The Classic Markha Valley Trail
Day 01: Arrive Delhi :
On arrival transfer to the Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Delhi - Leh (3500 m) :
An early morning transfer to the domestic terminal of the airport for the flight up to Leh. This surely is one of the most sensational scheduled flights in the world, taking you right over the top of the Greater Himalaya Range before dropping down in a series of steep turns, to land at the small airport at Leh. Flight time is approximately 1½ hours. You will be met on arrival, and driven through Leh to check into the Hotel. Leh is at an altitude of 11,500ft/3,500m, so we therefore we recommend that the rest of the day be spent resting to help adjust to the altitude.
Day 03: At Leisure in Leh :
Again take it easy today and enjoy a tour around town. Leh is very Tibetan, with the national dress, 'stove-pipe' hats and felt boots with the turned-up toes as evidence. The Royal Palace, which dominates the skyline above the town, is very reminiscent of the Potala in Lhasa. And Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, large chortens, prayer flags and mud-brick houses with flat roofs are a dramatic cultural change from the hot, teeming frenetic rush of Delhi. Don't try to do too much on this first full day!
Sightseeing of Leh Palace and the Sankar, Shey, Thiksey and Matho monasteries.
Day 05-06: Leh - Spituk - Zinchen (3200 m) in 4h :
We will drive 10 km to Spituk from where we will start our trek. We cross Indus River, and then enter the valley of Zinchen River. Near the village in that valley, we will have our first camp after a 4 hr walk.
Day 07: Yurutse - Ganda La (4900 m) - Skiu (3510 m) in 6/7h :
From the base camp above Yurutse, follow the path along the mountainside, then follow the zig zag steep path up to cross GandaLa. Then, there is a long descent towards Shingo. After 2 hours' descent beyond Singo, arrive in the Markha Valley. A few hundred meters further, and we will reach Skiu. Overnight Camp.
Day 08: Skiu - Markha (3850 m) in 7h from Skiu :
Follow a good path on the right bank of Markha where one can find great vegetation. Then cross the river and pass through barren plains arriving at Chaluk. Thereafter, walk along the left bank of river until another crossing and a small climb towards Markha village. Good camp site beyond the village and near the river. Overnight Camp.
Day 09: Markha - Hankar (4000 m) in 4h :
Start trekking towards the main valley on the right bank (the path is sometimes difficult in the river bed) and pass the monastery of Humlung. Then carry on trekking along the right bank and arrive in Hankar, where there are several houses. Overnight Camp in Hankar.
Day 10: Hankar - Nimaling (4650 m) in 4h :
The path improves, and crosses a broad valley on the right side. The valley becomes narrow and higher, and crosses bridges to the left bank before reaching Tchatchuste. We climb pastures to reach Nimaling, which is one of most beautiful high valleys in Ladakh, and is dominated by the Kang Yaze. Overnight Camp in Nimaling.
Day 11: Nimaling - Kongmaru La (5150 m) - Shang Sumdo (3750 m) in 7h :
Cross the Markha valley, follow long climb along the mountain side, then zig zag road leads towards KongmaruLa. Follow a steep descent into gorges and then keep walking on the left bank to Chukirmo. Thereafter, cross right and left before arriving in Shang, a beautiful camp in groves. There is a monastery an hour away from the village. Overnight at Camp at Shang Sumdo.
Day 12: Shang Sumdo - Hemis (3600 m) in 3/4h :
Hemis is the most important monastery of Ladakh, and is 360 years old. The gigantic Thanka, one of the largest in the world, is displayed once every 12 years. The last time was in 2004. Overnight Camp at Hemis.
Day 13: Hemis - Thiksey - Shey - Leh :
We will visit the Hemis monastery, then drive to Shey Monastery. This one has a 7.5m copper statue of Buddha plated with gold; the largest of its kind. We drive to Thikshy Monastery, which is situated on a hill top. There are several temples and wall paintings of Buddha. Close by is the summer palace of the old raja of Leh. This monastery is 800 years old, and silver and gold statues can be seen in it. Overnight Camp.
Day 14: Leh - Delhi by plane :
Arrive Delhi and transfer to the Hotel. Day at Leisure, Overnight at Hotel.
Delhi Day at leisure Safety day for your international flight.
Delhi Hotel - airport transfer.