get a glimpse of Kang Yatse which fills us with excitement. After about 3 hours of trek we reach the beautiful village of Hankar with few houses, lots of greens and the massif of Kang Yatse looks over it. It’s a perfect picturesque setting. It’s a good idea to spend some time here and have our lunch here.After leaving Hankar behind, the terrain changes immediately with no mentionable greens to be seen further. The route is jaw-dropping with unique structures of the mountains and the rocks. Here it’s very easy to spot blue sheep and ibex, snow leopards too! A walk of some 2 - 3 hours brings us to a small grassy plains which is the designated campsite of Thochungtse.
Starting the trek from Thochungtse to Nimaling , we climb a mountain hump straight ahead of us. At that altitude, it does take some time, but once done, enjoy up-close views of Kang Yatse. A huge massif, overwhelming us with its presence. Also, the very thought that we will be approaching the to the base of it further adds to our spirit.
From Nimaling, we start climbing the switch back to the top of Kongmaru La (Gongmaru La) – 5.130m, a high pass with wonderful views all round. Climbing through multiple switch backs takes us to the summit of Kongmaru La in an hour or a little more, marked with lots of prayer flags furling with the wind. Spend some good time here to relish the views all round. After crossing the pass, it’s a steep descend down the beautiful Markha gorge. The views and the trail passes down following the narrow Markha gorge and is unbelievable unless you trek it. A sharp descend from the pass top gets us to Lartsa. From there, a trek of some 3 - 4 hours will bring you to the campsite of Chuskirmo.
We pack camp and proceed to the grazing grounds of Nimaling. From there it is a gradual ascent to Kongmaru La pass at 5260m with prayer flags fluttering. Beautiful views all round from the pass. We descend steeply at first before it becomes gradually as we reach the stream. A little ahead from there is Chuskirmo with chortens and a small shop. We walk a little further down and get get into vehicles to drive to Leh.
Leh JK – Delhi
Leh JK – Delhi