The Ladakh region of India is known for its awe-inspiring mountains, serenity, and the region’s history of peace. A network of temples, villages, and old trade routes connect the ultra-remote meadows and mountain passes that make up the “summit of the world” Ladakh. Here the valleys themselves sit at thousands of feet above sea level, while the summits themselves rise above even 25,000 feet, making them the highest in the entire world. The sight of these giants resting in a labyrinth of glaciers and ridgelines is as dramatic as it gets.
Ryder-Walker’s India: Markha Valley Trek visits the most remote and unique settings in this mountain wonderland. We stay in 5-Star camps, which are complete with full service, home-cooked food, and even amenities like nightly movies. Our journey along the Markha valley is true trekking complete with ponies and Sherpas, which allows us to visit locations that only a few people on earth will ever get to see. Our journey begins in the culturally rich cities of Delhi and Leh and then follows the picturesque Markha Valley deep into the Himalayan Mountains. Highlights include the village of Markha – one of the only permanent settlements in the entire region, the walled Umlong Monastery, and views of Kang Yatze the highest peak in the Markha region.
Ladakhi culture is a unique variation of Indian culture. A mixture of Indian culture, Buddhist and Islamic religion, and the influence of smaller alpine cultures create a rich and storied people that have lived in the region for hundreds of years. Buddhist temples and monasteries mark holy sites along the snaking ridgelines of the Himalayas, while only a few permanent villages and towns exist along the high valley floor of the Markha valley. Ladakhi food is delicious and approachable for westerners, while it is less spicy than other Indian cuisines, it has numerous unique and delicious dishes – a favorite is curries and dumplings. Leh, the capital of Ladakh, is a history-rich city with many museums, fantastic restaurants, and lovely mountain hiking just outside the city limits.
Overall, the India: Markha Valley Trek through Ladakh is the ultimate mountain experience. Visitors will immerse themselves in the true peace of the mountains in rarely traveled valleys, enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the Ladakhi people, and visit remote monasteries as pilgrims have done for centuries. The Stok Palace of Leh shows visitors the true cultural depth and beauty of Ladakh, while remote villages such as Markha provide a contrast that only the great heights of the Himalayas can provide. For those that want a deep trekking experience and the chance to explore some of the least visited alpine meadows and passes in the world, the Markha Valley Trek offers an experience that cannot be replicated.