Embark on an exhilarating journey through the enchanting landscapes of Ladakh with our meticulously crafted 15-day adventure.
From the moment you touch down in Delhi, you’ll be transported to a realm of awe-inspiring beauty and cultural marvels. Your voyage begins with an early morning flight to Leh, where the majestic Himalayan panorama will leave you spellbound. Take your time to acclimatize to the high altitude, while exploring the charming Shankar Monastery and the serene Shanti Stupa. Traverse the Indus Valley, visiting iconic monasteries like Hemis, adorned with ornate gold statues and priceless Thankas, and the imposing Thiksey Gompa. Behold the grandeur of Shey Monastery and its captivating 17.5 m Maitreya Buddha.
Embarking on a thrilling trek, set forth from Spituk, the gateway to the Markha Valley. Your journey into the heart of Ladakh’s rugged terrain is a gradual ascent, passing through picturesque Rumbak and Ganda La Pass with breathtaking vistas. Traverse the stunning landscapes, crossing rivers and discovering hidden villages like Skiu and Markha, each with its own unique charm and ancient monastic legacies. As you press onward, marvel at the towering Kang Yatse Peak and find respite at Nimaling’s tranquil pastures.
A rest day at Nimaling offers a chance to acclimatize further, setting the stage for your crossing of the dramatic Gongmaru La Pass. Prayer flags flutter in the wind as you stand at 5100m, gazing upon the panoramic Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges. Descending into the Indus Valley, rejuvenate at the Churikimo campsite, nestled near a soothing hot spring.
As your adventure draws to a close, follow a clear track through Shang Sumdo village, relishing the final moments of your trekking odyssey. Return to Leh for a well-earned respite, exploring the town’s wonders at your leisure. Your journey culminates with a return flight to Delhi, leaving you with cherished memories of Ladakh’s stunning landscapes, rich heritage, and the indomitable spirit of the Himalayas.
Trek Region: Ladakh – Indian Himalayas.
Best Season for trekking : June to September
Total Duration: 15 Days
Trekking days: 9
Trek grade: Moderate
Max altitude: 5100 m
Leh: Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, Leh is a high-altitude desert town that serves as the gateway to Ladakh. Its breathtaking landscapes and Tibetan-Buddhist monasteries, such as Shankar Monastery and Shanti Stupa, offer a serene introduction to the region’s spirituality and natural beauty.
Hemis Monastery: This iconic monastery, set against a stunning backdrop of mountains, is a must-visit in Ladakh. Home to impressive gold statues and priceless artifacts, Hemis Monastery is not only a spiritual hub but also a repository of Ladakh’s rich cultural heritage.
Thiksey Gompa: A remarkable 15th-century monastery belonging to the Gelugpa order, Thiksey Gompa stands as a towering architectural wonder. Its impressive murals and sculptures provide insights into the region’s religious and artistic traditions.
Shey Monastery: The former royal palace of Shey houses a magnificent 17.5-meter tall copper and gemstone-studded statue of Maitreya Buddha. The intricate craftsmanship and historical significance of this monastery make it a fascinating stop on the journey.
Skiu Village: A quaint village along the Markha River, Skiu is a charming pitstop where trekkers can experience local Ladakhi culture and hospitality. Its ancient Skiu Gompa adds a touch of spirituality to the serene surroundings.
Nimaling: Nestled beneath the towering Kang Yatse Peak, Nimaling is a breathtaking high-altitude pasture. This tranquil haven offers trekkers a chance to rest and acclimatize, surrounded by awe-inspiring Himalayan scenery.
Gongmaru La Pass: Standing at an elevation of 5100 meters, this pass offers panoramic views of the Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges. The fluttering prayer flags and sweeping vistas make it a spiritually uplifting and visually stunning experience.
Churikimo: Located near a rejuvenating hot spring, Churikimo provides trekkers with a unique opportunity to relax and unwind in nature’s embrace after their challenging mountain journey.
Shang Sumdo Village: As the trek nears its end, Shang Sumdo offers a glimpse into the lives of the local residents. The village’s simplicity and the warmth of its people provide a fitting finale to your adventure.
Detailed Itinerary: –
Day 01: Arrive Delhi – Met on arrival at Delhi and transferred to your hotel for overnight stay.
Day 02: Delhi – Leh – Early in the morning, you will be transferred to airport to board your flight to Leh. Passing over many Himalayan mountain ranges, this Trans Himalayan flight is one of the most spectacular and breathtaking flights in the world. You are advised to take rest during the day for high altitude acclimatization. In the afternoon, proceed for short sightseeing of Shankar monastery and Shanti Stupa. Walk back to your hotel through busy and colourful Leh Bazar.
Day 03: Leh – Enjoy full day sightseeing of monasteries of Indus valley. Visit Hemis Monastery – built on a hillside surrounded by spectacular mountains, Hemis is the biggest and the most important monastery in Ladakh. This wealthiest monastery contains gold statues and stupas decorated with precious stones and many priceless old Thankas. Also visit Thiksey Gompa – one of the most imposing monasteries belonging to the 15th century, the monastery belongs to Gelugpa order (Yellow sect). Before returning to your hotel, visit the beautiful Shey Monastery – a former Royal Palace. There is a 17.5 m / 58 ft high blue haired Maitreya Buddha of copper, brass gilded and studded with precious gemstones.
Day 04: Leh – Spituk – Jingchen (Trek starts. Night stay in tented camps)- Drive to Spituk in the morning. Spituk is one of the starting points for Markha Valley trek. Here you will meet your trekking crew and horsemen. Visit Spituk Monastery and start your first day trek to Jingchen. It is important that you take today slowly in order that you acclimatise well. Cross the bridge over the Indus River and continue along an undulating path following the left hand bank of the Indus until it meets with the Jingchan River.
Day 05: Jingchen – Rumbak – Initially follow the river which flows from Stok Kangri (6121 m / 20082 ft) then trek gradually up to the camp near Rumbak. Rumbak is situated about 1 km below Ganda La Pass (4820 m / 15814 ft).
Day 06: Rumbak Ganda La – Shingo – Follow a good path along the right hand side of the valley, through Yurutse (4180 m / 13710 ft) then take the right hand fork in the path and ascend up to yak pastures where there are Buddhist chortens (shrines). Trek steeply up to Ganda La Pass (4800 m / 15748 ft). If conditions permit, you may wish to climb higher from the pass. There is then a long, easy descent down to Shingo where you will camp for the night.
Day 07: Shingo – Skiu – Trek south through a narrow gorge. You will have to cross the same river several times for about 2 hrs until you reach the Markha River. This confluence is marked by Skiu Gompa (3380 m / 11090 ft). Start heading east along the river for about 1km until you reach Skiu village where you will camp for the night.
Day 08: Skiu – Markha – Continue to follow the river along the stunning valley to Markha. You will pass through the little settlement of Chaluk (3620 m / 11875 ft) before descending into the valley floor. Ascend briefly up to the pretty town of Markha where there is an impressive Gompa and derelict fort. Camp here near the river.
Day 09: Markha – Nimaling – Leave the campsite at Markha and head up to the main valley. You will have to cross the river a number of times. Pass the monastery of Humlung (3850 m / 12630 ft) which you could stop to visit and also look out for Kang Yatse Peak (6400 m / 21000 ft). Pass through the Hankar settlement (3980 m / 13057 ft) which is one of the highest settlements in the Markha Valley. The valley will start to narrow and increase in altitude before one final river crossing taking you to the pastures at Nimaling where you will spend the night.
Day 10: Nimaling – Rest day to aid acclimatisation before crossing the second pass. Mt Kang Yatse dominates the background of this beautiful pasture of Nimaling.
Day 11: Nimaling – Kangmaru La – Churikimo – Trek over Gongmaru La Pass at 5100 m / 16730 ft. The pass will be marked by numerous prayer flags and you will be able to look onto the spectacular views of the Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges to the north and south. Descend down on other side of the pass into the Indus Valley. The trek descends steeply through a narrow gorge before opening near a hot spring at Churikimo – our camp site for today.
Day 12: Churikomo – Hemis – Leh – There is a clear track which you can follow along the valley and over a bridge into Shang Sumdo village (3450 m / 11318 ft). Drive back to Leh for a well deserved rest!
Day 13: Leh – Day at leisure. You can spend the day exploring Leh town
Day 14: Delhi – Leh – Early morning, you will be transferred to airport to board your return flight to Delhi. Met on arrival and transferred to your hotel for overnight stay. Remainder of the day at leisure. (Optional: You can visit monuments of Delhi in the afternoon on direct payment)
Day 15: Depart Delhi – Transfer to airport in time for your departure for onward destination.
End of Tour
FAQs about the Tour
Question: What is the starting point of the tour?
Answer: The tour begins in Delhi, the capital city of India.
Question: How do we reach Leh from Delhi?
Answer: You will take an early morning flight from Delhi to Leh, providing stunning views of the Himalayan mountain ranges during the journey.
Question: What makes Hemis Monastery special?
Answer: Hemis Monastery is the largest and most significant monastery in Ladakh, renowned for its gold statues, precious stones, and priceless Thankas, showcasing deep spiritual and cultural heritage.
Question: Could you elaborate on the Markha Valley Trek?
Answer: The Markha Valley Trek is a multi-day adventure through picturesque villages, river crossings, and high mountain passes, offering a unique immersion in Ladakh’s natural beauty and local culture.
Question: What experiences can we expect during the trekking part of the tour?
Answer: The trek encompasses varied terrains, river crossings, visits to ancient monasteries like Skiu Gompa, and awe-inspiring passes like Ganda La and Gongmaru La, creating an unforgettable exploration of Ladakh’s rugged landscapes.
Question: Is acclimatization considered in the tour plan?
Answer: Yes, the itinerary includes rest days and gradual altitude gain to ensure proper acclimatization to Ladakh’s high altitudes.
Question: What are the highlights of Leh town?
Answer: Leh town boasts Tibetan-Buddhist monasteries like Shankar Monastery and Shanti Stupa, as well as the captivating Shey Monastery with its towering Maitreya Buddha statue.
Question: Why is Gongmaru La Pass notable?
Answer: Gongmaru La Pass, at an elevation of 5100 meters, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges, accompanied by fluttering prayer flags that enhance the spiritual experience.
Question: Is the tour suitable for beginners in trekking?
Answer: The tour requires a moderate level of fitness due to the trekking involved. While not overly strenuous, having some prior trekking experience would be beneficial.
Question: What items should I pack for this tour?
Answer: Recommended items include warm clothing, comfortable trekking shoes, a high-quality backpack, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a water bottle, and any personal medications or essentials you may need.
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