One of the most beautiful valleys from the Land of high passes (Ladakh), Markha Valley is not just a magnificent valley surrounded by snow capped peaks and Markha river which is a tributary of Zanskar river flowing in the middle of the valley. The villages are extremely welcoming making it an amazing experience for the travellers. Markha Valley which is situated admist the Hemis National Park, can be accessed either through Spituk or from Skiu. It is a couple of hours of drive from Leh.
The villages of Skiu, Sara and Markha has small old homes offering homestays to the travellers. Markha village also has an old Monastery that one can visit.
Reaching Markha Valley involves reaching Leh and then a bit of a drive followed by 2-4 days of trekking. Every bit of it is not just adventure, it also involves a lot of cross culture learnings and experiences.
About the Outing
The Markha experiential travel covers both the leisure destinations in and around Leh along with experiencing the remote lifestyles of the people of Markha valley, their cuisine, their hardships and their culture. The idea of showing that part of the world is to show the families (especially kids) what minimalistic lifestyle means and how happiness is more about being together and being humble. The evening chats with the locals will add so much value to our daily chorus once we are back. There are so many things that are taken for granted in our day to day lives, these experiences are simply an eye opener.
In this trip, we will be visiting the Monasteries around Leh, some more touristy locations like, Hall of Fame, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace etc. The following 4-5 days, we will be spending away from the chaos in the calm Markha Valley region, the people and culture.
Day 1 & 2: Acclimatize & Sightseeing Tour
Fly to Leh and reach Leh by Noon. Check into a hotel and relax. The first 2 days for any trek in Ladakh region are extremely important. These 2 days will ensure that you trek and enjoy the Markha Valley trek to the fullest. Flying into Leh brings you to an altitude of 10000 ft+. Therefore, it is of immense importance that we get ourselves acclimatized.
On day 2, we can explore the market of Leh as well as go for some sightseeing (Thiksey Monastery, Leh Palace and the famous Shanti Stupa)
Day 3: Drive to Skiu
Drive from Leh to Chilling. Chilling is a small village along the road from here we will start our trek to Skiu. We will cross the river today using a bridge to reach the other side of the river. The entire terrain will be snow covered by now. With a few ascends and descends, we will reach the village of Kaya first followed by Skiu. Check into the homestay and relax.
Day 4: Skiu to Sara
It is the most scenic walk today. With a completely frozen Markha river on our right, we will also experience how it is to walk on Chadar as we will get few long stretches on this frozen river. With almost a fairy-like view, it is a absolute delight. We reach Sara village. Sara village is a small village with about 10 or 12 homes and may be about 2 of them offering homestays but it sure is worth staying at Sara.
Day 5 & 6: Sara to Markha village
As we continue on our trek, we might come across some ibex, some extremely rare birds and if we are lucky, we might spot a snow leopard as well. We cross an old wooden bridge before making our way to the Markha village through a pass. Although, it is also a small village, Markha has its own ancient Monastery and a school. Spend the night at Markha in a homestay. We will also have a phone line facility here at Markha.
We will spend 2 days in Markha village experiencing the local lifestyle, cuisines, culture and do day hikes to explore Markha village.
Day 7: Markha village to Skiu & drive to Leh
After having explored, the Markha village, we will start retrace our steps back to reach Skiu. Everything would have changed with the continuous snow fall and our trek back will therefore be an exciting one as well. We reach the Skiu village and then drive back to Leh.