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MARKHA VALLEY TREK
Destinations: Spituk - Zingchan - Yurutse - Sku - Markha - Thochugtse - Nimaling - Shang Sumdo - Martselang - Hemis
Trip Duration: 9 days
Best Time: June to October
MARKHA VALLEY TREK
 

This trek is possible from mid April to mid November. Trekkers should be equipped with tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment and food provisions for 9 days. The trek promises a Panoramic view of beautiful mountain ranges and of small villages high up in the mountains .

DAY 1 - Spituk-Zingchan 5 hours

One can avail the daily bus to Spituk which is just 9 Kms from Leh town, and start the trek on the same day. A bridge takes you across the mighty river Indus to Farkha village. A walk through barren land -scape takes you to the junction where you come across a mountain stream. After fording the stream three or four times you reach a hamlet Zingchan consisting of two houses. The upper end of the village offers a beautiful camping places at a nominal charge.

DAY 2 - Zingchan-Yurutse 6 hours

After walking 3 hours upstream, two valleys come to your site , one to east and another to the south west . Rumbak a small village remains to your left. Those going to Markha have to follow the trail to the south west. After a mild ascend one reaches Yurutse consisting of two houses. After 2 hours walking a good camping site with clear spring water is available at the base of Kandala ( 4,900 Mtrs).

DAY 3 - Yurutse-Sku 6 hours

Having climbed the Kandala ( 4,900 Metrs) peak which commands a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, the descend from here to the base may take 2 hours to Shingo, a small village. Now the gorge takes one’s route through thick groves of willow tress upto Choli Chikpo,almost descending to the village Sku to your left in a valley to the south east. There is also a valley to the right, or south west, which goes to Chiling, Sku, a fairly big village, offers a very good camping site in the heart of village on rental basis.

DAY 4 - Sku-Markha 5 hours

Most times, the river remains to the right and has to be crossed a few times. While crossing the river when in spate, trekkers should consult their guide or horseman. After pleasant walk through the wooded valley you reach the biggest village on the trek, Markha. The village consisting of approximately 50 houses and has a monastery on a mountain spur at the lower end of the village.

DAY 5 - Markha-Hankar 6 hours

An hour walk from this village, you have to ford the river first time and follow the river upstream. You have to cross the same stream three or four times. The trail is a gentle climb upto the village of Hankar. Here one can pitch tents without any camping charges.

DAY 6 - Hankar-Nimaling 5 hours

To the south east of Hankar the trail continues uphill, ascending for the next high pass. The base of the high pass is called Nimaling, an uninhabited place. Camping by the side of water is recommended . It being the coldest place sometimes the temperature falls below zero degrees during the summer.

DAY 7 - Nimaling-Shang Sumdo 7 hours

The trail begins to ascend right from the camping spot. One can have a beautiful view of the mountain ranges and the wildlife around this pass . The summit of the pass, Kongmarula ,5,030 metres, reveals different snow clad mountain peaks all around. The trail descend and at some points it is very steep and narrow. Loaded animals need great care in traversing the trail and at some places the narrow gorge . Follow downstream upto Shang Sumdo, a good camping place near water.

DAY 8 - Shang Sumdo-Martselang 5 hours

At a little distance from the camping place there is a valley to your left which takes you to Shang village, but trekkers continue straight down the wider valley, following the stream down hill. During the summer season, one should consult the guide or porter before crossing the water. The wider valley reveals the panoramic view of Indus valley. One can pitch tent by the side of water in Martselang.

DAY 9 - Martselang-Hemis 3 hours

After breakfast, one should follow the trail towards the west which takes you to the famous monastery of Hemis . You have sufficient time to visit the monastery, the place also offers restaurant facilities during the tourist season. There is a daily bus service leaving Hemis for Leh by 12 noon. Bus timings are subject to change from time to time. One can consult the restaurant owner for the departure of the bus . Leh , the capital town is 47 Kms from here.

 
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