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Markha Valley Trek

Markha Valley Trek


(GST 5.00 %)
(Leh to Leh)
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Region :- Leh, Ladakh, J & K
Duration :- 8 Days
Grade :- Moderate To Difficult
Max Altitude :- 17,100 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :- 82 Kms.

No doubt Kashmir is literally the heaven on earth, therefore, is the most sought tourist place. Quite less are aware of the dryer and barren side of this heavenly place. The most desired adventure hub Leh, popular for its raw and arid thrills, is a gateway to the burned out trails. With Markha Valley trek one gets to rediscover the parched region of mighty Kashmir. The mysterious ride of 8 days, exhibiting lush green to yellow barren landscapes, passing alongside Indus river will be bourne in mind for the lifetime.

Markha Valley is the largest valley of the region. Of course, Leh is the start point of this trek, which is an added advantage to explore the Buddhists monuments in Leh. You will be astonished to traverse through the tiny hamlets as you gain altitude. Surprisingly, these villages host cafes or tea houses serving rejuvenating hot drinks when you are tired from the strenuous hike. One after another, Rumbak, Yurutse, Skui, Markha, Hankar, Nimaling settlements will revitalize you. Not only that most of the villages have preserved monasteries, ruined forts and temples. Amongst them, the Tacha monastery is an eye and heart catcher that lies between the mountains.

Though the trek goes through dry regions the Indus, Markha and numerous streams will come your way. Since the trail goes through Hemis National Park, all its treasured fauna, mountain sheep, arghali, rabbits, snow leopards, can be spotted at every camping site. Ganda La and Kongmaru La are the two cardinal passes to be crossed en route. These passes are known for the panoramic views of infinite Karakoram and Ladakh ranges. The stunning sights of K2 mountain, Stok Kangri and Kang Yatse peaks are fulfilling and the motivation of this trek. On clear days one can get to see distant Tibet region. Just a small trek ahead of Markha Valley and you will reach the base of Kang Yatse peaks.

The trail is of easy to moderate grade with 1-2 steep sections, is recommended to all age groups. This is not one of those typical treks that retrace the same path while descending. Therefore, you get a wider and non-repetitive insight into Ladakhi Himalayas. Each day reveals mesmerizing views concealed behind the mountains.

Brief Itinerary

Day 01- Arrival Leh

  • Altitude:- 3,500 m/11,500 ft
  • Check in Hotel
  • Briefing about the trek at 5 pm (mandatory)
  • Bring a copy of ID proof and 2 photo graphs. foreigner, a copy of passport and visa
  • Network is available (only post-paid)
  • ATM is available
  • Can purchase or rent trekking equipment from Leh
  • Visit of any very high altitude place or pass is not advisable
  • Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited
  • Stay in hotel
  • Day 02- Acclimatisation at Leh

  • Acclimatization and sightseeing in Leh
  • Can visit to monasteries: Shey, Thiksey, Sangam, and Hemis
  • Visit of any very high altitude place or pass is not advisable
  • Stay in hotel
  • Day 03- Leh to Zinchen (Drive) to Yurutse (Trek)

  • Altitude Zinchen 3,400m/11,200ft, Ganda La Base 4,500m/14,700ft
  • 50 min drive, 8 km trek, 4-5 hours
  • Dry trail through barren mountains
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Home Stay
  • 3 to 4 river crossing
  • Day 04- Yurutse to Skui via Ganda La (Pass)

  • Altitude:- Skui 3,400m/11,200, Gand La 4,800m/15,700ft
  • Trek 18 km, 8-9 hours
  • Very well marked trail
  • It takes approx 2-3 hours to reach Ganda La
  • GandaLa pass gives beautiful views of Stok Kangri Peak
  • Descent from Ganda La pass looked straight forward
  • Tea house at Shingo village
  • Skiu is situated at the confluence of rivers Markha and Shgri Nala
  • Wake up early to see the sun rise behind the Skui monastery
  • 5 to 6 river crossing
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Home Stay/Camping
  • Day 05- Skui to Markha

  • Altitude:- Markha 3,700m/12,200ft
  • Trek 20 km, 7-8 hours
  • Longest but normal and plan slope
  • Markha is one of the largest village in the valley
  • Cafes on the way
  • 2-3 river crossing
  • Monastery and palace to visit at Markha
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Home Stay/Camping
  • Day 06 – Markha to Hankar

  • Altitude:- Hankar 4,000m/13,100ft
  • Trek:- 11 km, 5-6 hours
  • Teahouse at Umling village
  • Last village of the valley
  • View of a beautiful monastery
  • Path will intersect the River a number of times
  • After Umlung, you will have a first look of Mt. Kang Yatse(6400m)
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Home Stay/Camping
  • Day 07 – Hankar to Nimaling

  • Altitude:- Nimaling 4,700m/15,400ft
  • Trek:- 9 km, 3-4 hours
  • An easy trek
  • Amazing view of Mt. Kang Yatse
  • Amazing view of Tigu lakes (double lakes)
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Tent
  • Day 08 – Hankar to Nimaling

  • Altitude:- Kongmaru 5,200m/17,100ft, Chokdo 3,700m/12,100ft
  • Trek 16 km, 7-8 hours
  • Descent to Chokdo (Shang Valley) from KongmaruLa is little long
  • Highest Altitude pass crossing to the trek makes it a difficult day
  • Cross a stream terrain and then proceed to the north
  • It will take 2-3 hours of hike for Kongmaru La Pass
  • Amazing view of Indus Valley and Ladakh Range
  • Steep descent and rocky terrain
  • From Chokdo drive to Leh (2 hours drive)
  • Packed lunch on the way
  • Accommodation in Hotel
  • Who can go

  • First timer can apply, should have some interest in trekking and mountaineering.
  • The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes without a stress.
  • The climber should be able to carry a 10-15 kg backpack.
  • Heart problem, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have the conditions mentioned above.
  • Detailed Itinerary

    Day 01- Arrival Leh

    Markha Valley trek begins from Leh. Arrive in Leh through flight or train. Take it slowly once you arrive in Leh. Since it is at the hazardous height of 11,000 ft direct landing to this height may trigger AMS. Make sure you rest well and not strain your body during your stay in the hotel. Leh has gained popularity as the adventure capital of India. It is quite famous amongst wanderers, which you can evidently see as you roam here and there.

    Cafes are loaded here which are hanging out places for adventurers. There is a good network connection in Leh and has ATMs. Leh is the good option to fill up your things to carry list if you have forgotten any item. Despite cafes in close vicinity try to stay away from alcohol and avoid smoking. Apart from that, Leh is also known for monasteries, palaces and temples. Make sure to visit them as you enjoy your small treat in Leh.

    Day 02- Acclimatisation at Leh

    This is an extra day added in the itinerary to help you get acclimatized better. Therefore utilize this day and try to stay outdoors. Hike up to the Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery, Thiksey Gompa to experience the Buddhist culture. Thiksey Gompa is the largest in central Ladakh, located on a hill. Avoid gaining height by hiking to nearby passes or valley. This is only to avoid stressing your body, as it may hinder the process of acclimatization.

    Additionally, you can interact with the locals and fellow travellers to gain some knowledge about the adjacent areas. Roam in the Leh city and the Leh Bazaar. You can collect souvenirs from the variety of shops. You must spend the sunset at the Shanti Stupa, which is known for its dazzling lights in the evening. Say goodbye to the wonderful Leh and rest in your hotel.

    Day 03- Leh to Zinchen (Drive) to Ganda La Base (Trek)

    Get set as your real trek journey commences. You will be riding along the skillfully paved roadways crossing marvellous landscapes. Crossing the Spikut village you will be witnessing the arid beauty of the Kashmir. You will be amazed to see how the lesser green terrain, quite opposite to Kashmir Great Lakes trek is mesmerizing. Try to capture the sights of Spituk Gompa and distant monastery en route. After a short 50 minutes ride, you enter the Zinchen valley. Rumbak River flows proudly into the Indus river. As Spituk passes by, the valley flattens opening another set of amazing views. You can find small houses of Phyang village settled aloof. There are a few 30-40 houses in Zinchen valley which are wonderful for homestay and tea breaks. Apricot trees will be surrounding the village. Take a tiny halt and begin for the first trekking day.

    The beauty of barren and dry Leh Himalayas will be significant in further trails as you climb up. After getting down your vehicle start walking on a zig-zag trail to Rumbak. The trail then goes through a bridge and a shrine having prayer flags. 1km ahead lies the Rumbak village. A gradual ascend along Rumbak Nala will lead to Yurutse village. This village is filled with fields of potatoes and friendly villagers. You have another chance to let the taste of tea linger at Yurutse village teahouses. The snow traces will be found on the route. If you are lucky you can find rabbits, bharal, snow leopards, mountain deer etc. as Hemis National Park is known for its wildlife abundance.

    Crossing meadows of wildflowers and a steep climb after Yurutse, you will find yourself at the Ganda La Base. The famous Stok Mountains will come to sight now. The views will clearly show Zanskar ranges and higher peaks of the Himalayas. Ganda La is the base of the Markha valley and Kang Yatse expeditions. Also, this is your first camping site. With the beautiful views of the barren land sleep well in the tents.

    Day 04- Ganda La Base to Skui via Ganda La (Pass)

    This will be an exciting day of the trek because you will be crossing a high altitude pass today. The trail is well marked which goes along mighty mountains. After 2 hours of hiking, prayer flags will be visible. Well, that is the high point of the Ganda La pass. This pass will present panoramic views of Zanskar range and Ladakh range. The summit of Stok Kangri is clearly seen from the pass. Take a small break here and engulf the surrounding around you.

    Since the arduous part is over, be happy as next will be the descending trail. If you are lucky enough you can encounter Blue sheep, Marmots and Arghali grazing around. Enjoy another tea house halt at the Shingo village after 3 hours of trek. The hot tea will also rejuvenate you to trudge further to Skui camping site.

    Once you arrive at Skui, you have truly arrived at the Markha Valley. Skui is situated at the confluence of rivers Shgri Nala and Markha. The village has some remains of old monastery and habitats with 10-12 houses.That means another opportunity for homestay and hot tea. Try not to miss the fluorescent sunrise behind this Skui monastery. Pause for the day and relax at this camping site.

    Day 05- Skui to Markha

    Today will be the longest day of trekking with a total of 20 km of the hike. You need not worry about it; nature will keep motivating you with its elegance. For instance, try to capture the glistering sunlight behind the Skui monastery, an energy booster sight. After 2 hours of trek, you will cross Narding village again hosting tea houses and cafe. Keep walking ahead till you reach Chalak village. It is placed beautifully amongst the barley fields with mountains in the background. Skui to Chalak itself takes 4-5 hours.

    Your next stop, Markha village is 5-6km from here but comes with steep ascend. You will be excited to cross the gushing Markha river that might have water till your knees, depending on the snow conditions earlier. Just as you move ahead you will find the largest village setting of this trek. Markha is considered the biggest valley, hosting 30-40 houses. Stroll around to explore this mysterious village. You can find the last traces of a fort and mystic monastery. The fort is said to be built in 1830. One should not miss capturing the historical side of this adventurous trek. You can have the luxury of drinking hot tea in a café at 12,200 ft height. Hide into your sleeping bags after the longest trekking day.

    Day 06 – Markha to Hankar

    Take the most advantage of the innocence of the salient villages because today will probably be the last habitats on the route. The trail is beautiful and refreshing when it merges with flowing river and streams. These water bodies can also be crossed over a bridge. Umlung village is a small village and will serve the last teahouse of the trek with yet another serene monastery to your sight.

    After Umlung you can get the first sight of Mt. Kang Yatse(6400m). It seems as if the peak is calling you! Follow its voice, again overcome the river several times and enter the Hankar village. Try to spot the magically placed Tacha monastery on a mountain. It is the last hamlet of the trek and your refuge place.

    Day 07 – Hankar to Nimaling

    Get all enthusiastic, after yesterday's tough trek, today will be an easy and short trek. Start walking and in 1 km you will find diversions or paths separating out. The other route goes to Rupshu and Zanskar. Keep walking on the left path until a stone bridge. This marks that you are on right trail. Henceforth, you can see many diversions, please be careful and follow the trek leader/guide. In the next 2 hours, the pastures of Thochuntse becomes visible. There camping sites and tea houses here.

    Try to engulf yourself in nature and move slowly just as you focus on the Kang Yatse peak. The peak seems to grow bigger and bigger. Surprisingly, tranquil twin lakes also come along the path. The trails enter into a huge grassland after a few fights crossing streams of the high altitudes. Sheep, mountain goats, sometimes rabbits are found grazing at Nimling. It is a pleasant camping place. It is the high point you will attain on this trek. There are instances of snowfall at this site hence we prepared for that. Above all that, just try to merge into the high world and sleep in peace.

    Day 08 – Nimaling to Chokdo via Kongmaru La drive to Leh

    This day will be nostalgic and exciting, as this is the last day of the trek landing to the highest pass of the trek. Also, this day will be filled with surprises. After a strenuous climb of 2 hours to Kongmaru La pass, you will be pleasantly welcomed by the Karakoram Range Mountains and the excellent array of peaks. Hold your breath for the mind-blowing sight of the huge K2 Mountain, the second highest peak in the world. There are prayer flags moving along the wind. To your surprise, there is a good network connection from the pass.

    The trail then gradually descends, coinciding with villages to say goodbye. The immediate trail from pass has steep and narrow descend which later opens to Chikirmo village. Throughout the route, you can get indulged into the scenery of Indus valley and Ladakh range. After a gradual climb down and rocky terrain, you will reach Chokdo. This this the last stop of the entire trek, that also has many homestays. Get into the pickup vehicles that will take you to Leh.

    Take a sigh of relief in this village, as your next stop will be the last stop, Leh. The further road is descending that shows monastery and Hemis Gompa. Fill them in your eyes, heart and mind. Close your eyes to rewind the entire Markha Valley diaries.

    How to Reach

    By Air :-

    Jet Airways, Go Air and Air India provide daily (once every day) flight service between New Delhi and Leh. In the summer season, the services may even be provided twice a day. However if you plan a trip to this area of the country, you must try to book your tickets well in advance. This might even cut down the prices which may be levied on booking at the last time. You would enjoy the flight as you would fly over many untouched areas and even some mountain ranges. The aerial view is just fascinating and gives a great start to your tour.

    By Road :-

    The road from Manali to Leh is only open in the summers. The road trip may take you 2 days, but depending upon the weather conditions, the travel may also extend to 3 or even 4 days. You should also make sure that you carry at least two spare tires. A good advice would be to carry a sleeping bag with you well, as the bus may stop in the middle of nowhere for the overnight stay. Another route to Leh via Srinagar, also takes around two days. On this route, you would pass through some lonely yet famous villages like Kargil and Khalsi.

    Cost Terms

    Inclusions: -

    1. Accommodation:
    • Guest house in Leh on Day 1, day 2 and day 8 as per the itinerary.
    • Camping/Home stay during the trek.
    2. Meals while on trek (Veg + Egg)
    3. Trek equipments: Sleeping bag, mattress, tent (twin sharing), kitchen & dinning tent, toilet tent, utensils and crampon (if required).
    4. First aid medical kits, stretcher & oxygen cylinder.
    5. Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader, guide, cook and Support staff.
    6. Transport from Leh guest house to Zinchen and return from Chokdo as per the itinerary.
    7. Mules to carry the central luggage.


    1. Any kind of personal expenses.
    2. Airfare and pickup and drop from airport..
    3. Food in Leh.
    4. Any kind of emergency evacuation charges
    5. Necessary permits, entry fees and Foreigner peak booking charges.
    6. Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
    7. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head.

    Note : Normally TTH expect to carry your personal luggage on your own, if you wish to offload your backpack, you can give it to Mule/porter.
    Charges of offloading backpack for entire trek:-
    INR 4800/- if you make an online payment, 10 days in advance
    INR 5000/- if you inform us after reaching Leh
    The backpack cannot weigh more than 11 kgs. Backpack should have waterproof cover. Suitcases/strolleys/ bags will not be allowed.

    In case of emergency: Safety of our trekkers is of prime importance to us. Our Trek Leaders are well trained to tackle medical emergencies, especially arising due to altitude. In more intense situations, the trekker will be shifted on a stretcher to the nearest medical centre at the earliest. The expenses at the medical centre, if any, are to be borne by the participant. To book a Trek/ adventure program please use our online booking form or, alternatively, you can call us on the given for confirmation of tour you have to wire a deposit and initial deposit.

    Paying the Trek/ Adventure activity fee:

    The fee can be paid by online transfer/check deposit/ demand draft. Instruction for payment will be forwarded along with your confirmation email. When your transfer is done, please e-mail us a confirmation mail with your transfer details, so that we can follow up your reservation efficiently.

    When to book:

    It is wise to make your booking at least two months in advance. However, if you want a good deal on your domestic/international flight, we recommend organising your trip at least five months in advance. (Please contact us if you require a late booking). In the event of cancellation of trek/adventure activity services due to any avoidable / unavoidable reasons we must be notified of the same in writing. Cancellation charges will be effective from the date we receive advice in writing, and cancellation charges would be as follows: -

    Cancellations prior to 24 days from the start of the trek
    Book any other trek till one year or get 95% refund (Note: If the trek charges are more, the balance needs to be paid by the trekker)

    Cancellation between 24 days and 14 days to the start of the trek
    Choose to go for the same trek, with any other batch, till year or get 70% refund

    Cancellation between 14 days and 10 days to the start of the trek
    Choose to go on the same trek, in the same season, with any other batch or get 50% refund.

    Cancellation less than 10 days to the start of the trek
    Transfer your trek (same trek, same batch) to your friend. No cash refund.

    1)- Change of trek batch is dependent on the availability of seats in the batch.
    2)- In case of transferring a trek to a friend, he/she should satisfy all the mandatory requirements put forward by TTH.
    3)- TTH holds the right to change/cancel the policies, without prior notice.

    Trek Essential


    Fitness regime for:

    Calculate Your BMI

    If your BMI is normal, you can plan your fitness regime as mentioned. If your BMI is not normal, consult your trusted physician before you plan your fitness regime.
    If you're suffering from any chronic illnesses consult a medical practitioner.


    Coming Soon


    Risk & Respond

    High Altitude Treks: Risk and Response A high altitude trek calls for an adventurous attitude, but embarking on an adventurous trip without calculating the risks is utter stupidity. That’s why we have listed a few risks and the response planned by TTH to minimise or address the risks in the best possible way.

    Risk: Altitude Before you start the trek, it is important to understand the implications of high altitude on your body. Be aware of symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) like mild headache, nausea and general discomfort.

    Response: If you feel any of these symptoms, inform the trek leader on priority and follow his instructions. Every campsite has as stretcher, fully equipped first aid kit, oxygen cylinders to address the situation.

    Risk: Weather Weather is unpredictable in the Himalayas. Though we are always observant about the changing weather, no one can guarantee a snowfall, rain or Sun. Do understand that your security is of utmost importance to us and we will not proceed any further from the campsite if the weather is not favourable.

    Response: The decision of the Trek Leaders and Guides to proceed or wait for the weather to get better will be final.

    Risk: Injuries Often, while trekking over difficult terrains, you might have minor injuries like leg sprain, bruises etc. Serious injuries like fractures or major cuts are very rare.

    Response: All our Trek Leaders are Certified Wilderness First Aid responders. They are trained to handle emergencies and can tackle minor injuries with a well-equipped first aid kit. In case of serious injuries, the patient is carried on a stretcher to the nearest road-head and is led to nearest medical centre.

    Risk: Lack of communication devices In the remote areas of the Himalayas, mobile networks do not reach. On a trek, one is cut off from the world of calls, SMSs or watsapps.

    Response: We rely on walkie-talkies and runners to communicate between the campsites and the base camps.

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    Fixed Departure

    Brief Detail

    Trek Itinerary

    Day 01- NJP/ Bagdogra to Kopidana
    Day 02- Kopidana to Tumling
    Day 03- Tumling to Kalapokhri
    Day 04- Kalapokhri to Sandakphu
    Day 05- Sandakphu to Sepi
    Day 06 – Sepi to NJP / Bagdogra

    On Day 6, you’ll reach NJP between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm. You can book your travel any time after 3:00 pm.

    Trek Info

    Region: West Bengal
    Duration: 06 Days
    Grade: Moderate
    Max Altitude: 12,000 Ft.
    Trekking Km: 46 Kms.
    Trail Type: A cross over trail. The trek starts from Kopidana and ends at Sepi
    Rail head: New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
    Air Port: Bagdogra
    Base Camp: Kopidana 84 Km Drive 5 hrs
    Best Season: October to April
    Batch Size: 15 trekkers including Male and female.
    Services from: New Jalpaiguri (NJP) to New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
    Food: Meals while on trek (Veg + Egg)
    Stay: Tea House
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