Markha is a beautiful river valley in Hemis National Park, which is located in the barren, freezing desert of Ladakh. The trip through Markha Valley is both beautiful and full of adventure, making it a must-do. There are numerous river crossings, some of which are waist-deep, as well as the crossing of the high pass Kongmaru La. (17,060 ft). Mt Kang Yatse can be seen clearly from the path, which provides some spectacular views (21,300 ft). Aside from the spectacular granite canyons that line the trail, there are also lots of animals to be seen.
The most charming part of the Chadar trek, though, is the time spent in the picturesque villages of Markha Valley. In the center of the harsh mountains of Ladakh, the simple mud huts set amidst lush green fields are a magnificent sight. Traditional adorned kitchens and Buddhist prayer flags, among other things, are found in these Tibetan villages, demonstrating the strength of Tibetan culture.
The nicest aspect about it is that you can stay in such beautiful residences for the duration of the journey. Markha Valley is one of the few tea-house treks in India because of the abundance of village homestays that can be found throughout the trail. As a result, the walk becomes a really gratifying experience, without the hassles of camping and setting up camp.
If you are only in Ladakh for a short period of time and have time for only one trek, this would be the best option.
What to Keep an Eye Out For
On Day 3, we got our first glimpse of Kang Yatse.
It is on Day 3 that you get your first glimpse of Kang Yatse, as you begin climbing towards the upper Markha valley. As you ascend from Umlung, you will be able to view the Kang Yatse mountain, which is nearly perfect in shape and towers over everything else. It’s a truly stunning sight. Until you reach the Kongmaru La pass, the mountain will remain a silent companion on your walk.
The villages of Markha and Hankar are located in the state of Rajasthan.
The settlements of Markha and Hankar are a remarkable sight in the center of a bleak, high-altitude desert: lush flora in the midst of a barren, high-altitude desert. The contrast between the dry desert mountains defending a priceless oasis of green civilization and the dry desert mountains guarding a dry desert oasis is startling. While Markha is one of the larger villages on the route, Hankar is more of a raw, solitary beauty that you won’t find anywhere else.
The view from the summit of Kongmaru La
The vista from the summit of Kongmaru La pass is well worth the arduous climb that it took to get there. On a clear day, you may see the Indus Valley and the Ladakh hills for the first time from this location. When you turn around, you’ll notice that Kang Yatse is still standing there, keeping watch over you. The view is really stunning!
The Markha Valley trip is sometimes known as a ‘tea house journey,’ because it includes accommodations in parachute tents at the majority of the settlements along the way.
Beyond the startling contrast of trekking through an arid, freezing desert valley, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, including the 21,000-foot Kang Yatse and the 20,086-foot Stok Kangri peaks, as well as the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges.
The walk takes you through the breathtaking Hemis National Park.
A number of spectacular waist-deep river crossing portions on the Markha River, as well as trails that take you through intriguing Buddhist settlements and rugged canyons, are some of the aspects that provide this trek with its distinctive fervor. Because of its proximity to Leh, which is only a one-hour flight away from most Indian metropolises, the Markha Valley hike is something that any traveler to Leh should absolutely consider completing.
Information on the Trail
This walk can be started from any of three separate locations: Stok, Spituk, or Chilling. Spituk is the most frequent starting point for people who are new to the area. You gain altitude quite quickly from the Spituk side, reaching Ganda La (almost 5,000 ft in two days) before falling sharply to Skiu from where you started. As you join the path at Ski and steadily gain height, beginning your journey from Chilling is a much more straightforward option.
This schedule is for those who choose to begin their adventure in Chilling. If you are in decent physical form and have become used to the altitude, you can begin your trek from Spituk or Stok as an alternative. While the vistas from Markha up to Kongmaru La are unquestionably the best on this trail, starting from Spituk provides you the opportunity to cross two high passes.
In Chilling, the Markha river empties into the enormous Zanskar river, a point of great beauty. It is also the most convenient place to begin the trek from the road head.
If you are traveling in a group, hiring a taxi (Rs. 3000) is the best option (since buses from Ladakh to Chilling run only twice a week). Additionally, you might try to grab a seat on one of the vans traveling to Chilling. Many tempo travelers transport tourists to Chilling for rafting tours, and if you are lucky, you should be able to purchase a seat or two by contacting a travel agent or booking directly through the website.
Once you get to Chilling, you should start by crossing the Zanskar River on the trolley bridge. Starting the day off by crossing the mighty Mississippi on the trolley is a memorable experience. A new bridge has recently been built here, providing yet another alternative for crossing the river.