August 15 – September 2, 2016
From New Delhi, India
Overview: Join us for this challenging and inspirational trek though "little Tibet." The trek consists of remote, rugged hiking over two major passes on the high–altitude plateau north of the Himalayan range. It is appropriate for experienced hikers in good health. There will be some exposure on the trails and bridge crossings. Be prepared for "roughing it" as conditions are as variable as the topography. Our trek dates begin August 15, 2016 from our starting point in New Delhi, India.
This moderate trek offers an unforgettable opportunity to enjoy unspoiled Tibetan culture against the backdrop of magnificent scenery. Ponies carry our gear and our staff prepares savory meals. There will be time to relax and sightsee in Leh before and after the trek. This isolated area has only been open to outsiders for about twenty years and is infrequently visited due to its location near the border between India, and Tibet. Although careful to retain their cultural heritage, the Ladakhi people are open and friendly to visitors.
Leadership: Our Trek Leader is Amber Tamang. Amber is from a small village in Nepal's Solu Khumbu region — so small it's not on most maps! He researches Himalayan culture and religion and has published articles in Nepali and English. Amber began guiding with Himalayan High Treks in 1995, introducing trekkers to the wonders of Nepal, Tibet and India. He is now a group leader and Nepal Manager. Those who've traveled with him praise his patience, kindness and articulate English as he enthusiastically describes Himalayan mountain culture and Buddhist people. Amber and his family live in Kathmandu.
Pre Trip Days: Fly to New Delhi, India.
Day 3: Today we have an early morning transfer to the domestic airport for our flight from Delhi to Leh (11,496 feet). The spectacular show is outside the window as our flight takes us over the main Himalayan range and onto the Tibetan plateau. As soon as you land you can tell the difference. The air is clear and cool and people are relaxed and friendly. You'll hear the welcoming Ladaki greeting "Julay! Julay!" We'll transfer by car to our comfortable guest house located on the outskirts of Leh in a neighborhood called Changspa.
Day 5: Sightseeing by car. We'll visit Shey, (the old capital of Ladakh), Thiksey Monastery (architecturally impressive), and the Stok Palace Museum. Ladakh or "La–Dags" means land of the high passes. It is one of the last strongholds of Mahayana Buddhism — the principal religion of Ladakh for the last millennium. Buddhism has been brutally repressed by the Chinese in Tibet for the last forty years. Ladakh became a part of India with independence in 1948, following the first of three wars waged between India and Pakistan. China annexed a large portion of Ladakh in a war fought with India in 1962.
Day 12: Following the Markha River, we pass clusters of mani walls and chortens. We'll enjoy wonderful views as we amble upthe valley. Following the main trail through Humlung village and past its monastery, we'll arrive at Hankar, the site of impressive fort ruins. Soon after, we'll leave the valley to climb gradually. We'll follow a stream to the village of Tahungtse, camping in the nearby pastures at 13,620 feet. Total hiking time today is 5–6 hours. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15: Continuing our decent, we arrive at the village of Shang Sumdo — a short two to three hour walk along an easy path. Vehicles will be waiting there to drive us to Leh. We stop on the way to visit Hemis Monastery — home of the famous Hemis Festival in June. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 18: An all day excursion to the Taj Mahal in Agra is our main event today. We take the train (Shitabi Express) early in the morning for its three hour trip to Agra. We'll visit the Taj Mahal — the famous Moghul monument constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Our tour includes a visit to Fatehpur Sikri, an abandoned Moghul city. Our return is again by the Shitabi Express which arrives back in Delhi at 10 PM. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
PostTrip Departure: Return travel home. Those in the Americas typically arrive home the same day with the reverse travel across the International Date Line.
The Markha Valley Trek • Administrative Details:
(+) Land Cost (land cost as itinerary has described):
(+) In-Trip Airfare Estimate (air during itinerary program):
+ $0 USD
(=) Total Program Cost (Land & In-Trip Air costs combined):
= $2880 USD
Trip Deposit (submit with application):
Single Supplement (optional single accommodation):
Maximum Group Size:
Other Cost & Need Considerations:
Passport, Visa(s), Physicians Visit, Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance, Travel to/from New Delhi, Meals Beyond Above Itinerary, Beverages, Spending/Personal Money.
Moderate: Usually involves hiking an average of four to six hours each day — with some trekking time being spent at high altitude. Accommodations consist of evenings spent at tea or guest houses and tent camping along the trail.
May 15, 2016 ($100USD late fee thereafter)
The Markha Valley Ladakh Trek Printable Itinerary:
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