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Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh – Just do it!

Written by Poorna & Brinda

Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh Himalayas. We did in August last year. We urge you to do it this season. We will tell you why……

We always wanted to trek in Ladakh. First time when we were there in 2010, we were apprehensive as it was the first visit to the Himalayas. In 2013, we went to Kashmir for the “Lake trek” but could not do it due to heavy rains in the mountains. Instead we stayed in Kashmir and later used the time to do the lovely trek to Triund in Dharamshala.

Last year, we decided early that we would trek in Ladakh. Since we had not done Srinagar – Leh road trip we decided to fly to Srinagar and then take a taxi from there to Leh. We kept few days at our disposal to acclimatise ourself before we started the trek.

Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh is a trekker’s dream. We say so because

  • You get a chance to see some of the mesmerising landscapes in the world.
  • You gradually climb the height allowing all the time in the world to get acclimatised.
  • It does not require any mountaineering experience.
  • It is spread over 6 t0 8 days which means you will walk an average of 12-13 KMs a day at heights above 13,000 feet, which is not easy but not very difficult either.
  • You have an option to watch Ladakhi life style by staying in their homes.
  • You will walk along gently flowing Markha river.
  • You get some of the excellent food in wilderness!
  • You will get to experience how fickle mountain weather can become!
  • You will find why mules are the best friend of man in Mountain.
  • And there’re very few Indians doing this. More about it later.

We will stop talking and allow these pictures to enthuse you to plan Markha Valley trek this season. Click on the pictures to see them in larger size.

March Valley Trek, Ladakh

The start. The mules go first.

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

Chortems along the route provide a nice contrast to landscape.

Markha Valley

……and quiet flows Markha river amidst spectacular landscape

Markha river, Ladakh

Brenda and Sachin walking along the river bed….

Markha river Valley Trek, Ladakh

Do you like to have lunch here? One of the places were we had lunch!

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

Prayer stones along the way. We need a lot of prayers to complete the trek!

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

Our camping area next to the river. Isn’t this lovely!

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

The first view of Kang Yatse peak

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

The landscape is phenomenally beautiful!!

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

Another beautiful landscape……

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

We had lunch on the bank of this lake with Kang Yatse peak (21,000 Ft) in background.

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

On top of Kongmaru La, the tallest point on the trek @ 17,500 feet

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

The view from Kongmaru la!

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

We climb down now and walk through some mind blowing gorges!

How do you feel now? Charged up? Go now!

Conclusion

This is just a teaser from us. Markha Valley Trek is still crowded by Europeans.  Very few Indians go there. Let us end with an anecdote.

While walking on day 3, we met two middle-aged monks on the way. We exchanged pleasantries. They seemed to be surprised to see us.

“Indians”, they asked

“Yes” we replied.

“We only see foreigners on this trek. You are one of the rare Indians we have seen on this route”

They were true. We never saw any Indians during our trek. Most of the trekkers were Europeans.

It is time to go there before it gets crowded.

We will come back with detailed posts on our trek experience. Please stay tuned.

Postscript 

We acknowledge the help and guidance of ace mountaineer and Photographer Sujoy Das when we planned this trek. Stanzin Thimden who came as a guide but has remained frowned for ever. We did the trek with Dream Ladakh who were excellent.

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About the author

Poorna & Brinda

We are Brinda and Poorna from Bengaluru, the “Silicon city” or “Garden city” of India.

We travel together. We caught the travel bug 20 years back. On our honey moon, we traveled over the sea, in the train, by bus and in an aircraft! Our adventures probably started in that year. It continues, ever since.

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