Markha Valley Trek: Complete Guide
There are many activities which are loved and people are passionate about them. Trekking is such an activity where one can experience many things like adventure, travelling, seeing new scenery, sightseeing of animals or mountains and many more great things. And India is filled with those places where one can experience many different types of Valley trekking like- snowy or plain mountain treks, with river or waterfall views, and many more in their trails.
The Great Himalayas of India blesses trekkers with the snowy mountain trails all over the north crown of India. There are many Valley treks in the northern part which have valleys, meadows, mountain flora and fauna, and a snowy atmosphere also.
In the Heart of bikkers, photographers and trekkers Ladakh or Leh has a special place. As this place is a heaven for them all and gives them a chance to explore various things. For the trekkers there is a very popular terk named as Markha Valley Trek. This is a very popular trek among the lovers of trekking and has many great adventures for them like – river crossing, different culture villages, animal watching, etc.
Markha Valley Trek
Markha Valley Trek is located near the Hemis National; Park of Ladakh. It takes 6 days to complete this Markha Valley trek and the trek is of moderate to difficult type. The maximum altitude during the trail can go up to 17,600ft. The basecamp of this Markha Valley trek is very beautiful but also very chilly as Ladakh is the cold desert of India and temperature usually falls during the night. The trek involves many huge and beautiful mountains in the trail like- Kongmaru La which is of 17,060 ft, Mt Kang Yatse is of 21,300ft and also many rock canyons throughout the trail and also wildlife of National Park.
During the Markha Valley trek there are many villages where Markha Valley trekkers stay at night after a hardworking trek day. Most villages are situated in the Markha and Hankar region and follow a different and unique culture which is Tibetan culture, has different types of ornament for their kitchen and households, and has Buddhist flags which are related to Tibetan culture and heritage. The view from Kang Yatse while trekking the upper part of Markha valley is really gorgeous and always impresses the people passing by. And also during the trail when trekkers search Konogmaru La peak the view is breathtaking as many can see the Indus valley and also the Ladakh ranges.
Here is a day to day detail about the trek :-
Day 1: Leh to Chilling to Skiu
After reaching Leh all the trekkers shas to come to Chilling where the Markha rives drain to the Zanskar river. And that place has the closest road to the Markha Valleytrek. After reaching Chilling there is a 3 km walk containing many different beautiful sights and usually takes a half an hour steep climb and trekkers may find this path difficult as the area is on high altitude. It usually takes 2 hours drive and 2-3 hrs trek to reach skiu and the distance is 60km for drive and 7km for trek, the highest altitude can go upto 11,560ft. After reaching Skiu there is a very nice Day village having huge mountains all around where trekkers can rest there.
Day 2: Skiu to Markha
During the Markha Valley trek from Skiu to Markha the trail is flat but the river is along the trail all the time. TheMarkha Valley trek is of 20 km and usually takes 6-7 to complete, the maximum altitude of the trk can go upto 11,160ft to 12,370ft. During this part of the trail trekkers have to dip their feet in the icy water of Markha river twice in the day. After this full on trekking day the trekkers have to stay in the Markha village which has many different unique houses.
Day 3: Markha to Hankar
This day is a full day for trek and also the most beautiful part of the trek. After taking the trail from Markha village climbing along with a wooden plank bridge, Markha river the trekkers head to Hankar village. Which is 11 km away and takes 4 to 5 hours to reach. The maximum altitude of the trek can go upto 12,370ft to 13,100ft. There are many different views and also Hankar village is the best place to stay at night after trekkin day.
Day 4: Hankar-Nimaling
The distance between Hankar village and Nimaling is very short and the trekking is also very simple but sometimes it can be steep in the Kang Yaste trail which is also the best place to eat lunch. The total distance is 10 km and usually takes 5 to 6 hours to reach the Nimaling area and the maximum altitude can go upto 13,100ft to 15,400ft.
Day 5: Nimaling to Kongmaru La to Chokdo
This day is a hard Markha Valley trekking day as the trail is short but has a steep ascent in it. For many trekkers it’s a never ending trail as there are many difficulties and long routes. The whole trek is 12k and takes 5 to 6 hours to complete. The maximum altitude can go up to 15,400ft to 17,060ft to 12,810ft throughout the trail. During the trail the famous Kongmaru La peak can be seen which is the highlight of the trek.
Day 6: Chokdo to Shang Sumdo to Leh
Finally the last day, the end of the Markha Valley trek which covers the first 2 hours of trekking and then 2 hours of drive to Leh. The total distance of the trek is 5km and 50km from Shang Sumdo. The maximum altitude can go upto 12,810ft to 12,140ft to 11,560ft. The Markha Valley trek has a flat type of trail along with a river on the side.