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The sight at Markha Valley is very remote, perhaps the most fascinating trekking trail in Ladakh because of the serious challenges that it delivers. The Markha valley is easily accessible from the Ganda La pass near Spituk in the west and Gongmaru La pass near Hemis. On the top of the valley one can find the Kang Yatze, a 6,400 m (21,000 ft) high mountain. The Markha River also flows to the south of the 6,153 m (20,182 feet) high Stok Kangri Mountain.
Trekking along the Markha River through “Little Tibet” one of the world’s highest inhabited plateaus, while taking a fabulous sight of the Great Himalayan, Ladakh and Zanskar ranges will definitely be an unforgettable experience for trekkers. There are two high passes with an altitude of 17,400 feet. Trials wind past willow groves, along with the patches of wild roses and thorough pastel canyons decorated with multi-hued prayer flies undulating in the breeze. A chance to meet nomadic families as they herd their yaks and a trip to a small monastery where butter lamps are lit in morning and evening by an elderly nun leaves incredible impressions throughout the glorious illuminated landscape.
The heartland of the central Ladakh valley involves the crossing of the three passes – Stok La 4848 mts, Kongmaru La 5274 mts, Gand La 4878 mts and walking on the banks of the river Markha. It is an amazing trip to get introduced with the magical and remote Buddhist kingdom of Ladakh. While trekking on through this route, tourists can come across beautiful Buddhist Monasteries, Mountain villages, High altitude pastures of Nimaling and high altitude peak Kangyatse.
Markha valley remains cold during the month of November to February as the minimum temperature goes up to 4 degree centigrade during the month of January and February. While from March to early May, sun shine remains abundant. Summer season prevails between May to August. From mid of July till October is the rainy season, this region will be very wet due to heavy rainfall which can continue for days. Ideal time to go for trekking is during the month of March to June and from September to December.
Trekking to the Markha valley is a memorable journey with the surrounding area of amazing beautiful hill panorama together with dry mountains that possesses wonderful rural parishes and widespread grazing lands altogether. During summer season, the landscape view of this Markha valley delivers outstanding attractions of Markha stream, mustard areas, and small towns with Stok, Matho and Zanskar that runs along the background. There is a chance to spot a blue sheep and also Ibex in this area.
The journey is quite easy from Leh with a display of large variety of natural scenic beauty. There is also a natural refuge of the Markha area surrounded by Kang Yatse (6400 m) from the eastern direction and the Zanskar mountain range at the southern west.
While trekking up, there is a widespread high town, each with highly irrigated areas of wheat, barley, and mustard which adds on to the scenery of this amazing place. Markha valley hike is an important region of Hemis National Park, where animals are available for sight-seeing throughout the season. The Markha valley safari in Ladakh is something different and unforgettable Himalayan hikes.
Markha valley trek is also known for being a “tea house trek’ where one can expect accommodation in parachute tents at many villages enroute. Some exiting waist-deep river crossing sections on Markha River to trails going across interesting Buddhist villages and rocky canyons are some of the features that deliver an unmatchable fervor to the trekkers. With close immediacy to Leh, which is one flight away from most Indian metropolitan cities, the Markha valley will definitely be something where any traveler to Leh will definitely consider doing.
How to Reach
There are flights from Delhi to Leh leaving from Delhi between 4 am and 9 am. If it is from any other city, then reach Delhi the previous night. If tickets are booked early, flights can also be cheap as travelling by road.
Leh does not have railway station. Jammu Tawi is the nearby station well connected from Delhi.
The road route to Leh is through Manali. Reach Manali from Delhi or Chandigarh and from there buses can be preferred to travel to Leh. The journey to Leh takes around 2 days from Manali with an overnight stop at Keylong.