Markha Valley Trek
Leh needs no introduction, it has earned fame in quite less time. Leh is known as the hub of adventure bikers, however, it is welcoming to trekkers too. Leh exhibits the barren cold desert with distinct views contrary to the rest of the green Himalayas. Trekking is the best way to live and experience discrete yet mesmerizing Leh mountains. Although Leh mountains seem desolate, Markha Valley inhabits the most cordial hamlets and bewitching mountains. It is a trek that is remote from Leh city and is not as popular as Stok Kangri trek.
Right from the first Chilling, every local will showcase hospitality you might have experienced, nowhere! While the villagers’ shower kindness, the surrounding scenery is soothing. One can feel the first wave of satisfaction, on the second day of the trek to Sara village. It like a pathway to the mysterious valley. The later high pass of Kongamaru La(5200 meters), concludes the trek with the stunning Kang Yatse sight. Thus, it also leads to the Kang Yatse base camp.
What makes Markha a prominent trek is the fact that homestays will be available throughout the trek. These homestays are well-facilitated and maintained. These houses symbolize the typical Buddhist culture, giving you a glimpse of variant folklore. The locals owning homestays are acquainted with English and Hindi language, therefore, you have the opportunity to know some fascinating stories. Glistering sunrays magically make way through houses on the barley fields on the hilltop. Time seems to stop with such tranquil beauty. It is one of those rare treks that can be done in winter and summer. Winter trek is like a mini Chadar trek as the Markha river freezes due to extremely cold temperatures. Yet, July to September is the most preferred season. The trail being well-marked and straightforward, it is definitely not an easy trek.
Another, striking fact about this trek is that Markha is the largest valley. One can definitely believe this after strenuous and the longest walk, right from Chilling to Nimaling. The entire trail is enclosed within the vast Markha Valley. The valley is like a mother that shields the flourishing flora-fauna. Though the track has no obvious ascend, the flat trail always keeps you busy. One must only keep eyes and ears open. One can spot birds of vibrant colours, black sheep, mountain goats, infinite cats and of course the snow-leopard. Numerous streams and Markha river suddenly brightens your energy, when it comes to crossing them over 80 degrees tilted bridges. It also shakes you up while traversing bare feet through the chilled water.
Markha trek gives an insight into Buddhism. The trek route is furnished with white stupas and Mani stones. These stones are engraved with Buddhist prayers, which were laid all over to remind the generations of Buddhism at every step. Unlike typical Himalayan sunrise, the mornings begin with gleaming rays on the mystic Stupas. Some historic elements not be missed are,
- At every turning point of the valley, remains of viewpoint can be seen, which used to act as the signal point when the Kings ruled this valley.
- Ruins of Thacha monastery(the oldest of Leh) after an hour stroll from Markha village.
- Meditation caves shielding ancient paintings, located high on the rock faces
As it applies to every Himalayan trek, the breathtaking sights will take your breath, blood and sweat. Markha valley is no different. It is a gem that can be earned after some efforts. Yet, one must only expect wonderful memories as it welcomes everyone warm-heartedly with heart-warming surprises!
TTH Official Content Writer