Considered to be one of the most popular and scenic Ladakh treks, Markha valley is situated in the eastern part of Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Markha valley is known for its panoramic views, its Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and remote villages. The valley is a huge favourite among trekkers due to its easy accessibility from Leh. The Markha village is situated in between Rumbak and Nimaling and is home to a long-abandoned, picturesque fort. Beyond Nimaling lies the Kongmaru La, the highest part of the trek.
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The bewitching attire of the Ladakhis
The trek is challenging and is meant for trekkers who have experience when it comes to higher level of difficulty. Markha Valley is named after the Markha River, a tributary of the Zanskar and like most treks in the valleys in Ladakh, the route to Markha begins from Leh. The trail begins from the lower Markha Valley, which later ascends to the alpine grass lands. The Markha valley offers several proofs of Ladakh’s old civilization in the form of ruins of castles and forts. Crossing streams and rivers plus hiking for long hours in the cold desert is an experience of a lifetime. The area once abounded with snow leopards and wolves. Currently the numbers of snow leopards and wolves have dwindled. Kang Yatse situated in Markha Valley on the top of Nimaling Plateau, is a beautiful peak which is its prime attraction.
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At 4700 m, Nimaling is the highest camp site, presenting breath-taking views of the Kang Yatse. After crossing the Ganda La, which is situated at an elevation of 4870 m, the path follows the Markha River and climbs through barley and mustard fields and a few charming Ladakhi villages. One can enjoy incredible views of the Karakoram, the Himalayas and Tibet from the top of the highest pass- the Kongmaru La at a height of 5200 m. The Markha Valley trek ends with a spectacular walk down a gorge to Hemis Monastery, India’s wealthiest monastery. You can also visit the Hemis National Park which is home to the elegant snow leopard, the blue sheep and the ibex. There aren’t too many places to stay in Markha Valley except for a few homestays. There are no eateries in the region so. remember to carry enough food for the trip. The best time to visit Markha Valley is between the months of July and October.
Photograph courtesy: Magda&Mackej/Creative Commons
BEST TIME TO VISIT LADAKH
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Ladakh is as given below. The best time to visit Ladakh is also specified.
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