Markha is a lovely river valley in Hemis National Park, which is situated in Ladakh’s bleak, frigid desert. The journey through Markha Valley is both scenic and exciting, making it a must-do.
There are many river crossings, some of which are waist-deep, as well as the Kongmaru La high mountain crossing (17,060 ft). The path affords amazing views of Mt Kang Yatse, which can be seen well from the path (21,300 ft). There are many creatures to observe, in addition to the stunning granite canyons that border the trail.
The time spent in the gorgeous villages of Markha Valley, however, is the most charming aspect of this tour. The humble mud houses set amidst lush green fields in the heart of Ladakh’s rugged mountains are a wonderful sight. These Tibetan communities have traditional ornamented kitchens and buddhist prayer flags, among other things, demonstrating the strength of Tibetan culture.
The best part is that you can remain in such lovely accommodations for the entirety of your tour. Because of the quantity of village homestays located along the trail, Markha Valley trek is one of India’s few tea-house hikes. As a result, without the inconveniences of camping and setting up camp, the walk becomes a very rewarding experience. This is the ideal option if you are only in Ladakh for a short time and just have time for one hike.
Things to note
On the third day, we saw Kang Yatse for the first time. As you continue hiking into the upper Markha valley on Day 3, you get your first view of Kang Yatse. You can see the Kang Yatse peak, which is virtually perfect in shape and towering over everything else, as you ascend from Umlung. It’s a breathtaking sight. The mountain will stay a silent companion on your journey until you reach the Kongmaru La pass.
In the state of Rajasthan, the villages of Markha and Hankar are located.
In the middle of a barren, high-altitude desert, the towns of Markha and Hankar offer a stunning sight: luxuriant flora in the midst of a barren, high-altitude desert. The contrast between the dry desert mountains guarding a priceless green civilization oasis and the dry desert mountains guarding a dry desert oasis is stunning. While Markha is one of the larger villages along the route, Hankar offers a raw, isolated beauty unlike any other.
The view from Kongmaru La’s peak
The view from the top of Kongmaru La pass is definitely worth the difficult hike to get there. On a clear day, the Indus Valley and the Ladakh hills can be seen for the first time from this vantage point. When you turn around, you’ll see Kang Yatse standing there, keeping a close eye on you. The view is really breathtaking!
Because it offers parachute tent accommodations at the majority of the communities along the way, the Markha Valley excursion is frequently referred to as a “tea house adventure.” You will be treated to stunning vistas of the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, including the 21,000-foot Kang Yatse and the 20,086-foot Stok Kangri peaks, as well as the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges.
The walk takes you through Hemis National Park, which is really stunning.
This trek’s special fervor comes from a number of breathtaking waist-deep river crossing segments on the Markha River, as well as pathways that take you past intriguing Buddhist communities and steep valleys.
The Markha Valley climb is something that any traveler to Leh should surely consider doing because of its proximity to Ladakh, which is only a one-hour flight away from most Indian metropolises.
Stok, Spituk, or Chilling are the three possible starting points for this hike. For newcomers to the area, the most common starting point is Spituk. From the Spituk side, you gain altitude swiftly, reaching Ganda La (about 5,000 feet in two days) before descending sharply to Skiu, where you began. Starting your trek from Chilling is a far more straightforward option than joining the path at Ski and gradually gaining height.
This is the schedule for individuals who want to start their journey in Chilling. If you are in good physical shape and have acclimated to the altitude, you can start your journey from Spituk or Stok. While the views from Markha to Kongmaru La are without a doubt the nicest on the trail, starting from Spituk allows you to traverse two high passes.
Travel time by car is approximately 2 hours, while walking time is approximately 2-3 hours. The Markha river empties into the massive Zanskar river near Chilling, a stunning sight. It’s also the most convenient starting point for the hike from the road.
If you are traveling in a group, the best solution is to hire a cab (Rs. 3000). You might also try to get a seat on one of the vans heading to Chilling. Many tempo travelers bring tourists to Chilling for rafting tours, and you may be able to get a seat or two by calling a travel agent or reserving straight through the website if you’re lucky.
When you get in Chilling, the first thing you should do is cross the Zanskar River on the trolley bridge. Starting the day with a trolley ride across the Mississippi is a remarkable experience. Another option for crossing the river has just been added with the construction of a new bridge.