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Markha Valley Trek 2013
Duration         : 10 Nights / 11 Days
Places Covered: Ladakh Himalayas .
Grade: Moderate to challenging
Altitude: 5150 mts/16895 ft.
Season: June – Oct

Overview: The Markha Valley Trek is certainly one of the most varied and beautiful treks in the world. It ventures high into the Himalayas crossing two passes over 15,000 ft (4575 m) as it circles from the edges of the Indus Valley, down into parts of Zanskar, and passes through terrain that change from incredibly narrow valleys to wide-open vast expanses. Made all the more interesting by the ancient form of Buddhism that flourishes in the many monasteries that dot the landscape perched high atop hills. The trails are decorated by elaborate "chortens"(shrines) and "Mani"(prayer) walls that further exemplify the region's total immersion in Buddhist culture. As we trek to the upper end of the Markha Valley we are rewarded with spectacular views of jagged snow capped peaks before crossing the 5150m Kongmaru La (Pass) and descending to the famous Hemis Monastery, where we end our trek. There are also a few days to explore the fascinating town of Leh and raft the Indus River. Away from the modern, capitalist world, feel nature all around you and revive your spirits with this challenging yet beautiful trek, and create a memory that you will cherish forever .

Day 01: New Delhi
Upon arrival at the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport meet and greet at the airport followed by transfer to the Hotel for overnight stay.

Day 02: New Delhi – Leh (Complete Rest in Leh for acclimatization)
After breakfast transfer to the Airport for flight to Leh. Upon arrival at Leh met by our representative and transfer to your pre booked hotel. Check in relax for acclimatization. This is necessary for getting acclimatized at high altitude. Evening one can visit the color full market of Leh. Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 03: Leh – Shey – Thiksey - Hemis
The day after breakfast visit to Monasteries. Shey Gompa is about 15 kms from Leh. It used to be the summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. There are lots of Stupas and Gompas built around the palace. Shey palace was built by Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17’Th century AD. Main attraction in Shey is the 12m Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa. Thiksey Gompa, close to Shey is about 17 kms from Leh. The monastery is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelukspa order. Hemis, about 45 kms south of Leh it is one of the most famous and largest monastery in Ladakh. It belongs to the Drukpa order and was founded in the early 17’Th century. The setting is perfect with the monastery cradled in a lovely valley, surrounded by streams and fronted by long Mani walls. Overnight stay at the guest house.

Day 04: Leh - Spitok (drive) – Trek to Zingchan (3200 mts/10496 ft)
After breakfast leave Leh early morning by Jeeps and reach Spituk (1 hr). Visit the Spituk Gompa, built about 500 years ago. Start the trek from here by crossing a bridge and walking south-west of the river Indus. The gorge section leads to the confluence of Indus and Zingchan. Camp near the village of Zingchan. Overnight in Tents.

Day 05: Zingchan - Yurutse (3900 mts/12792 ft) via Rumbak
Breakfast at Camp. Proceed for gradual climb from Zingchan to Rumbak. From here one gets fabulous views of the snow capped Stok Mountains. From here we move along the Rumbak Nala towards Yurutse. At Yurutse village you will find fields of barley and potatoes. Overnight in the Tents.

Day 06: Yurutse - Skiu (3100 mts/10168 ft) via Ganda La
Breakfast at Camp. A gradual ascent followed by a steep climb gets one to the Ganda la (4900 M). From here views extend south to the Zanskar range and distant summits of the Himalayan range. This is followed by a long descent to Shingo village. From Shingo the trail heads into a narrow gorge leading towards Skiu. At Skiu there is a confluence of the rivers coming from Markha valley and Shingo. Overnight in the tents.

Day 07: Skiu - Markha (3800 mts/12464 ft)
Breakfast at the camp. The day climb with a very pleasant hike, up the Markha valley today with the trail crossing numerous streams. Markha is a quaint village with a deserted fort and a small village. Overnight in the tents.

Day 08: Markha – Thochuntse
Breakfast at the Camp. From here the country changes and the warm, relatively heavily wooded sections of the lower Markha is left behind. One will be required to cross the river several times as there are no bridges here. Hankar, en route, is the highest village in the Markha valley. Overnight in the tents.

Day 09: Thochuntse - Nimaling (4700 mts/15416 ft)
Breakfast at the camp. This day the trek will starts on a relatively good path with several small inclines and a series of grassy ridges. There are a series of Mani walls (walls carved with Buddhist prayers) and chortens en route. This is one of the most beautiful high valleys in Ladakh and is dominated by the Kangyaze peak. Overnight in the tents.

Day 10: Nimaling – Kongmaru La (5150 mts/16892 ft) – SUMDO
Breakfast at camp. Crosse the north of Markha climbing to the top of the highest of the three passes, the 5,306 M Kongmaru La, with its wonderful views from the top. There are snow peaks in every direction and on a clear day the giants of Karakoram, including K2, can be seen on the north-western horizon. The trail descends to the Martselang valley, following the Martselang stream to the village of Sumdo. Overnight in the tents.

Day 11: Sumdo - Hemis (4 hrs trek) – Leh
Breakfast at camp. This day your trek starts with an easy descent along the Martselang to where it broadens into the valley of the Indus at Martselang village. Board the awaiting jeeps. Visit Hemis monastery and after that drive to Leh via Shey and Thiksey monastery. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 12: Leh – New Delhi
Post breakfast you will be transferred to the Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee airport for the spectacular flight across the main chain of the Himalaya to New Delhi.

Trekking Equipments List
1.Trekking boots - well broken in and waterproofed
2.Down jacket or equivalent with hood
3.One heavy wool shirt or sweater
4.Two cotton shirts
5.One pair cotton trousers or shorts
6.One pair woolen trousers
7.One pair shorts or calf-length skirt for women
8.Three pairs of regular underwear
9.Long underwear - thermal or wool
10.Wind- and rain-gear with hood
11.Sun hat with brim
12.Woolen hat or balaclava
13.Woolen gloves
14.Woolen socks to wear with boots
15.Cotton socks
16. Personal first-aid kit including medication for common ailments
17.Flashlight with extra batteries
18.Sunglasses or snow goggles (an extra pair is recommended)
19.Water bottle, preferably wide mouthed, with at least one liter capacity
20. Pocket knife
21.Note book with pens and pencils
22. Plastic bags - small size for books, film etc., larger bags for clothes, sleeping bags v 23.Well fitting strong shoes with a couple of woolen socks. The shoes should be used before treks to avoid blisters.
24.First aid set for minor accidents and sickness.
25. A raincoat is necessary to meet uncertainties of weather.
26.Chocolates, lozenges, candies, glucose and dry fruits provide extra pep and energy. v 27.It is advisable not to exhaust energy by walking fast, as otherwise the trek will be not enjoyable.