Arrive at Delhi
On your arrival, our representative will welcome and escort you to the hotel.
The trip of Markha Valley and Stok Kangri Trek begins from a flight from Delhi to Leh. Leh is also famous as the little Tibet. Enjoy the high and parched terrain with remarkably broad and irrigated valleys. Enclosed by snow-covered mountain peaks, Leh will give you shudders as you trek through the high mountain passes and experience the death-defying heights. See the renowned Indus Valley and Markha valley, which is one of the significant junction for traders and pilgrims.
Right after arriving at Leh, we will witness the Stok Kangri peak in the southern vista of Leh. On this trip, we will visit the impressive monasteries at Shey, Thiksey, and Hemis before heading off on a pleasant trek through Markha Valley. The trail leads us to several remote and attractive villages to the high Nimaling Plain beneath the magnificent peak of Kang Yatze. After crossing the Kongmaru La, we will follow and extraordinary route to Stok Kangri Base Camp. It takes 3-days to reach the mountain, which includes excellently located campgrounds and distant views of Tibet and the eastern Karakoram. The trek is objectively very safe and comfortable with low angle scree and comfortable snow slopes. The climb to Stok Kangri can be both straining and exciting. This trip provides a variety to enjoy, and it is excellent even for beginner trekkers.
On your arrival, our representative will welcome and escort you to the hotel.
Today, we will board an early morning flight to Leh. Upon arrival, check into the hotel and relax for the whole day. As Leh lies in higher altitude, it is necessary to rest, so that you can acclimatize.
Today, we will go for a sightseeing tour of some old monasteries of the area. In the distance of fifteen kilometers, their lies a monastery named Shey Gompa. Ancient kings of Ladakh used this monastery as their summer palace. There are also many gompas and stupas built around this palace. Deldan Namgyal built Shey Palace in the early seventeenth century. There is a twelve meter Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa. This statue is the chief attraction of the place. After visiting Shey Gompa, we will move towards Thiksey Gompa. Thiksey Gompa lies in around 17kms from Leh. This monastery is one of the most lovely monasteries in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelugpa sect. Then, about 45 km south of Leh lies one of the most famous and largest monasteries in Ladakh-Hemis. Built during the early 17th century, Hemis belongs to the Drukpa clan. The monastery has a perfect setting with the monastery clasped in a beautiful valley, surrounded by streams and with long Mani walls at front.
We will visit lots of monasteries on the hill-top location through the Markha Valley, which will give us a brief introduction to the Tibetan Buddhist world of Ladakh. We will drive for forty kilometers towards Srinagar and Kashmir to Nimmo, where there is the confluence of the Zanskar River and the Indus. We follow a dirt road, cross the Indus on a robust bridge, and then drive beside the left shore of Zanskar River through a gorge to reach Chilling, . Chilling is one of the famous villages in Ladakh. The town is renowned for its silver craftsman. We spend the night at Chilling in a camp.
Today is the beginning day of our trek. Departing from Chilling, we cross the Zanskar river via a suspension bridge, then meet our trek crew to prepare for the trek. We begin our trek along a slender path beside the right bank of Zanskar gorge, to the point where Markha River joins to the central valley. We ascend to pass spur and look southwards to where the imposing Zanskar gorge vanishes around a corner. A red-painted group of chortens on the distance and a slight signal of a trail points the presence of route into Zanskar. It is only practicable to follow the Zanskar River southwards as far as Padum in Zanskar is in the depths of winter. For a few short weeks, the frozen river enables travelers to pass through the gorge. From here, we move southeast towards the Markha Valley. We carry on with the trek until we arrive at the flooded trees and fields of Skays and Skiu, where we will set a camp for the night. At this point, the main trail from the north over the Ganda La joins our route. Above our riverside camp, we can see a small monastery in Skiu and an abandoned fortress/monastery on the hill.
Crossing the Makrha stream several times, we will make a long day's walk of around 7 hours to the 30 or 40 houses of Markha Village (3800m). The trail leads through the exotic vegetation at the riverside, while the upper valley is quite dry and brown. Along the route, we pass many abandoned monasteries, mostly on the peak on the valley sides. We will also see a multitude of chortens and prayer walls. As the wolves and snow leopards are a problem in these high valleys during winter, we will see different kinds of a wolf trap. These animals become bod due to hunger in the winter season and descend to the village to prey on domestic animals. Various types of wolf trap used in this region include a stone enclosure with overhanging sides where they keep the live or dead animal as bait. We also pass a few isolated houses on the way. We will notice a small Gompa on a hill to the northern side of Markha. Here, we can get views of the ancient wall paintings and festival masks that consist of this beautiful old monastery. The monastery is one of the most former monasteries in Ladakh. The trek from Skiu to Markha will give you the trekking experience as in any other region of Himalayas.
Continuing the trek above Markha village, we move east deeper into the Markha valley to the campsite at Hangkar. We need to walk for approximately five hours to reach Hangkar from Markha. Along the route, we will pass through many beautiful monasteries; some of them are not in use. However, there is a considerable number of active monasteries. Hangkar village lies between the two hamlets. There is a lovely monastery on the peak of the hill. However, this monastery is not in use. We might also encounter herds of blue sheep in the high valley. These sheep often come down to the river to graze.
Departing from Hangkar, we make our way towards Nimaling. On the way, we get some spectacular views of Kang Yatze, a 6400-meter-high peak, which has a secondary summit at around 6100. The route to this summit is quite comfortable. So this trail is often used as a trekking route. Then, we cross the Markha stream through a bridge. From here, the trail gets steeper towards the high town, Nimlang. Today, we ascend from 4000 meters height to a camp at 4600 meters. As we travel around, we can get the view of the north side of Kang Yatze. We can also see the pass that we will cross to return to the Indus Valley.
We climb up to the Kongmaru La through a well-marked path which winding trail for the last 250 meters to the pass. From the top of Kongmaru La, we can get stunning views on the north to the hills of the eastern Karakoram and China. Towards the southern side, we will get panoramic views of majestic Kang Yatze. Climbing down from this pass, we enter a slender gorge, which contains brilliantly knotted rock formations, pillars, and walls, some of them with amazing colors. We will cross the glowing stream many times. Eventually, we will reach the campsite of Kongmaru La, where we will spend the night in the tent.
We will descend from Kongmaru La to make the way towards Martselang. Along the way, we pass many some beautiful houses, the highest point of the valley, and some sections of another rocky gorge. As we get near the charming hamlet of Sumdo, the valley widens a bit. Soon after that, we reach a jeep track, which is in the process of construction into the valley. We follow this trail for about an hour until we reach the Martselang. Martselang lies on the road of the chief Indus valley. From here, we move above the valley for about an hour. On the way, we will come along many magnificent chortens, into the river valley below Hemis monastery. Here, we will set up a camp to spend the night. The field is full of large trees, giving it a perfect wilderness feel.
We will wake up early morning and catch a jeep to head to the Stok Village. Along the way, we will visit a royal palace, museum, and monastery. At the museum, we can see religious artifacts and ceremonial clothing that belongs to the royal family. Eventually, we will reach Stok village, where we will have lunch. Today, we will spend the night at Stok Village.
From Stok Village, we will walk for approximately four hours to reach the Stok Kangri Base camp. We will spend the rest of the day at the campsite. From here, we can get beautiful views of Stok Kangri, Gulap Kangri, and Parcha Kangri. The campground is on a lush area alongside several Mel water streams.
This day is for acclimatization. It is necessary to acclimatize so that you get accustomed to the high altitude environment. We need to rest appropriately, as the next trekking days gets a bit challenging. However, we will still climb up a bit above our campsite to prepare for the climb for the next day.
Even today, we will climb up to Stock Kangri Base Camp.
We will require trekking equipment like crampons and ice-ax to do a final climb up a slope at 35-degrees. According to the fitness of the group, we will either go for a one-day climb from the base camp or establish a high field to achieve summit the next day. We will mostly be walking through scree and boulder slopes. Technically, it is not a challenging climb; however, due to the elevation of 6000 meters, it becomes a bit tough. From the top, we get a bird's eye view of Tibet, Indus Valley, and Leh. We will climb down to the Stok Kangri Base Camp, where we will spend the night in camp. If we manage to climb the peak on a single day, we might get a chance to attempt some of the simple mountain trails above our base camp.
From Stock Kangri Base Camp, we descend directly to the upper level of Stock Villages. We move through a field of barley and buckwheat. After arriving at Stok village, we board a jeep to return to Leh. Upon arrival at Leh, we will check into the hotel and rest for the day.
Today, the Markha Valley & Stok Kangri Trek of seventeen days come to an end. We have to get up early in the morning. We will transfer you to the Leh airport to catch an early morning flight back to Delhi. From Delhi, you can board the flight to your next destination.