Engulfing in her arms lands across Himalayan and Karakoram mountains, Ladakh tops the pyramid of the high-altitude regions in India with most of the area being placed over 3,000m. Days of conception of these mountain ranges fall over 45 million years ago when the Indian Plate folded into the static land of Asia. Himalayas primarily came into being from the foundation of India Plate with the Zanskar Range constituting strata of deposits from the ocean ground and Ladakh Range composed of granite that was conceived from the humongous heat produced by the grinding of the two plates. Towards south of Indus Valley lies the joining point of the continental lands. The expansion and distance between them continues to grow causing recurrent earthquakes in the Himalayan zone. As you cut through Zoji-La on your way to Himalayas, the summit is at a humble altitude. The highest crests of the region span between 5,000m to 5,500m over the sea level. Moving to the south-east of Zoji-La, the grading increases culminating in the powerful peak of Nun-Kun which consists of two ranges over 7,000m.
Streaming by Gandala Pass (4,900m), the lea-lands of Nirmaling and Kongmaru La pass (5,100m) snuggle into the Markha Valley giving home to several small villages and being a sensational delight to the color-hungry lives of urban dwellers.
Classic Markha Valley Trek Itinerary:
Day 1: Delhi to Leh : You are welcomed to Leh by the Zanskar Himalayan Exploration family through our representative who escorts you to the city hotel. The hotel awaits you with high tea and pleasant meal. The day is reserved for relaxation while the evening will bring you to the sight of Leh bazaar, Shanti Stupa and Leh Palace. We stay the night at Leh hotel.
Day 2: Visit to Monasteries Near Leh : Distance: 104 kms (Duration: 5 to 6 hours) : Following breakfast, we ride to the monasteries and places of interest in proximity to Leh. This includes Hemis monastery, Shey Palace, Sindhu Ghat, Thiksey and Stok Palace & Museum. We return to Leh in the evening and stay the night at our hotel.
Day 3: Leh to Spituk to Zingchen (Duration: 5hrs) : Situated about 7kms from the township of Leh, the Spituk bridge is located towards the back of Spituk Monastery. We begin our trek from this bride passing along the Indus River. The lower belt of Stok Mountain constitutes leveled and barren plane passing through which we reach the bustling Leh-to-Srinagar Highway. We bid adieu to busy-ness of the roads moving into the tempting wildness of Himalayas. Direct through a modest canyon is Zingchen which will settle in you tranquility of syncing with nature. We set out our camp at Zingchen for the night.
Day 4: Zingchen to Yurutse (Duration: 4 to 5 hours) : A fairly simple road leads us to Rumbak from Zingchen. As we part with the village, we meet the Hemis National Part. Earmarked for preservation of Marmot, Snow Leopard, Wolf and Baharal among other animals, our tour through the trail intersects us with beauty and glory of nature. We set up our camp for the night at Yurutse, lying at a lower strata to the Gandala Pass.
Day 5: Yurutse to Skyu (Duration: 6 to 7 hours) : Resuming from Yurutse, we heel through the shores of mountain and come across a gully through which we move to an irregularly shaped steep route. This leads us to the Gandala Pass 4,380m) descending from which we reach Shingo within a period of 2 hours. This will walk us into Markha and lastly, covering the last span of distance of the day, we reach Skyu. Setting up our camps here, we stay put for the night and rest.
Day 6: Skyu to Markha (Duration: 7 to 8 hours) : We start from Skyu through a well-build road to the right side of Markha. Here, we can witness the greenery of the region at its best. Traversing the river from the right, we walk through the desolate land and reach Chaluk. This will direct us to the left shores of the river and post climbing a mountain intersection; we are well on our way to Markha Village. Edge of the village houses a comfortable location for campsite, bordering the river- we stay here for the night.
Day 7: Markha to Thachungtse (Duration: 5 to 6 hours) : After a hearty breakfast, we begin trekking early morning. We reach Thachungtse through the Hankar Village. Setting up our camps here, we rest for the night.
Day 8: Thachungtse to Nimaling : (Duration: 4 to 5 hours) : Our trekking begins soon after breakfast to reach Nimaling. Placed at 4,900m, Nimaling is a land of pastures which quenches the hunger of hundreds of goats, yaks and sheep that graze over her lands in the sunny months. To the south towers the imposing peak standing at 6,400m (The Nimaling Peak). We spend our night at the tents.
Day 9: Nimaling to Shang Sumdo (Duration: 6 to 7 hours) :
The delectable breakfast wakes way for a zealous climb to the Kongmary La (5,100m) through slender canyons. Crest of the pass renders open the grace of entire Ladakh region. Extracting beauty of the place, you can feast your senses to the thousands of freckles of villages fallen on the cheeks of the northern Indus Valley. We carry forward to Shang through the pass and spend the night in our camps at Shang Sumdo.
Day 10: Shang Sumdo to Hemis to Leh (Duration: 6 hours) : Our first stop for the day will be Hemis Monastery as we descend and walk from Shang. We explore the Hemis Monastery which is among the most ancient and wealthiest monasteries in Ladakh. We ride back to Leh and rest. Depending on the inclinations, we can decide events for the evening. We stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Leh to Delhi : Your trekking tour with us ends with the vivid memories of Ladakh coupled with our expectations to have you back with us. We bid you farewell organizing well-planned transfer to the airport to allow boarding of flight well on time.