It is not difficult to explain why Markka Valley is the most sought after trek, considering its popularity with trekkers. Located between the Zanskar and the Ladakh region, this valley runs parallel to the Himalayan range. The trail deserves all the fame, as you will find out soon!
The trek will last about five to eight days long; depending on the route you take. The longer the route, the more fun you can have. Also known for being a ‘tea house trek’, this trail gives you the chance of ascending the top of two very high passes – Gandala La (4800m) and Kongmaru La (5150m). You can let your eyes feast on some of the breath taking views that the valley has to offer. Trekking in an arid cold desert valley is bound to give you access to plenty of stunning sights! The trail has exciting river crossing sections on the Markha River, leading to villages that will give you a glimpse into the Tibetan culture.
The initial days will be spent for acclimatization, so that you can savour the rest of the trip. In the meanwhile, you can see the place unravel itself with its beautiful forts, monasteries, museums and much more! The refreshing green fields and willows make the perfect backdrop for you, if you’re one of them photography enthusiasts.
The trek starts from Spituk, along the Indus River, all the way up to Zingchen. The trail will lead you to the Rumbak Village, where you can set up camp in the barley fields that make you step into an older era. Then Ganda La awaits you with a steep climb and exquisite views, after which you’ll head to the Shingo Village. You can sweat it out further with a hike to the much awaited Markha village. The place welcomes you with its soothing greenery and delightful aromas of the earth. With the trail coming to an end soon, don’t miss out on the magnificent view of the Kangyatze Peak (6400m).
After this, you’ll cross the highest pass – the Kongmaru La (5200m), which will leave you with a breathless view and some wonderful sights of Nun Kun in the West and Saser Kangri to the North. Since this is the last most exciting bit of the trail, cherish it for a while longer, before you head to Sukarmo and then back to Leh.
The charm of this place is worth every minute of your precious time. The best season to make the trek would be mid-June to mid-October, as the following months are too either too frozen or too sunny. But whatever it is, if you’re travelling to Leh, and you love trekking; then this trail is something that you shouldn’t be missing out on!