Detailed Itinerary

Day 14  Reru — Padum:

After breakfast we will start at Reru and finish at Munè. It is an easy walk around 6 km and will take about 3 hrs to Munè with beautiful views of great snow mantled silvery peaks. Our jeeps will be waitingyoung monks playing tuba pipes for us to drive us to Padum. Enroute, a short distance away, we will stop and visit the important Bardan Gompa, which is on the way to Padum.
Bardan Gompa: Bardan Gompa celebrates a festival on the 15th day of the fourth month of Gertsa (usually the first week in June), and features spectacular Cham Dance with masks. This is a major Zanskar festival that takes place in the summer; Hemis festival in Ladakh takes place at the same time. After visiting the Gompa we will continue and drive to Padum. Overnight in a small guest house, with basic facilities (if available - no advance booking!) or in our own tents.

Day 15  In Padum:

This will be a rest day, to explore Padum town and get organized for the second part of the trek. approaching Zaskar in the distancePadum forms the District Head Quarters of Zanskar, is the main town with a few Muslim hoseholds, but the majoity is Buddhist. Back in 1973 when Ladakh was still closed to any foreign traffic, it consisted of less than 30 households and less than 150 inhabitants! Now it is a small town with more than 500 inhabitants and has even a small street with some shops. It remained almost cut off from the rest of the world till around 1974 when the first tourists were allowed to travel there.
It once used to be the ancient capital of three provinces of Zanskar.  In the reign of Senge Namygal in the 16th century, Zanskar entered a treaty and thus fell under the control of the Ladakhi Monarchy.  During the wars with Tibet this allegiance dissolved and the royal families of Zanskar divided into the Palaces at Zangla and Padum.  During the Dogra invasion of the 1830’s many of the Zanskar villages were destroyed and the region once more reverted under Ladakhi influence.

Day 16  Padum – Karsha Gompa – Pishu:

(altitude 3600 m | 11 km | 6 hours)
This day we will jeep it across the huge central Zanskar plain. The picturesque Karsha Gompa can be seen clinging to dark jagged cliffs across the Stod river. This Gelukpa monastery is the largest of Zanskar. The confluence of Stod and the Lungnak rivers below Karsha, gives birth to the Zanskar river. Our drive is dominated by the Nun and Kun Range around Padum -  ice, snow and rocky peaks.campspot
After visiting the Gompa we shall head for Pishu. The trail goes down toward the tiny village of Rinam and then follows the broad Zanskar river to Pishu. The villages with cellular shaped fields spill across alluvial plain, peaks tower on the other side of the valley. You will find the lovely campsite just below the main village after 5 to 6 hours of walk.

Day 17  Pishu – Hanumil:

(altitude 3690 m | 12 km | 6 hours )
A quiet walk on the sand beaches beside the Hanumil river is a welcome contrast against the deep gorges and the stark prominent,, geological features around us. Overnight in camp beside the idyllic river.

Day 18  Hanumil – Snertse:

(altitude 3750 m | 13 km | 7 hours )
The trail leaves the river and climbs up the Parfi La 3900m and goes all the way down to cross the Zingchen bizarre valleys and canyonsTokpo. After crossing the rudimentary bridge there, we  climb once again to the sparse pastures to the north of Snertze. Overnight in camp.

Day 19  Snertse – Lingshed:

(altitude 3820 m | 12 km | 7 - 8 hours )
The trail is going up through narrow gorges with clear water. Before reaching  Hanuma-La (4700m), we will cross a very dry yellow valley surrounded by strange hills. From the pass, we will discover great scenic view of the now deep and far way Zanskar valley. The beautiful Lingshed Gompa looking majestically down to the village. Overnight in camp.

Day 20  Lingshed – Base of Senge-La:

(altitude 3860 m |13 km | 6 - 7 hours )
The day begins with an easy climb to the Murgum La 4100 m. The other side offers a gentle descent to the village of Gongma 3840 m and the trail then climbs once again to the stark rocky camp at the base of Senge La. Overnight in camp.

Day 21  Base of Senge-La – Photoksar:

(altitude 4350 m | 8 km | 6 hours )
A steep but short climb will brings us to the Senge-La 5020 m. The trail will follow the Photang valley and goes to the Bumiktse-La 4200 m. Photoksar is a village lying in a canyon, at the base of a huge mountain, with remains of an abandoned Gompa. Overnight in camp.

Day 22  Photoksar – Hanupatta:

(altitude 3600 m | 7 km |6 hours)
The last slopes of Sirsir-La 4800 m are quite steep but the views of the two valleys award us for our efforts to reach the top of the pass. In this wide region, marmot calls and whistles can be heard. A beautiful valley brings us to the lovely campsite at Hanupatta. Overnight in camp.

Day 23  Hanupatta – Wanla:

(altitude 3570 m | 8 km |  6 hours )
The narrow trail will cross the most incredible beautiful gorges showing varieties of colors. Soon after going outside the gorges, Phenjila village is reached with apricot trees growing on the slopes aroundbizarre valleys and formations the village. Wanla village is dominated by an old castle and a Gompa. Overnight in camp beside the river.

Day 24  Wanla – Lamayuru – Leh:

(altitude 3600 m | 5 km | 4 hours)
After a short walk, we will leave the main valley and enter a narrow and dry gorge going up to the Prinkiti-La 3726 m. Then an easy descent to the ancient monastery of Lamayuru. The Gompa holds a rich library of ancient Tibetan manuscripts.
Our Jeeps will pick us up here and drive us to Leh. Check-in and overnight in hotel in Leh.

Day 25 In Leh Sightseeing:

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing of Leh Monasteries. First the 40 km distant famous and richest Hemis Leh Palace at nightGompa. On the way back we'll visit the Thiksey Gompa located 25 km from Leh. It is a very imposing monastery and one of the finest examples of Ladakhi architecture of any type. The 12 story building contains numerous stukpas, statues, tankas and wall paintings as well as a large pillar engraved with the Buddha's teachings. The main prayer hall has a 50 ft. high seated Buddha figure. Later on we visit Shey Gompa situated on a hillock overlooking the vast Indus valley 16 km south of Leh and was once the residence of the royal family.
Note: The Hemis trip is not included in the Leh Markha Trek as the trek finishes at Hemis and can be visited then. Overnight in hotel in Leh.

Day 26 Leh — Delhi:

Very early in the morning, after breakfast transfer to the small airport in Leh and board the 1 hour 20 min. flight for Delhi. The flight offers a full panoramic view of the Northern Himalayan Range. To the west lies the Korakoram with K2 and Nangaparbat and the Siachun Glacier. Arrive Delhi and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the afternoon has been planned as free for individual activities in Delhi. In the evening visit a farewell typical Indian dinner in Old Delhi. Overnight in hotel.

Day 27 To Agra — Taj Mahal — Delhi or Free in Delhi:

We shall today start early and travel by first class a/c train to Agra and visit the Agra Fort and last, but not the least, the marvellous Taj Mahal built by the Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth in 1631. taj_mahalThe death of Mumtaz left the emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned grey overnight. A perfect exercise in symmetry, the four identical faces of the Taj feature vast valued arches embellished with pietra dure inlay (developed in Italy and the Mediterranean) work and quotations from the Quran. Light is admitted into the central chamber by finely cut marble screens. The physical tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are in a locked basement room below the main chamber.
Some people may not want to make use of this trip and but can always stay back and can use it as a free day in Delhi to explore the city, go hunting for souvenirs on your own. Return fom Agra to Delhi and overnight in hotel.

Day 28 Departure:

Early morning transfer to Indira Gandhi International Airport, to board the flight for onward destinations!