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Travel number: 33
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Adventure Tour on the highest Roads in India with a Trekking Tour through The Markha Valley

14 days Himalaya Trekking, Multi Active Cultural Tours

Reiseverlaufskarte zu Adventure Tour on the highest Roads in India with a Trekking Tour through The Markha Valley

Number of participants: from 2 people

Requirements: 4 von 10

The Marka Tal Trek is not particularly difficult, only the height to be covered can cause us problems due to the low air pressure. For the bike tour down from the Kardung La you do not need any special mountainbiking skills.

On this fifteen-day adventure tour we are travelling by jeep and on foot  through the Himalayan regions Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The ever-changing landscapes, small traditional villages and spectacular Buddhist monasteries characterize this journey. The highlights are probably the five-day trek through the Markha valley as well as the downhill descent by bike from the highest pass in the world, the Kardung La.

Of course you can book also only The Markha Valey Trek itself, please inquirer.

Day 1 Manali to Keylong (87 km/ 6 hours)

First, it goes over the spectacular 3980 m high Rothang Pass and thus out of the green Kullu valley and into the high mountain desert of the Lahaul valley. With the crossing of this pass, the landscape changes abruptly and the first 6000 meters high snow-capped peaks rise up. It always goes along the Chandra River past small villages, potato and pea fields to the district capital Keylong. Here is the last permanent market on our trip to Leh. We can use the afternoon to see the following sights:

  • Gondla (18 km),

    Located on the right side of the Chandra River, the great fort is an imposing appearance

  • Kardang (5 km),

    the largest monastery in the area, is in possession of large prayer drums, which the monks play during their ceremonies. You can also visit paintings, antique weapons, instruments and large statues of Buddha.

  • Shashur (3km),

    a gompa nestled against the mountains is about 600 meters above the valley. (Overnight stay at the hotel) -/-/-

Day 2 Keylong to Lake Tsokar (165 km/ 7 hours)

Today we first cross the Baralacha Pass (4820 m). Then we cross the temporary tent city of Sarchu. It is the focal point of the Manali-Leh Highway. Continue up the 21 Gataloops (21 narrow turns), up to Nakeela La (4780 m) and a few kilometers later over our first 5000 m high pass: the Lachung La (5065 m). Now the road is reached down to Pang. Nevertheless, this section of the route is purely scenic, probably the most beautiful on the whole trip: rugged rocks of red rock, interesting shaped patterns on the slopes, small bridges… In Pang we take a short break and can taste a salted Buddhist butter tea. Now the most pleasant 40 km come. Almost straight along the plateau: on the right and left the mountains rise gently. Shortly before Tanglang La, the highest pass on the route to Leh, we turn on a bumpy path to our luxury camp near the beautiful salt lake Tsokar. The lake invites you for a walk! (Overnight in a luxury tent) B/-/ D

Day 3 Tsokar Lake to Leh 5 hours

Today the last stage starts by car: At the beginning we cross the Tanglang La (5360 m) and then we cross the first small villages of Ladakh. It goes through Rumtse and Upshi, where we have to check your passport one last time. Then we drive on to the Hemiskloster to visit it. Continue to Thiksey Gompa until we finally reach Leh. (Overnight stay at the hotel) D/-/-

Day 4 Leh

Today we visit Leh’s main attractions, including the Shanti Stupa, the Stok Palace and Museum, and Leh’s Old Town. The afternoon is free for independent exploration of the city or for shopping. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 5 Start of trek through the Markha Valley: Chilling to Skiu 3-4 hours

Please Note: the entire Trek is also as a homestay trek for a lower rate possible, please enquirer)

We drive by jeep to Chilling. During the trip we see the confluence of the rivers Indus and Zanskar. Here we cross the Indus and follow the Zanskar for about 2 to 3 hours. Then we have to cross the Zanskar River by means of a small cable car. Here our horse guide with his horses is already waiting for us. After crossing a small pass, it is an easy hike to Skiu. (Overnight in a tent) B/L/ D

Day 6 Skiu to Markha (7-8 hours)

We follow the Markha River and have to cross it again and again. As we walk through the lovely valley, we encounter winter settlements with religious shrines and mani walls (stones with Buddhist prayers). During the high season there will be many small tea tents with refreshments. After crossing the river for the last time, we reach the largest village in the valley: Markha. It consists of 20 houses, an old monastery and a fort in ruins. (Overnight in a tent) B/L/ D

Day 7 Markha to Thachungtse (5-6 hours)

On the path we pass old stone mills, a crumbling castle and the fabulous gompa of Techa. The monastery stands proudly on a cliff above Markha. If you have the energy, you can visit the monastery. After passing the village of Umlung, we can enjoy the first view of the mighty Kang Yatse (6400m). It will remain in our field of vision until we cross the Kongmaru La. After having lunch in Hangkar, the last village of the valley, we continue to the green village of Thachungste. (Overnight in a tent) B/L/ D

Day 8 Thachungtse to Nimaling (4 hours)

Today we will hike to the beautiful plateau Nimaling. Here the locals bring their herds to graze during the summer months. At an altitude of 4700 metres, Nimaling is the highest camp on this trek. From here we have a spectacular view of the Kang Yatse, the Zanskar mountain range and the Markha valley below us. (Overnight in a tent) B/L/ D

Day 9 Nimaling to Shang Sumdo via Kongmaru La (7 hours)

After a hearty breakfast we will cross the Kongmaru La (5200m), the highest pass on this trek. From here we have a magnificent view of the surrounding valleys and mountains. The two-hour descent is relatively steep, but will become flatter as soon as we reach the Shang Gorge. It has a strange and strange-looking rock formation. Until we reach the acidic spring of Chuskurmo (it was used in the traditional medicine of the Alchi Ärtzte), we have to cross some rivers again. We pass some villages until we reach Shang Sumdo, the end of our trek. Here we are taken from the jeep back to Leh and can stop at the Hemis Monastery (overnight in the hotel) B/L/ –

Day 10 Leh to Uleytokpo (70 km/ 6 hours)

After our trek we continue a little further by car towards Kashmir on the highway to Jammu. On the way to Uleytopko we visit the Basgo Palace as well as the famous monasteries Liker and Alchi. We can take a short walk in Uleytopko. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 11 Uleytokpo to Lamayuru back to Leh (170 km/ 8 hours)

Today we drive to the famous Lamayuru Monastery. It is one of the oldest monasteries from the 10th millennium and is spectacularly built on the rocks. In the afternoon we drive back to Leh. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 12 Leh to Deskit to Hundur (120 km/ 6 hours)

It goes up the Kardung La Pass, the highest pass in the world (5600 m) and drive into the fascinating Nubra valley. In Deskit we visit the monastery. It continues to Hundur. We can take a walk around the beautiful village as well as visit the sand dunes and take a ride on the camel. (Overnight stay in the luxury camp) B/-/D

Day 13 Hundur to Panamik to Leh (180 km/ 10 hours)

Today we visit the hot springs in Panamik as well as the Samstanling Gompa. Later we go back to Leh via the Kardung La Pass. Who likes, can go down to Leh with the mountain bike. Warm clothes are necessary. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/L/-

We enjoy the last evening of our tour together. (Overnight stay at the hotel) B/-/-

Day 14 End of our tour

You will be taken to the airport. B/-/-

included services:

  • 8 x overnight stays in the typical middle class hotel with breakfast
  • 2 x overnight stay in a luxury camp with breakfast and dinner
  • Tour in innova vehicle or equivalent vehicle with driver
  • all fees and permits
  • 1 day mountain bike
  • During the trekking tour:
  • 4 x Overnight in a 2-man tent with full board
  • Mountain guide, cook, horse guide with load horses, helpers
  • Kitchen tent, sleeping tents, toilet tent, sleeping bags

(also possible as homestay trek with a discount, please enquirer)

non-included services:

  • Tour escort (only local Guide during the trek and driver for the tour)
  • Arrival in Manali/Departure from Leh (can be arranged)
  • Visa

This tour is possible from June to August

for 2 participants from 1350 Euros per person, price decreases with number of participants!

Region

We are located in the middle of the Himalayas in the Federal District of Himachal Pradesh and in Ladakh.

While the green Kullu valley, from where our tour starts, is relatively densely populated by predominantly Hindus, it is getting drier, higher and lonelier in the direction of Lahaul and Ladakh. The people in the high mountain desert are Buddhist and there are countless ancient monasteries that invite you to visit.

While in the southern area of Himabal it can rain heavily, especially during the monsoon season, rainfall in Lahaul and Ladakh is extremely rare. The temperatures range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius during the day, at night it can get quite cold, even below freezing point.

Dangers

During the trekking tour we are constantly in the mountains at an altitude between 2000 and 6000 meters.

Even if we work with trained mountain guides and take all measures on our mountain tours to counter emergencies, we can never rule out dangers in the mountains. Time and again there can be weather changes, landslides (especially during the monsoon season) or accidents and you should always be aware of this.

Due to climatic conditions or organisational reasons, we reserve the right to change the tours in the suburb as it is safest for all involved.

Accommodation

We will accommodate you in typical and clean inns and deluxe camps with bathrooms.

About trekking in the Indian Himalayas with Chalo! Travels

  1. Mountain guide and trekking team

On all our treks we have at least one (for larger groups of 6 participants two) trained local mountain guide. Our mountain guides have all completed at least the Indian mountaineering training, many of them have also completed the advanced courses.

They are familiar with the trekking routes and know the terrain excellently. All our mountain guides speak English.

In addition, there is a local team consisting of a cook (if the group consists of only two participants, the mountain guide also takes over the tasks of the cook), helpers, horsemen with horses or Nepalese porters, depending on the type of trek.

All our team members have been working with us for years, are very friendly and always strive to provide our guests with a great trekking experience. Their English (besides of the Guide) is rather mediocre or non-existent, but this is not necessarily a hindrance to communicating with them.

Trekking routes

The trekking routes are designed according the skills of our guests and are all feasible for a person with a good fitness level, unless otherwise mentioned. The daily routes are between five and eight hours long (with breaks) and an average increase of around 500-800 metres of altitude is completed.

In between, rivers may have to be crossed. The paths are partly well developed, but sometimes also almost non-existent. On our trekking routes there are hardly any villages in between, so we will take enough food for the whole tour.

On our treks we cross passes, snow or glaciers. On steep slopes, we have safety equipment with us.

Daily routine (Depending on the length and intensity of the trek, the times may vary)

7: 00 am Get up with Tea

7:30-8:30 am Breakfast

7:00-9:30 am Dismantling of the camp

8:00- 9:30 am Start Trek

1:00 pm Lunch on the way

3:00-5:00 pm Arrival at the camp and camp construction

3:30-5:30 pm Snacks

7:00 pm Dinner

Altitude and altitude sickness

Altitude sickness is a very important topic that should not be underestimated, especially during our trekking tours in the Indian Himalayas. At altitudes above 3500 m, our body has to slowly get used to the low air pressure, which also causes less oxygen to enter our lungs. The first signs of altitude sickness are headaches, which are accompanied by dizziness, nausea, insomnia and loss of appetite. It becomes problematic when water accumulates in the lungs and brain and edema occurs. Then only the immediate descent to lower altitudes will help. To prepare for the heights on our treks, we will either spend a few nights at high altitudes before the trek or slowly ascend during the trek to acclimatize. If we notice that there are problems with our guests (each person is otherwise able to acclimatize, regardless of age, gender and fitness level), it may happen that either the entire group or the concerned participant descends/returns with a team. In addition, it makes sense to take an emergency drug for altitude sickness. For this, it is best to consult the pharmacy or the travel doctor. For certain treks we will also have oxygen with us.

Luggage

Each trekking participant is responsible for his own clothes and personal belongings. Depending on the trek, we are either  with horses or porters. If we have load horses, one bag per participant can be loaded onto the horse. In the case of treks with porters, all personal luggage must be carried independently. Tents, sleeping bags, mattresses and food are carried by our porters.

For trekking tours with horses, a day backpack with space for the lunchbox, a water bottle and warm overcoat clothing should be taken with you. Here to the complete packing list for our trekking tours.

Meals

During the trek there will be a vegetarian full catering. Water is either boiled or we have a water filter with us.

Breakfast (daily selection):

  • Coffee/Tea
  • Oatmeal porridge/muesli/cornflakes/Indian porridge
  • Indian breakfast
  • Sliced fruit/vegetables

Lunch (mostly lunchbox), sometimes warm in the camp

  • Sandwiches/Indian (rice, chapati, vegetables)/potatoes
  • Juices
  • Chocolate
  • Fruit

Snacks

  • Tea/coffee
  • Cookies
  • French fries/Indian snacks

Soup

Dinner (depending on the length of the Trek mix of Indian/Chinese/Continental)

  • Vegetable dish
  • Lentil dish
  • Rice/noodles
  • Chapati
  • Salad
  • Dessert

Accommodation and camp

We have very comfortable and spacious two-man tents. Our mattresses are practical but simple if there are problems with sleeping on hard surfaces, please take your own mattress with you or order from us. Our sleeping bags are freshly washed and have a very good quality with comfort zone up to -5°C/extreme zone up to -20° C. It is recommended to bring personal indoor sleeping bags.

In addition, we have a spacious dining tent with tables and chairs, a kitchen tent for the team and a toilet tent. For treks up to 4 people, the kitchen tent can also act as a dining tent at the same time.

For trekking tours with porters, we will take our smaller, lighter tents with us and do without a toilet tent.

(this Trek is also as a homestay Trek at a lower rate possible)

Weather

In the Himalayas, temperatures fluctuate widely. While it can get warm up to 25°C during the day and the sun is not only warming, but also very intense (sun protection is a must), it can also cool down significantly below the minus-grade at night, especially in the months end of September and October, as well as in June. There may also be weather changes with snow on the passes.