Guided Tours

TOUR 8: Markha Valley Trek / Ladakh, India

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Tour Description:

Ladakh is quite unlike any other region of India, both geographically and culturally. It's located between the Karakoram and Himalaya ranges.  It has spectacular mountain scenery and the Indus River, which winds westwards through Ladakh from its source on the Tibetan Plateau, showing us the way.

Tour Cost:

$5000; single supplement: $270


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Call 478/714-0829 to book
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September 25 – October 9 , 2018 – 14 Nights

Base Cities:  New Delhi & Leh


  • September 26: meet guides in New Delhi
  • September 27: fly to Leh
  • September 28: visit Shey, Thiksey Monastery & Stok Palace
  • September 29 : visit Lee Palace & Shanthi Stupa
  • September 30: drive to Spituk, Trek to Zingchen
  • October 1: trek to Yurutse
  • October 2: trek to Skiu
  • October 3: trek to Markha
  • October 4: trek to Thachugtse
  • October 5: trek to Nimaling
  • October 6: trek to Sumdo
  • October 7: Trek to Hemis
  • October 8: return to Leh
  • October 9: fly to New Delhi

Hotels:
– New Delhi
– Leh

Itinerary:

09/26 : Arrival in New delhi

09/27: ARRIVE IN LEH – flight from New Delhi to Leh

The Leh domestic airport lies at an altitude of 3500m. The first day in Leh  is a complete rest day and requires you
to relax and acclimatize to the high altitude. A gentle orientation walk around the Leh town & market can be done in the evening if health permits.

09/28: VISIT SHEY, THIKSEY MONASTERY & STOK PALACE

The first place of visit along the Indus Valley Monastery tour is the
Shey Palace. It is only 13km from Leh and is the former palace of the Ladakhi royal family. The Palace houses a 350 year old copper and gold statue of the Lord Buddha. Thiksey, a neighbouring village of Shey, will then be visited. Thiksey Monastery is perched imposingly on a hillock from which its red and white buildings can be seen from manykilometers away. This Gompa is famous for its 5 meter high seated statue of Maitreya, the future Buddha. In the afternoon, a visitto the Stok Palace will enlighten you about the royal family. It alsohouses a museum that has a rich collection of ancient Ladakhiartefacts: old thangkas, arms and armoury, royal jewellery and the crown of the King, among many others.

09/29: LEH PALACE & SHANTHI STUPA.

The Leh Palace is a 16th century structure, nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms. We do a short ascent up to the palace from the back of the hill as an acclimatisation hike to reach the top that provides a stunning view of of the Leh town all around. Our descent is through the back alleys and lanes of the old town bringing us out into the market in front of the mosque in the town square.

 09/30: DRIVE TO SPITUK, TREK TO ZINGCHEN.

After breakfast we drive to Spitok Gompa (approx. 2 hours) for a visit. This monastery was built about 500 years ago by Gyalpo Bumlde, although one temple, dedicated to Mahakala was built about 900 years ago. About 125 yellow-hat sect lamas are considered Spitok Lamas, but at least half of them live and pray at Spitok’s dependent monasteries at Sankar, Stok and Sabu. All the lamas do however gather together for major festivals. The name Spitok is probably derived from the Central Tibetan language and means, Effective as an Example, referring to the fact that this was the Tibetans first monastery in Ladakh. The head lama for Spitok is the head lama for Ladakh and represents Ladakh as a member of Parliament, spending much of his time in Delhi. Spitok Gompa contains both old temples and those built in the 1970s. Ancient thankas are preserved there, some having been taken from the Potala in Lhasa after the Chinese invaded Tibet.

After leaving the gompa, we cross the bridge over the Indus river and meet up with the horseman. The trek begins here and follows the Indus for a short distance, before striking out for the mountains. You soon enter the narrow gorge that leads to the first camp at Zingchen. Homestay(B,L,D)

10/01: TREK TO YURUTSE. ( 6 hours)

We will follow the trail beside the river till the valley widens at Rumbak, where we can see the snow-capped peaks of the Stok mountains. Take the right fork of the river and continue to the very small village of Yurutse. The purple and green rock formations are quite impressive. Continue past the village to the base camp of Ganda La. . Homestay(B,L,D)

10/02: TREK TO SKIU. (11,050ft) (7hrs)

The climb over the Ganda La is not as steep as that up to the Stok La, but it is a bit longer. From the top of the pass there is a fabulous view of snow-capped peaks. The descent into the Skiu valley is steady. The wide pastures at the top of the valley taper into a narrow ‘waist’ at Shingo, where there is a stream junction and a few houses and fields. From here the river swoops exuberantly down the tight narrow gorge choked with willow and wild rose, with the trail following, swapping from bank to bank as it goes. The village of Skiu is at only 9,900ft, and the Markha Valley here is narrow, so the temperatures can soar. We camp at Skiu, and at dusk it is worth climbing back up the valley to where the Skiu Nala meets the Markha river. Here there is a small monastery cared for by an old nun who comes every evening to light the candles at the altar of ‘Chamba’, the future Buddha. Homestay(B,L,D)

10/03: TREK TO MARKHA. (11,776ft) (6 hrs)

A very pleasant walk up one of the loveliest sections of the Markha valley. Woody bushes grow thickly along the river which is spanned by several bridges over which the trail marches to Markha. Homestay(B,L,D)

10/04: TREK TO THACHUGTSE. (13,078ft) (6-7 hrs)

The trail continues eastwards climbing steadily up the valley through the picturesque village of Markha, which has a fascinating monastery well worth a visit. Coming in from the south is the trail from Rubering La, one of the routes from Zangla.From Markha the country changes and the warm, relatively heavily wooded section of the lower Markha is left behind. Between the twin villages of Lower and Upper Hangkar is a ruined fort, the walls of which climb sharply up a crag to an aerie of a lookout tower – worth visiting for those with a good head for heights. Follow the Nimaling river up the narrow valley to the camp at Thachungtse. It will be considerably cooler here. Homestay(B,L,D)

10/05: TREK TO NIMALING. (16,097ft) (3 hrs)

The trail continues to climb up the valley to a picturesque lake with a reflection of snow-capped Kang Yatse, the highest peak in the Zanskar range. From here the Nimaling plain is a broad undulating meadow which slopes upwards to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse which dominates the area.Nimaling with tiny ponds and rivulets flowing all over its meadows provides pasturage in the summer for an astonishing number of animals; yaks, sheep, goats, dzos and horses, not only from the Markha but also from villages all around. Himalayan marmots and white-tailed hares are seen in plenty and it is not unusual to spot the occasional blue sheep or wolf. We should reach camp in the early afternoon and have the rest of the day to relax and explore. Homestay(B,L,D)

10/06: TREK TO SUMDO. (13,230ft) (7-8 hrs)

After crossing the Nimaling river, climb to the top of the highest pass on the trek, the 17,409ft Kangmaru La with its wonderful views from the top. Snow peaks in every direction, and on a clear day the giants of the Karakorams, including K2 can be seen on the north-western horizon. The trail descends steeply to the head of the Martselang valley past the sulfur springs of Chyushkarmo, and follows the Martselang stream to the village of Sumdo or Shang-Sumdo, at the confluence of the Shang Nala and the Martselang. homestay(B,L,D)

10/07: TREK TO HEMIS. (5-6 hrs trek)

An easy descent mainly along the left bank of the Martselang river to where it broadens into the valley of the Indus river at the village of Martselang. The trail ends at the Hemis Monastery, the largest and richest in Ladakh. . homestay(B,L,D)

10/08: RETURN TO LEH.

We visit the monastery in the morning and then meet our transportation for the 2 hr drive to Leh. Overnight at the hotel in Leh. Solpon guest house or similar(B,D)

10/09: Leh to Delhi by flight

What’s Included:

  • All accommodation in  Leh with breakfast and dinner.
  • Home stay accommodation with breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • All monastery entrance fees, wild life fees and camping fees.
  • English-speaking guide in monasteries and while trekking.
  • All transportation

What’s not included:

  • Medical and evacuation insurance
  • Miscellaneous expenses and tipping to the staff
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and food in Leh and Delhi.
  • International/domestic Air ticket to and from Delhi.
  • A single supplement.
  • Laundry and other services not mentioned in the package. If you need any arrangement Please let us know.

Guides: Shannon Harris and Navita Shyam

Call 1-888-478-4004 to book your vacation or for more details.