Archive for the ‘Markha Valley Trek’ Category

The morning was pleasant not giving a trace of hard cold night. Sun was dancing in his usually glory like nothing has happened. We were happy because it was our last day of trek, away from civilization. All were looking forward for a hot shower and soft bed with a warm blanket. 

It was a crazy trail and Tiffin was unstoppable. He started walking and he never stopped.

Finally at the top, Kongmaru La, 17,100ft. One place where you can get the phone signal on this trek. Mind blowing scene from the top must say.

The descend was crazy and dangerous. One had to be very careful, one wrong foot and…

The flowers were always comforting with their bright colors and smile.

Marmot came to see us.

Saying bye in style.

When Rigzen saw mountain goats, he started climbing almost vertical near by mountain with so much ease, we all stood and watched dumbstruck. He got a closure picture and came back running like he had done that million times while he held our breath saying “hope he wont fall”.

When we saw the steep trail we were scared, one wrong foot on other side we were in ditch with broken neck and spinal cord. “Nothing going to happen, just see the trail and walk, dont be scared, I am right behind you” Rigzen kept on saying while we walked in tortoises pace. “I dont want to die hear god, not like this, I cant die here, my dad will kill my already dead body”.I was praying continously.

One of the awesome un-stoppable trekker. Nothing could hold her back, not the steep trail or the heavy bag.

In midst of the the crazy dangerous ascend I didnt stop capturing the colors. They were soothing our turmoil mind.

Wild goats, out bounty for the day.

This was one of the dangerous ascend. Nobody liked the idea but when Rigzen confirmed that other way is not accessible we were forced to do the unthinkable.

Oh yeas, it was dangerous and difficult. Not easy at all.

Kishore missed a step and slipped, luckily nothing happened.

I call him superman. He could walk miles tirelessly, he carried others bag and walked with a smile, always entertaining us. Never seen anyone like that. 

Snake like never ending trail.

Water was so sweet, pure and clean, nothing could beat its taste.

All were so exhausted, for our every “how far”, little further is the reply we got from Rigzen.

Finally!! we did it, completed the trek slow but steady. After walking 16KM, dead tired, many didnt had the energy to pose for a final group pic. Our journey had come to an end, after a wonderful time together, away from all technology, traffic in the mountains. Tomorrow by dawn most of them were travelling back except me, the impact the trek and trek mates had on each other was different.

Renu, Sara, Father-son duo had a major impact on me. “You cant be always polite and kind” Renu’s advice made me wonder while “You are such a darling” followed by a hug from Sara made me realize how fortunate I was to meet such a lovely ladies, pretty, sexy, cute , caring, loving and total bad ass. Super cool IIT big brains Chandhar sir and his cute little obedient son are perfect example of how father-son should be. 4 best buddies and hard core-never tiring super girl will be remembered non the less

When we bid our farewell that night , I knew one can never get such a lovely trek mates, unique in their own way, of all age group. I dont know how many of them will remember me but I will remember all of them whenever I think about mountains.

To Be Continued

It was fine day to start the trek. Energy pumping Subhash was leading again with his besties. Sara stumbled and  realized we didn’t say our prayer. “Lobo, my darling come here, will say our prayer before we break few bones”. We were on .

Wild goat horns

All became pro in crossing the water streams in no time.

Father son duo.

Ever energetic trek leader and trek guide.

Break time that means it pee time 🙂

As usual mules over took us.

Super cool kitchen staff, flaunting their killer moves and six packs.

Pretty grandma with her donkey

Tea break. “The seven-up is just to admire from a distance, Its just for display” Subhash was saying. The guy had a point. Like always I was the only one to laugh. 

Ever smiling Suresh 🙂 

Coffee with grandma.

Mountain though you have multiple choices.

It was scenic all the freaking time.

“Hey Lobo, you keep on changing your outer jacket from fleece jacket to wind sheet and Poncho, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have a swim suit in that small back pack of yours”. Like always I laughed while others just smiled. Only Subhash could say such funny dialogues and I just loved  his witty spirit.

Sri’s classic pose. He was boneless, always falling with his bag whenever wherever possible.

Share food share love.

This was cafe, run by only women. When we saw Dolka, we went bonkers seeing her beauty. She is so pretty we, women just stared at her while men clicked pics and started hitting on her :). It looked like good god took years to create her, such beauty she was. Beauty from the mountain untouched by the world.

Dolka with her mom and her aunt. 

Pawan said, these were the ruins of a old Palace which existed ages ago.

Experts started examining the ruins, cooking the story behind it.

Quick break to relax and quench the thirst.

The great Rigzen

Motivating messages were really soothing.

Finally our campsite. When we reached , it was already 2 o’clock. In spite of having packed lunch, kitchen staff served us hot lunch again. Bless them all, food was so delicious and good, we couldnt help ourselves from the second serve.

Arent they look cute 🙂 

I dont know why I remember Good  Samaritan proverb every time I see this pic.

As sun was setting down, we geared up for acclimatization. So our killer poses began

Jump high reaching the sky, only I can do it, Pawan.

Colorful jump but I should look pretty, Renu.

Let me do other way around, Pawan.

Anything for a cool Insta pic, Sri

Slow and steady, I have to look cute though, Sara.

I agree, I wasnt keeping well in the beginning but now I am a unstoppable man, Raju.

You buggers dont know how to do it, Rigzen.

We were 13,100ft high. Sun disappeared with promise to rise the next day .We were already freezing singing the song “its cold, its cold”.

Soup, oxygen level check followed by dinner, we were all set in our thermals to go to bed. I dont remember seeing the sky with stars but yes, it was cold but pleasant night.

To Be Continued


Beautiful view in the morning, never realized sky is so blue. I was happy too, finally I could poop, it was so relaxing I never felt I could feel that way. Some of them still couldnt poop “Still no luck, I am worried now. I eat so much wonder where it is piled up”. 🙂 I didnt dare to laugh. Meanwhile no one cared about the night fart sound. I giggled whenever I heard them but never dared to fart in public. 

Our darling kitchen boy. Water was icy cold wondered how he manged to wash all those vessels.

Fresh and energetic, yep that’s how we looked at the beginning of the day.

MouLee’s oxygen was very low and he was shivering mildly. Previous evening when Pawanji check his oxygen level after the soup, it was below 70. 

“Do you want to continue or go back?”

Moulee just looked, he didnt answer. He didnt had the proper trekking gear, no stamina and no previous trekking experience not sure why he opted the trekking in first place. He looked very much unprepared but group always encouraged him, motivated him.  “He can make it:,”No he should go back”, everyone had their own opinion, MouLee had to decide because it was his call.

Most of the time due to drop in Oxygen level , trek guide send the trekker back and its painful site to watch . They would have dreamt  the summit, would have exercised and spent a lot of money to be there. 

When Pawanji checked Mou Lee’s oxygen level after the breakfast, that day it was very low, so to avoid the future complications Pawanji decided to send him back. “Take this bar, take care of yourself ” I said my good bye so did everyone in their own different ways. As he was occupied he couldn’t join us for the group pic one last time. We started our trek without saying formal bye to him, Rigzen was leading and Pawanji stayed back to look after the arrangement to send MouLee back

It was almost 11 when we could see Pawanji catching up with us “I sent him, my god, his oxygen level was very low, had to give him emergency oxygen. Hopefully he will reach back safely ” He explained us everything in one breath. 

Mountains, mountains and more mountains.

You can find all sorts of colors, pink, purple, white, yellow, blue…

DO EPIC SHIT, stranger from the trail.

Sri never sat he always leaned to one or other thing with his monster bag. As Stupa is holy he was requested to move from there, Sri apologized and found another place to lean on. When you are visitor be like and visitor and respect the culture, peoples sentiments.

Ever cool Chandhar sir.

Kitchen staff and mules always started after us and reached before us 🙂

Ever energetic kitchen staff.

We were told we have cross couple of streams in upcoming days and have to keep slippers handy, when we saw the stream we were like “wow”

When mules go wild in wild.

Eating Musk melon on the trail, it was totally a different feeling. Thanks to Rigzen and the kitchen staff.

The cute little munchkins from the mountains. 

“Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Math 6:29

One of my favorite my-click.

Once left

Once right

And then Straight up.

There was a old school adjacent to our camp side in Markha. When we reached the camp side, all curious kids came to see us and Rigzen chased them around. 

I asked his name and he said something which I couldnt get it so to keep it short and sweet I started calling him “Chingu”.

Renu had got some nice, yummy bar chocolates which were not very sweet, Chingu picked one, took a bite, made a weird face and throw it to the ground and jumped on it while Renu watched with horror. She had taken lot of pain to carry those chocolates, in no time Chingu just kicked the chocolates butt showing its no big deal.

Markha School

You are always “WELL COME”

Dining tent. There is one craziest chair, no matter whoever sits on it they topple and we laugh our lungs out.

Its acclimatization time.

Markha Village view from the top.

Shomonata Monastery

Pawanji posing with his friends.

The curious mules

“Look, the mountain goats” Pawanji shouted, all could see them bearing the same color that of mountain except for me. I have to put finger inside my eyes rub and ask “Where?I cant see them”.

Killing mountain goats is prohibited, government have installed cameras and if any body gets caught are prosecuted as per Leh’s law .

Most of them could spot right away,  “Where?” I was still searching “There, see, right front of you”. When I almost gave up I spotted them, happy ending for my 4 eyes.

Our kitchen tent, the food was always delicious and yum, we could serve n number of times only on one precondition “no wasting”.

Some mule riding in the evening.

As soon as we were back from acclimatization all started playing cricket which ended with Tiffin’s “Bumro Bumro with heavy steps. I never felt I am away from home even for single second.

Soup, oxygen level check, dinner, camp fire and then bed, it was a long day

To Be Continued


A crazy mule was crying whole night like it has possessed with some mountain daemon, keeping us awake most of the night. It was almost dawn when the tired mule shut its mouth and let our eyelids close for a brisk hour or so. Otherwise it was like paradise, quiet and beautiful most of all peaceful in midst of nowhere surrounded by mountains ,streams and humble people.

As our ritual, we clicked group pick before starting our trek to Sara, after having ravishing breakfast with multiple serves. Kitchen stuff was so good and humble, they were always looking after us.

We kick started our trek, Sara called me aside and said “lets pray”. So it begun, Sara’s and mine ritual, Sara would say few things about how the trek has been so far  followed by watch over us, protect us, our father and three Hail Mary’s. I was glad I had someone with whom I could pray. Yes, we continued this till the last day without fail.

Ladaki women are so pretty and down to earth.

Pawan said she isnt keeping well so she had to cut down her trek, we didnt ask her, its painful when you have drop the trail ahead of you and come back.

Looks like they are already bored of us.

Pawan have completed Stok Kangri so many times, still he leads trek groups on regular basis. One of the best TTH, trek leader. On other hand Rigzen is mountain man, fearless, strong.  He have climbed almost all near by mountains Kang Yatse, Stok Kangri and many more. He organized Chadar trek as well in winter. He is your man if you are looking for a fun loving mountain man in Leh.

While Rigzen was leading the group Pawan always followed us at the end, making sure all are doing ok.

Bunch of old but crazy folks. It was one heck of a trek with them. If not for them it wouldn’t have been the same.

Alibaba and 40 chor is all I could think about it.

The Shaggy dog followed us and was very happy to see us.

If you want to destroy the evil you need to fight and defeat it.

Then pray for more power to almighty so that you can be a superhero.

Sri was total fun, I found a great millennial friend who is learning machine language in his free time.

Mou Lee followed us with his own speed, Pawan was always with them making sure he is doing ok.

Apparently this place is cafe run by women only, it wasnt open for the season yet.

The four best friends for life. They all had a different but unique bond. We couldnt believe Raju was leading with Subhash, looked like he was back in his form. When Tiffin and Kishore lagged behind Subhash stayed back and encouraged them. I loved his jokes and laughed like crazy all the time.

Our boiled-potato break spot. 

Mules carrying kitchen items and our bags. They always started after us and reached before us

No it doesnt look like the mountains is farting the white gas,rather it looked like mountains were smoking Maui-wowie early in the morning.

The crazy lad wanted do push-ups on the rock,nonetheless  we captured the epic moment while his dad just watched, how cool is that.

Sara smilingly said “Sara welcomes you all to Sara “


Camp site

After having hot lunch, bless the kitchen staff, we were sun-bathing with Fench Babe as Sri called himself at the moment.

Acclimatization was always fun.

Pic talks itself, PC: RS

Toilet tents few feet away from out tents. I used the open nature to wee whenever I could, hiding behind the bushes and disappearing behind the trees. It was my second day without pooping, I was restless like many others. After having the dinner when I walked towards the toilet, so one was singing so I called out. Sri was in may be constipated like me.

“Hey Sri, you gonna take long time”.


“May be I will wait here “


“We had such a lovely day today “

“hmmm”. it  sounded like he was in pain

“Hey Sri, you ok .”

“Dude, let me concentrate and finish my business”.

“My bad Sri, see you later”

It was cold that night but peaceful so could catch up my beauty sleep right away.


To Be Continued 



Markha valley trek day 1 kick started with light gyan and the group pic. Couple of hours drive from Leh and then couple of hours walk to Skiu, which was our final destination for the day

Photography is prohibited 🙂 yes, I am that annoying Indian tourist who once in a blue moon break the rules.

That is Indus flowing as lazy as possible.

The best bees. Luckily Raju recovered and was able to make it, in fact we was leading the trek with his friends cracking jokes and laughing all the time.

Mogli as Sara used to call him.

Our super fit trek leader Pawan

Sexy and sleek. All you have to do is be there and roads lead you wherever you want

Magnetic Hills.

Sangam where Indus, pretty, quietly glowing with green meets vigorously flowing dirty Zanskar. In winter Zanskar will be frozen and people trek on the frozen surface famously known as Chadar trek.

“BRO At Your Service”. When we read this we felt Leh is so cool. Cool people have so cool encouraging statements. “Its like Indus joins Zanskar and they flow together to Pakistan , Indian saying coolly  “bro” at your service”(some Sri logic) this is what Sri had to say after reading this for 5 times. With their mind blowing road signs I felt Leh is super cool and totally YO. It was later, when I was my extended trip I realized BRO stands for:Border Road Organization. When I messaged and told Sri about his incorrect cooked up story he laughed. Some stupid logic for stupid people which makes that stupid moment epic.

Pawan is hard core trekker, mountaineer with our gorgeous ladies.

River rafting in Zanskar. I soo wanted to try.

Starting point of river rafting

Many more to go. Coolest road sign you can find are all in Leh

Leh’s Super Man. I think nothing can stop Regzen. Born in Skiu, I havent seen anyone who can carry so many bags and walk. Down to earth, he is very smart and judging the trekkers. Very humble and helpful. If he is your trek guide, man your trek going to be LEGENDARY!

Our first stop for the day. Museum where craftsman still use old traditional ways

Sri had complained that he is running short of good profile pictures and I solved his problem in no time.

Mountain goat horns

And the skilled craftsman

Its toilet:). They dug a deep pit with a hole, over which you have squat and aim it making sure whatever business you do it goes down through the hole and then dump little mud on it like cats.

Our packed lunch for the day.

Yummy yummy lunch and tummy full.

And it begins

First break of many  🙂

With his crazy-monster bag Sri was always lying down type wherever we stopped for break

The colors will lift your spirit in no time.

That’s tiffin aka fart king. One of the coolest person I ever met. He got famous nick name “tiffin” becasue no matter where we was he always carried his tiffin box(lunch box) filled with rice, sambar, curds and veggies and spread it over a plate without caring anyone.

Our trek leader and trek guide. They are smart and always observant. Rigzen picked up the plastic bottles he found on the way.

And finally we met the trekker who enrolled at the last minute. We used to call her army girl as her dad is serving Indian army. She have completed mountaineering course couple of years back. She is very passionate, strong trekker who was always second in line.


More stupa’s

They say whoever comes to Leh becomes a professional photographer and is so true.

Shaggy Dog

Some catching up with school teachers

And then some catching up with the three pupils:)

Pretty Dolma

Like her dad Dolma started walking and never stopped but she was observant. She always maintained the pace

The shaggy dog followed the guy in yellow.  He was always in the lead. Whenever his friends were tired he stopped with them and encouraged them. He is the glue which held all four them them very tightly. I laughed my lungs out listening to his jokes while others just smiled.

Our camp site.

Against everyone’s warning “You will wet your shoes, break few bones, its just first day of the trek” zup  Sri leaped crossed the stream. “So how you gonna come back now?” his dad was asking him in all his mighty coolness while I was imagining if my dad was in his place by now he would have whacked and I would be busy wailing from top of my voice.

No Sri didnt lose his calm. He listened to his dads instruction while we all waited to see whether he will wet his shoes or not.

no he didnt