Markha Valley Trek with Hemis Festival
14 Days
Best Season: July - mid-September

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Cross two high passes - Ganda La (4975 m) & Kongmaru La (5150 m).

  • Visit Shey, Thiksey and Hemis monasteries. Also visit Old Fort and local bazaar in Leh.

  • See the small villages of Ladakh during the trek with the possibility of meeting the local villagers and know their lifestyle and daily activities.

  • In case of Hemis Festival, enjoy the vibrant and cultural festival in Hemis.

  • Optional tour to Agra to see the beautiful Taj Mahal.

Hemis Festival Dates:

July 3 - July 4, 2017

One of the popular treks in Ladakh over 2 passes, Ganda La (4970 m) and the Kongmaru La (5250 m).  Following  meandering Markha river system, basking on the high grassy plains of Nimaling with the majestic presence of Mt. Kang Yatze (6400 m) and passing through beautiful villages and old monasteries along the trail.   Markha Valley trek gives you an exhilarating experience of Ladakh.  Enroute one might find ibex, blue sheep, marmots, foxes and a rare possibility of finding snow leopard!

Also, a possibility of doing this trek during the much-celebrated Hemis Festival! 

Route Map
Indo Journeys Pvt. Ltd | Travel
Indo Journeys Pvt. Ltd | Travel
Indo Journeys Pvt. Ltd | Travel
Indo Journeys Pvt. Ltd | Travel
Indo Journeys Pvt. Ltd | Travel
Indo Journeys Pvt. Ltd | Travel
DETAILED ITINERARY
 
 
Day 1 - Departure
Depart from your home country.
Day 2 - Delhi / Leh
Arrive at International Airport, where our representative will receive and transfer you to the domestic airport for your flight to Leh.  The Leh airport is one of the most scenic airports, with the view of landscapes greeting you will pleasure as you fly above it.  The city framed with mountains will leave you feeling calm and tranquil.  At the Leh airport, you will be received by our representative.  We have the day free to relax for acclimatization.  You are advised to drink 3 – 4 litres of water regularly for better and faster acclimatization.  We take a short mild acclimatization walk to the local bazaars.  Overnight in hotel.
Day 3 - Leh
Today, we do sightseeing of some of the Buddhist monasteries of Leh.  We drive to the Shey monastery, which has the tallest copper statue of Lord Buddha in Asia.  It was built by a King of Ladakh as his summer retreat. From here, we continue driving to the splendid Thikse monastery, which is one of Ladakh’s biggest monasteries. In the Thikse monastery, monks gather every morning for chants, which lasts for about 2 hours.  We drive further for about 40 minutes and visit the celebrated Hemis monastery, which is world – famous for the Hemis festival. We then drive back to Leh.  Overnight in hotel.
Day 4 - Leh / Spituk / Zinchen (3600 m)
Drive 10 km to Spituk. Visit Spituk Monastery from where we start trek to Zinchen through a dry and barren land. We meet our ponies who will be with for the trek to carry our luggage for the entire trekking duration. We cross Indus River and enter in the Valley of Zinchen River. The trail leads on a road ascending to Zinchen village and our first night camp will be there at Zinchen after 5 -6 hr trek. Overnight in tents.
Day 5 - Zingchen / Ganda La Base (4545 M)
After breakfast enter Hemis National Park where we might see some wild animals as the Park is well known to inhabit Snow Leopard, Lynx, Ladakhi Urial (a mountain goat), great Tibetan Sheep, Blue Sheep, Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf etc. Gradual ascent through the Zinchen valley along the Rumbak Nala (stream) to reach the Rumbak Village. Continue to the village of Yurutse passing cultivated fields and scattered houses. About 5 – 6 hr trek. Overnight in tents.
Day 6 - Ganda La Base / Ganda La (4975 M) / Skiu (3400 M)
Gradually ascend and sometimes steep trek to the top of the Ganda La (Pass). Once we are on the top of the Pass we are rewarded with a spectacular view of snow-capped peaks of Karakoram mountain range. Enjoy the view and descend steadily, sometimes through the gorge to Shingo and then reach the village of Skiu. 6 – 7 hr trek. Overnight in tents.
Day 7 - Skiu / Markha (3600 m) ​
Continuing along the Markha River along the left bank, we pass the many white-washed chortens, mani walls trekking through willow and Poplar groves. As we approach the intersection of the Markha valley with another small tributary where we often have a wide river crossing. We'll see the ruins of the Markha fort ahead of us on a hillside before we arrive at the village about half an hour later. We camp at one of grassy campsites. About 7 -8 hr trek. Overnight in tents.
Day 8 - Markha / Thachungtse (4200 m)​
Another classic Himalaya trekking day, a bit longer. Starting with a climb up on the cliff-side trail just past camp for amazing views back to the Ladakh Range. We have couple of river crossing today as well. We reach a breath-taking Tertha Gompa affiliated with Hemis Gompa built at the top of a razor-sharp rock. Soon, we approach the small hamlet of Umlung at 3900 meters.Ahead of us, the dramatic 6400 meter Kang Yatze finally comes into sight. We have another hour or so of river-side walking in blue-sheep territory before reaching Hangkar (3950 meter). From Hangkar, it's a two-hour walk up to the summer grazing area of Thachungtse for camping. About 6 – 7 hr trek. Overnight in tents.
Day 9 - Thachungtse / Nimaling (4750 m)
Another wonderful day of trekking, not long but absolutely spectacular, with broad views of the Zanskar range, and Kang Yatze as a back-drop. The trail snakes up the valley in back of our campsite, and crests several ridges before reaching a pond with a reflection of Kang Yatze peak. Another hour trek brings us to the high altitude grazing region of Nimaling with herd of sheep. We set up another scenic campsite and have entire afternoon to wander, look for wildlife and explore this unique high plateau. Yaks roam freely creating a perfect Tibetan environment. Sunsets are truly awe-inspiring from the plateau. About 4 -5 hr trek. Overnight in tents.
Day 10 - Nimaling
Rest day. Overnight in tents.
Day 11 - Nimaling / Kongmaru La (5150 m) / Chukirmo (3760 m)
Cross the Markha valley and take the trail leading to Kongmaru la. It is 2 - 3 hr climb to Kongmaru La pass marked by numerous Buddhist prayer flags. Enjoy the highest point of your trek. After the initial 500 m steep descent the trail follows the course of the stream which meanders through a narrow gorge. We cross the stream at multiple places. We walk up the trenches to reach Chukirmo for camping. Total 6 - 7 hr trek. Overnight in tents.
Day 12 - Chukirmo / Hemis (3550 m) / Leh
We drive to Hemis Monastery which is known for its one of the big festivals of Ladakh – Hemis Festival. The festival is held in the monastery every year in the month of June/July. Hemis is the most important monastery of Ladakh, 360 years old and known to be one of the biggest festivals in Ladakh. The gigantic Tankha, one of the largest in the world, is displayed once in 12 years. We visit the monastery and drive 40 km/ 1 hr to Leh.  Overnight in Hotel.
Day 13 - Leh / Delhi
We fly back to Delhi, where we do half day sightseeing of fascinating Old Delhi.  We take the amusing rickshaw ride in the crowded lanes of Chandni Chowk – the medieval style shopping haven.  We also visit India’s largest mosque – Jama Masjid, which can accommodate about 25,000 people. Overnight in hotel.
 
Day 14 - Delhi / Agra (Optional) / Departure
You have the day free at leisure in Delhi for independent activities.  If it is not Friday, you have the option to take the early morning Shatabdi Express (arr / dep 0600 / 0805) for a day trip to Agra to visit the famous and exquisite Taj Mahal, which is an eternal symbol of love.  Also, visit the massive red sandstone structure – Red Fort.  In the evening, you will be transferred to International Airport for your departure.
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