Southwest of Ladakh and the Indus River is Markha, the most beautiful and popular valley in northern India. The Markha valley is justly famous for its incredible views of the world’s highest mountain range, its Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, and its remote villages. It is a microcosm of the Himalaya.
The Markha valley trek is our most popular trek in Ladakh. Like treks to most of the outlying valleys in Ladakh, the route to Markha begins in Leh, the former capital of the Ladakhi kingdom.
Some of our routes might include side excursions around the valley, especially to climb the high peak of Kang Yatze (21,000 feet, 6,400 meters), but almost all of our routes begin at the villages of Spituk or Chilling and move toward Gongmaru La, since the reverse route is extremely steep and difficult.
Spituk and Chilling are both a short distance Leh. Chilling is easier, since it doesn’t require crossing a high pass. Our route from Spituk passes through the 16,000 foot (5,000 meter) pass of Ganda La, a well used but difficult local route, and is also home to Spituk Monastery, nearly a thousand years old and home to a hundred Buddhist monks. Our Spituk route is more scenic, but more difficult.
After Spituk, our standard trek route – with the option of homestays and other comforts absent from more remote valleys – passes through gradually ascending terrain and the villages of Zinchen, Yurutse, and Rumbak before reaching the high pass of Ganda La, which offers a tremendous view of the Stok Range. The terrain throughout Markha changes dramatically from open grassland to well-tended yak pastures to barren rock.
The village of Markha itself, in between Rumbak and Nimaling, is situated along the Markha river, and home to a long-abandoned, picturesque fort. Beyond Nimaling is the Kongmaru La, the highest part of the trek. From Kongmaru La, our trekkers can see high snow peaks in every direction – the Himalaya, the Stok Range, the Karakoram, and even K2, the second highest and most dangerous mountain in the world.
Our standard trek route descends after Kongmaru La, ending at Hemis Monastery, the most famous monastery in Ladakh. It is a fitting end for the trek: from monastery to a monastery, from a pass to a pass, through mountains and a river valley, Markha is our most popular trek in Ladakh for a reason.
Call 1800-120-9091 – to design a Markha Valley trek with us! With the option of adding other elements, our experts can design an end to end solution for you!