Leh, Himachal Pradesh, India
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Markha valley trek is one of the most popular treks in Ladakh. The Markha valley trek gives you the real feel of the stark landscape of Ladakh. The popularity of the trek comes from the landscape diversity the trail offers, from deep gorges and huge canyon walls to high alpine meadows where nomadic shepherds rear goats, sheep and yaks. There are multiple entry points into the Markha valley, the most popular one being Spituk, 7 kms from Leh. So if you want to witness the barren landscape of Ladakh and experience Buddhist culture, then Markha valley is the trek for you. Let us tell you why you should sign up for this trek: - You climb on top of two very high passes, Gandala la (4800 m) & Kongmaru La (5150 m) offering stunning views from the top - You get to stay over at the quaint hamlet of Markha which is nothing less than an oasis in this cold semi arid terrain of Ladakh -The trail takes you through remote gorges and vast undulating grazing grounds and it crosses several streams and rivers - It is the perfect trek to experience the Ladakhi culture and way of life up close and personal. - The Trail is good for first timers too - The landscape is picturesque and nothing beats the view of the Kang Yatze peaks towering over you at Nimaling campsite. If ordinary is not a life you choose, then strap on those trekking boots and embark on a journey that you will cherish throughout your life.
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Our journey to Markha valley begins the moment we reach Leh. The best way to reach Leh is to fly down to it directly from Delhi. On arrival in Leh, we check into our hotel and spend the day relaxing and getting used to the high altitude.
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Spend this day exploring the vibrant capital of Ladakh, Leh. Leh is a powehouse of beauty and culture. The market and the streets hustle and bustle with both tourists and locals alike. The local cuisine is lip smacking and there are dozens of monasteries and ancient temples that can be visited. Take the day slow, especially if you have arrived to Leh by flight. Breathe in the fresh air and let your body get used to the altitude, for an experience that will change your life forever will begin tomorrow.
Private Vehicle + Trek
We start early in the morning to Spituk in our private vehicle. Spituk is 7 kms away from Leh and is the starting point of our trek. We follow the dirt road from Spituk, along the Indus River, all the way up to Zingchen. It takes about 2 to 4 hrs to reach Zingchen on foot from Spituk. There are a number of campsites at Zingchen and we will camp here for the night.
It is an easy trek today. The trail criss-crosses a stream flowing through a gorge. We take the wooden bridge to cross the stream and go to the left of the gorge. Further up, we move to the right and cross the stream. This trail heads to Rumbak from Zingchen. It takes about 3hrs to reach Rumbak. About 20-30 min before Rumbak there is a parachute tent. From there we head to our right and take the small wooden bridge across the stream which leads to the valley on the right. A 300 m climb from there, brings us to Yurutse village. We camp besides the lush green barley fields here or stay in one of the 2 home stays.
Cattle rearing at Rumbak
Today is a difficult day with long distances to cover via Gandala (Kandala) Pass. We start early. It’s a 1 hour gradual ascent towards Ganda La Base camp. The next stretch from Ganda La base camp to Ganda La pass is a steep climb of two and half hours. The descent from the Ganda La Pass is steep for the first 20 min. The rest of the descent is a gradual downhill walk. 3 hours of walking brings us to the village of Shingo. From Shingo, we follow the stream Shingri Nala. It’s a long downhill trek on a rocky terrain. Along the trail we see terrain with red, yellow, green and brown rocks. Skiu is situated at the confluence of Shgri Nala and Markha river. Its takes about 3 and 1/2 hr to reach Skiu. We can see a monastery in Skiu, nicely placed. We will visit the monastery and stay at skiu for the night.
Today is another long day of trekking. The trail is well laid out along the Markha River. In some places we find the direction marked by Bharal Horns. We keep going and cross the settlements of Narding, Zara and Chalak, each having parachute tents. Beyond Chalak, we see green barley fields, colorful birds and huge mounds of baral horns. Just before the Markha Valley campsite, is a river crossing. The water level starts to go up later in the afternoon when the sun hits the glacier. From the crossing it takes 30 minutes to reach the beautiful campsite of Markha. The lush green campsite in the valley is in stark contrast to the magnetic mountains.
It's a moderate day for trekking today. From the Markha village, we take the trail that climbs immediately to take us to upper Markha valley. The monastery and settlement on top is a nice spot to capture good photographs. From there, it’s a gradual climb along the side of the Markha river. 2 hours of climbing brings us to Umlung. The trail goes on a ledge over the bank of the river. In two hours, spot the summit of Kang Yissay on our right. The next two dwellings enroute are Tacha and Hankar. A couple of stream crossings bring us to Tacha monastery. There is a tea shop where we may stop by and take a break. Its takes about 2 hrs from tea shop to Hankar. After Hankar a rocky and steep ascent brings us to Thochuntse camp site. Enroute we pass through green wheat fields and finally cross a stream.
It is an easy trek today. It’s a shorter 6 kms trek to Nimaling. 15 minutes from the Thotchuntse campsite, the trail forks. Take the trail to the left. After an hour’s climb, the terrain is smoother, curvier. The climb becomes gradual. One and a half hours into the climb, brings us to a pond where we can fill water. A long walk on a grassy meadow brings us to Nimaling. We see gushing streams on our left with a glacier behind the Kang Yatse and to the right is the Kang Yatse peak. The campsite of Nimaling is in a broad valley and is completely exposed to strong winds. When it snows, the green of the valley turns to a complete white carpet. Yak herders from Hankar Village have temporary stone settlements here in the summer months. We stay the night at Nimaling in our tents.
Trek + Private Transport
The climb to Kongmaru la is steep and difficult. Two things make it difficult. One is the steepness and other is thin air. It is a 2hr climb to Kongmaru la pass which is marked by numerous Buddhist prayer flags. After the initial 500m steep descent the trail follows the course of the stream which meanders through a narrow gorge. We will have to cross the stream at multiple places. There are ways to avoid the stream crossing if we are prepared to climb the trails high above the stream. There is steep downhill hike till Sukarmo. From Sukarmo to Sumdo it is a river bed walk. From Sumdo we get a motorable road to the highway which is about 8 km away. It takes about 2 hours to reach Leh from Sumdo.
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We have kept an additional day for contengencies
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Today we bid goodbye to our team and fly out of Leh
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𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐉𝐎𝐘 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐑𝐀𝐕𝐄𝐋𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘔𝘦𝘨𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘦𝘴, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴? 𝘖𝘳 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘒𝘶𝘵𝘤𝘩, 𝘎𝘶𝘫𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘌𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩? 𝘖𝘳 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘉𝘩𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘯’𝘴 𝘎𝘋𝘗 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦’𝘴 𝘏𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴? The joy of traveling is to wholly immerse yourself into the story of the place that you travel to and we at TGE Travels bring nothing less than that on the table. Our well thought out itineraries give a deeper insight into the culture and history of a place by getting our travelers closer to the local communities, their customs, cuisines and lifestyle. And it goes without saying that we are the queens of finding offbeat locations, stays and activities which we bring out in all our itineraries. TGE stands for The Great Escape and a trip with us is like pressing the “Escape” key from the mundane routine to an exciting and cherishable travel experience 𝐖𝐇𝐎 𝐀𝐑𝐄 𝐖𝐄? Established in the year 2016, TGE travels was founded by Reetu Yadav and Jamila Kapasi, two expert mountaineers who had more than 6+ years of experience in mountaineering and the outdoors. TGE Travels is infact one of the rare travel and outdoor companies wholly owned by women with a vision of adding more women leaders in the unconventional outdoor leadership roles. What started as just a trekking company, TGE Travels has evolved into a more wholesome style of traveling by adding experiential traveling as one of its primary services. Our team at TGE Travels are a bunch of travel experts who want to add a meaning to your excursions. We are a strong unit of on ground team leads, backend supports and partner vendors who work cohesively to make your trip smooth and memorable. 𝐖𝐇𝐘 𝐓𝐆𝐄 𝐓𝐑𝐀𝐕𝐄𝐋𝐒? 𝑺𝒎𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑮𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒑𝒔 Even before Corona, we have firmly believed that traveling in small groups is the best way to form connections and gain experiences. Now more than ever, we are committed to limiting the group size. Our travelers might meet as strangers but we ensure that they leave as friends. 𝑨𝒎𝒂𝒛𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑻𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝑳𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒔 What makes TGE Travels awesome are our team leads. They are the reason why our travelers choose to travel with us again and again. Full of energy and enthusiasm, our team leads are the ones who bring the whole group together. Their energy bounces off our travelers and within no time, the entire group forgets that they were just strangers just sometime ago. But of course, our team leads are also very skilled in handling any situation and ensuring the trip goes as smoothly as possible. 𝑾𝒆𝒍𝒍 𝑻𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝑶𝒖𝒕 𝑰𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 We have spent endless hours brainstorming on itineraries to bring out the unique stories of the place that we travel to. Not only that, while designing any itinerary our team personally travels to the location to identify experiences and off beat locations. We try to provide the best experience within the timeframe and budget and that has made us popular as one of the more thought driven travel itinerary planners. 𝑪𝒉𝒐𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝑹𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕 𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒚𝒔 We select our accommodation partners meaningfully. Our stays should have a story to tell. This encourages us in going beyond the standard hotels and instead delving into a wide range of accommodation options where we can choose from authentic homestays, which to us is one of the best ways to learn about the culture of a place, to beautiful resorts that are situated at the perfect picturesque locations to boutique hotels that are elegant and charming. 𝑺𝒂𝒇𝒆 𝑴𝒐𝒅𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑻𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕 Just like our accommodation partners, we give a lot of importance in choosing the right transport partners. Most of our journey is on road and we ensure our travelers are comfortable in the vehicle. Our drivers become a part of the group and it's amazing to see how our travelers treat them as just one of their own. When it comes to bike trips or Scooty trips, we ensure the two wheelers are well serviced and maintained. Apart from that we always have a support vehicle with us throughout the journey 𝑫𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝑭𝒐𝒐𝒅 Food is an integral part of our itineraries. Hence all meals are planned in advance allowing our travelers to taste the unique cuisines of the regions that they travel to. We encourage our travelers in trying out local delicacies but never hesitate to deliver something comfortable immediately if the local food does not suit their palette. 𝑹𝒆𝒔𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝑻𝒓𝒂𝒗𝒆𝒍 We firmly believe in responsible tourism. Apart from the standard no littering policy, we encourage our travellers to be sensitive to the local communities.
It's always a pleasure travelling with TGE! The one thing I love most is their attention to detail, which ensures that your trip is a memorable one. Travelling with TGE is a wholesome experience, you see the larger more iconic places with no compromise on the little things. Travel with them if you want to interact with the people of the place, eat their food, in short experience their lives. These guys do a superb job of making everyone comfortable and everytime I travel with them I make beautiful bonds with all the other travellers. I would 100% recommend TGE to everyone who has the travel bug. It doesn't get better than this! ☺️❤️
I have known Reetu and Jamila for many years and have worked with them in the past. But this was the first time I decided to travel with them as a participant. When Reetu told me about exploring Spiti in winters I was completely on board. The itinerary sounded exciting and the pricing less. S my friend Manish and I immediately signed up for it. One of the best decisions I ever took. Spiti in winters in beautiful. The 7 days with the team was wonderful. We spent our days driving around the valley and our evenings dancing to pahadi songs. The planning was perfect with utmost care given in the choice of stay and comfort. Of course the highlight of the trip was spotting a snow leopard. Overall it was an amazing trip and I am looking forward to join many more with The Great Escape
Shravan Kumar Poshetty
Should I describe with “perfect planning” / “meticulous coordination”/ “cordial organiser”...might be with all of it.
Flawless execution is what makes them unique and organiser Reetu Yadav has let all of us experience it with her executional capabilities...
Clarity n flow of communication:-5/5
Comfort in Mode of Travel:-5/5
Action in Emergency:- very swift 5/5
Team has proved that its not all about the commercial trip but also the cause which is concealed in their carryings. What we pay at Flemingo Resort at Dholavira goes to educate and for taking care of more than 400 students and their boarding facilities as well.
Its not over yet, you will be pleased to meet the gifted souls from remote villages who are manifested in their respective disciplines like Rogan Art (Hon’le prime minister himself have gifted one to Barack Obama), Wood Art and Bell Art, Textile etc.
You will get to eat the delicious food made out of love from the local (A1 class food).
Off all, well planned itinerary and the execution is commendable. We RoK team who departed on 12th Dec’19 are truly happy with the onsite organiser Reetu Yadav and the offline backbone Jamila Kapasi who took good care of each of us at every stretch.
Their intact affirmative relation and proper delicacy in their execution makes then unique.
My best friend is much impressed with their proceedings and that makes me much happier than ever.
Last but not least, am fortunate to have rest 13 of the participants as part of my extended family. Again the credit goes to TGE.
Kudos to the team and i look for further association with “THE GREAT ESCAPE” ( you have already give our team a great escape from the routine.
Way to go TGE team!!!
Kumar Tarur Parameswaran
Such great detailed planning at micro level and being open and upfront about the tour details impressed me at the very start. They lived up to their promise in every which way.
TGE’s expression of their solidarity towards the cause of the villagers by getting travellers to interact with them in a lively way and help the villagers in their livelihood was one of the primary reasons I chose to travel with TGE.
TGE means immersive experiential travel and what you get in return and come away with are unforgettable lifetime memories.
Looking forward to many more tours with TGE. Reetu and Jamila pull your collars up. Way to go! You will go miles!
The great escape recently took care of my 10 days family trip to Bhutan. We were 9 of us, including 2 kids and 2 elderlies. Each detail of the trip was so beautifully planned and coordinated. Jamila was personally in touch with drivers, hotels and homestay owners to ensure we ar getting the best of experience. We never even had to look for directions, call hotel or tell driver about anything. Everything was already taken care of and we were just the guests in very true sense. Such a wonderful trip it was. Everything was so beautiful including all the places where we stayed.
Much thanks to Jamila and the great escape team to make it work like magic for us!
- 3 nights stay in Leh - Transportation from Leh to Spituk and Shang Sumdo to Leh - Vegetarian meals during the trek. - Sleeping bags and mats - Accommodation in tents/homestays on sharing basis during the trek - Service of an experienced trek leader - Permit charges
- To and fro flights to Leh - Food/Meals in Leh - Personal expenses and tips - Individual mule + Porter charges. NOTE: All trekkers are required to carry their own backpack along with their personal belongings. Porter facility can be availed at an additional charge
HOW TO REACH
31st August, Saturday: Reach Leh in the morning. Either direct flight from Delhi/Chandigarh or road jouney from Manali/Srinagar. Note: If you are traveling by road, it takes an average of 2 to 3 days to reach Leh 10th September, Tuesday: Depart from Leh. Either direct flight early in the morning or by road.
Policy and Terms
CANCELLATION POLICY 20 days before the event start date: No Refund 20- 45 days before the event start date: 50% Refund Before 45 days of the event start date: 75% Refund Do go through our detailed T&C