4.1 / 5

Sandhan Valley

📍 Sandhan Valley, MaharashtraView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:November to March

⏰ Open Hours:24 hours, but daytime trekking recommended

🏞 Things To Do:Trekking, Rappelling, Camping, Bonfire, Star Gazing

💰 Budget:Free entry, budget for trekking/camping equipment, guide fees, food

🧳 Traveller Types:Adventure Seekers, Nature Lovers, Photographers

🔍 Known For:Deep narrow rock floored ravine, natural gorge, adventure activities

🚉 Distances:From Pune Railway Station- 183km, From Mumbai Airport- 183km, From Ahmednagar Town- 82km

🍽 Food:Limited food options, advisable to carry own food & water

🎒 Tips:Wear comfortable shoes for trekking, carry a torch and warm clothing

🚁 Accessibility:Accessible by road, nearest railway station is Igatpuri

📶 Connectivity:Poor mobile network connectivity, recommend downloading offline maps

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Sandhan Valley: A Thrilling and Scenic Trekking Destination in Maharashtra

Are you looking for an adventurous and memorable getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life? Do you want to explore a hidden gem that is full of natural beauty and excitement? If yes, then you should definitely consider Sandhan Valley as your next destination.

Sandhan Valley is a deep and narrow canyon carved by water between two mountain ranges in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. It is also known as the Valley of Shadows or the Valley of Suspense, as the sun rays cannot reach the bottom of the valley, creating a mysterious and enchanting atmosphere.

Photo of Sandhan Valley 1/2 by
(C) Revv

Sandhan Valley is not just a place to admire the nature, but also a place to test your physical and mental endurance. The valley offers a thrilling and scenic trekking experience that involves walking through the rocky terrain, descending through the cracks, sliding down the boulders, crossing the water pools, and rappelling down the cliffs. The trek is suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers, as it has different levels of difficulty and duration.

If you are interested in visiting this amazing place, then read on to find out everything you need to know about Sandhan Valley, such as how to reach, when to visit, what to do, where to stay, and what to expect.

Also Read About Kanj's Solo Trek to Sandhan Valley

What is Sandhan Valley Trek

Sandhan Valley trek is one of the most popular and adventurous treks in Maharashtra. It is also one of the most unique treks in India, as it involves traversing through a narrow canyon that is 200 feet deep and 2 km long.

The trek starts from a village called Samrad, which is the base camp for the trek. From there, you have to walk along the ridge of the mountains, enjoying the panoramic views of the valley and the surrounding peaks. You will also pass by some ancient caves and rock formations that add to the charm of the trek.

The real adventure begins when you enter the valley from a small crack. You will have to descend through the crack using ropes and harnesses, which is an exhilarating experience. You will then have to walk through the valley, which is filled with rocks, boulders, water pools, and streams. You will have to slide down some rocks, jump over some gaps, swim across some pools, and crawl under some boulders. You will also have to rappel down some cliffs, which is another thrilling activity.

The trek ends at a village called Dehne, which is the exit point of the valley. From there, you can either return to Samrad by road or continue to Asangaon by rail.

The Sandhan Valley trek can be done in two ways: a one-day trek or a two-day trek. The one-day trek covers only half of the valley and takes about 5-6 hours to complete. The two-day trek covers the entire valley and takes about 10-12 hours to complete. The two-day trek also involves camping overnight in the valley, which is a wonderful experience.

How to Reach Sandhan Valley

Sandhan Valley is located near Bhandardara region in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. It is about 180 km from Mumbai and 220 km from Pune by road. The nearest railway station is Kasara, which is about 75 km from Samrad village.

You can reach Sandhan Valley by road or rail from different cities in Maharashtra and India. Here are some of the options:

By road from Mumbai: You can take a private car or a bus from Mumbai to Bhandardara via Igatpuri. From Bhandardara, you can take another bus or a taxi to Samrad village. The journey takes about 4-5 hours.

By road from Pune: You can take a private car or a bus from Pune to Bhandardara via Sangamner. From Bhandardara, you can take another bus or a taxi to Samrad village. The journey takes about 5-6 hours.

By rail from Mumbai: You can take a local train from Mumbai CST or Dadar to Kasara station. From Kasara station, you can take a shared jeep or a taxi to Samrad village. The journey takes about 3-4 hours.

By rail from Pune: You can take an express train from Pune Junction to Kalyan Junction. From Kalyan Junction, you can take another local train to Kasara station. From Kasara station, you can take a shared jeep or a taxi to Samrad village. The journey takes about 5-6 hours.

Best Time to Visit Sandhan Valley

The best time to visit Sandhan Valley depends on your preference and purpose of visit. The valley has different charms in different seasons and months.

Winter (November to February): This is the most ideal time to visit Sandhan Valley, as the weather is pleasant and cool, and the water level is low. This makes the trek easier and safer, and also allows you to enjoy the views of the valley without any fog or mist. The winter season also offers the best opportunity for camping and stargazing in the valley, as the nights are clear and cold. However, this is also the peak season for Sandhan Valley, so you may have to face some crowd and higher prices.

Summer (March to May): This is the least recommended time to visit Sandhan Valley, as the weather is hot and dry, and the water level is high. This makes the trek harder and riskier, and also reduces the visibility of the valley due to dust and haze. The summer season also offers the least opportunity for camping and stargazing in the valley, as the nights are warm and humid. However, this is also the off-season for Sandhan Valley, so you may have to face less crowd and lower prices.

Monsoon (June to October): This is a mixed time to visit Sandhan Valley, as the weather is wet and humid, and the water level is moderate. This makes the trek challenging and adventurous, but also requires more caution and preparation. The monsoon season also offers a different perspective of the valley, as it becomes lush green and full of waterfalls. The monsoon season also offers some opportunity for camping and stargazing in the valley, as the nights are cool and breezy. However, this is also a risky season for Sandhan Valley, as you may have to face landslides, flash floods, leeches, and insects.

Also Read: Short Hikes and Treks near Mumbai

Sandhan Valley Trek Difficulty

Sandhan Valley trek is a moderate to difficult trek that requires a good level of fitness and stamina. The trek involves walking through a rugged terrain that has steep ascents and descents, narrow passages, slippery rocks, deep pools, and high cliffs. The trek also involves some technical skills such as rappelling, which requires proper training and equipment.

The difficulty level of the trek depends on several factors such as:

The duration of the trek: The one-day trek is easier than the two-day trek, as it covers only half of the valley and takes less time. The two-day trek is harder than the one-day trek, as it covers the entire valley and takes more time.

The season of the trek: The winter season is easier than the summer or monsoon season, as the weather is cooler and drier, and the water level is lower. The summer or monsoon season is harder than the winter season, as the weather is hotter or wetter, and the water level is higher.

The experience of the trekker: The beginner trekkers may find the trek more difficult than the experienced trekkers, as they may not be familiar with the terrain or techniques. The experienced trekkers may find the trek less difficult than the beginner trekkers, as they may be more comfortable with the terrain or techniques.

The difficulty level of Sandhan Valley trek can be rated as follows:

One-day trek in winter: 3/5

One-day trek in summer or monsoon: 4/5

Two-day trek in winter: 4/5

Two-day trek in summer or monsoon: 5/5

Sandhan Valley Trek Itinerary

Sandhan Valley trek itinerary varies depending on whether you choose a one-day trek or a two-day trek. Here are some of the possible itineraries for both options:

One-day Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Samrad village by road or rail from Mumbai or Pune by early morning. Have breakfast at a local restaurant or homestay. Start the trek from Samrad village by 8 am. Walk along the ridge of the mountains for about an hour until you reach a small crack that leads to the valley. Enter the valley from the crack using ropes and harnesses. Descend through the crack for about half an hour until you reach a flat area where you can rest for some time. Continue walking through the valley for another hour until you reach a big rock that blocks your way. Slide down from the rock using ropes and harnesses. Walk for another hour until you reach a point where you can see a waterfall on your left side. This is where you end your trek. Have lunch at a nearby campsite or homestay. Return to Samrad village by road from Dehne village by evening. Depart from Samrad village by road or rail to Mumbai or Pune by night.

Two-day Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Samrad village by road or rail from Mumbai or Pune by early morning. Have breakfast at a local restaurant or homestay. Start the trek from Samrad village by 8 am. Walk along the ridge of the mountains for about an hour until you reach a small crack that leads to the valley. Enter the valley from the crack using ropes and harnesses. Descend through the crack for about half an hour until you reach a flat area where you can rest for some time. Continue walking through the valley for another hour until you reach a big rock that blocks your way. Slide down from the rock using ropes and harnesses. Walk for another hour until you reach a point where you can see a waterfall on your left side. This is where you end your trek for the day. Set up your tents near the waterfall and enjoy the evening with some snacks, bonfire, and music. Have dinner at the campsite and sleep under the stars.

Day 2: Wake up early in the morning and have breakfast at the campsite. Resume your trek from the waterfall by 8 am. Walk for about an hour until you reach a pool of water that is about 4 feet deep. Swim across the pool or use a rope to cross it. Walk for another hour until you reach another pool of water that is about 6 feet deep. Swim across the pool or use a rope to cross it. Walk for another hour until you reach a cliff that is about 60 feet high. Rappel down from the cliff using ropes and harnesses. Walk for another hour until you reach Dehne village, which is the exit point of the valley. Have lunch at a local restaurant or homestay in Dehne village. Depart from Dehne village by road or rail to Asangaon station by evening. Depart from Asangaon station by road or rail to Mumbai or Pune by night.

Photo of Sandhan Valley 2/2 by
(C) All Events

Sandhan Valley Trek Cost

Sandhan Valley trek cost depends on several factors such as:

The duration of the trek: The one-day trek is cheaper than the two-day trek, as it involves less time and resources. The two-day trek is more expensive than the one-day trek, as it involves more time and resources.

The season of the trek: The winter season is more expensive than the summer or monsoon season, as it is the peak season and has more demand and supply. The summer or monsoon season is cheaper than the winter season, as it is the off-season and has less demand and supply.

The mode of transport: The road transport is more expensive than the rail transport, as it involves more fuel and toll charges. The rail transport is cheaper than the road transport, as it involves less fuel and toll charges.

The type of accommodation: The camping accommodation is more expensive than the homestay accommodation, as it involves more equipment and facilities. The homestay accommodation is cheaper than the camping accommodation, as it involves less equipment and facilities.

The type of guide or operator: The professional guide or operator is more expensive than the local guide or operator, as they provide more safety and quality services. The local guide or operator is cheaper than the professional guide or operator, as they provide less safety and quality services.

The average cost of Sandhan Valley trek can be estimated as follows:

One-day trek in winter: Rs. 1500 - Rs. 2000 per person

One-day trek in summer or monsoon: Rs. 1000 - Rs. 1500 per person

Two-day trek in winter: Rs. 2500 - Rs. 3000 per person

Two-day trek in summer or monsoon: Rs. 2000 - Rs. 2500 per person

The cost of Sandhan Valley trek may vary depending on the availability, demand, and quality of the services.

Sandhan Valley Trek Tips

Sandhan Valley trek is an adventurous and rewarding experience that requires proper planning and preparation. Here are some useful tips and precautions for trekkers who plan to visit Sandhan Valley:

Carry proper gear: You should carry proper gear such as comfortable shoes, backpack, water bottle, torch, first aid kit, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, raincoat, etc.

Hire a guide: You should hire a guide or a tour operator who knows the route well and can provide you with safety and assistance during the trek.

Book in advance: You should book your transport, accommodation, and guide in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle or disappointment.

Respect nature: You should respect nature and avoid littering, damaging, or harming any flora or fauna in the valley.

Enjoy yourself: You should enjoy yourself and have fun during the trek, as it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness such a natural wonder.


Sandhan Valley is a natural wonder that offers a thrilling and scenic trekking experience. It is a perfect destination for adventure seekers who want to explore a hidden gem that is full of natural beauty and excitement.

If you are interested in visiting Sandhan Valley, then you should follow this article to know everything about this amazing place and why you should visit it.

Sandhan Valley Reviews

The Event is carried out in SANDHAN Valley also known asValley Of Shadowsas the major portion of the valley doesn’t allow the sun rays to come in, it is a beautiful place situated in the Western Ghats amidst the water carved valley of 50 to 500 feet deep and around one & half km long. It is situated to the west of BhandardaraLake, near Samradh village, Maharashtra, India. The Giant Swing event consists of 4 thrilling and breathtaking tasks The Burma Bridge The Flying Fox Giant Swing Rappelling It is carried out every year in the month of November-December by the Proboscis Training & Adventures Pvt. Ltd. The duration is a single day. They carry out the event for four batches. The registration process begins by the month of September. This year the event fees where Rs. 3650. The things included in this were all the four events with all the necessary equipment travel from Mumbai/ Puneto and fro the destination by bus, breakfast, tea and lunch. I got in touch with one of the organizers Mrs.Shweta Bhuwad Puranik and completed with the registration process. I transferred registration amount to the said account for the and booked for 27th of December. After the registration was done I thought if let’s check if there is some video of the event on Youtube and found this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ0ChoivaK4and once I went through the video it just made me frightened. But then I had done the registration and was going to do it. The Journey… I had also done the registration for two of my friends, TrimbakDongre and Shree Deo. As per plan we had to board the bus from Teen Hath Naka, Thane on 26th of December. The journey began and we got introduced to the other members. We reached the base village Samradat about 3:45 at dawn. It was freezing cold. The temperature had dropped to about 12-13°C. Due to such climatic conditions no one was willing to come out of the bus. I and Shree we decided to go around and have a look at the village. There were other enthusiasts who had come from Pune. Their bus driver had lit a small camp fire. We came through a Maruti Temple in the village and decided to take rest there. Then at about 6:30 a.m. in the one of the organizers came and showed us way to a bore well. At about 7:30 am we all were ready and started the walk to the base camp site. It took about half an hour to reach the place. Once we reached we did the final payments, and also took the photography and video package for the event. Then we had breakfast of khichadi and tea. Pre-event Preparation… Once all this was done we were given the equipment we were to use while performing all the activities. It included helmet and harness. The organizers gave us the general instructions and informing us about all the four events and simultaneously the harness was tied properly. We were divided into groups and sent to different events in batches. The Events… The sequence I followed was The Burma Bridge, Flying Fox, Giant Swing and at the end Rappelling. A. The Burma Bridge In this event a bridge of ropes was created across the valley of about 200 feet and we had to walk and cross the valley. The three of us were ready. I was the first and the instructor tied the support string to my harness and asked me to walk on the knots on the walking rope and to keep my elbows inside. At the beginning it was all okay but as I made my way to the middle of the valley it was all scary as whenever I had a look to put my steps on the knots I simultaneously would look at the 1000 feet deep valley But I was half way and there was no turning back.As I reached the other side of the valley due to the wind and a fearful walk my throat went dry. The next event was the flying fox B. The Flying Fox This event was quite easy. The instructor tied the support and asked me to keep my legs on a wooden stick. I had to use the harness tied to my body as a seat and just enjoy the ride from one end to the other of the valley. When I was all ready to go, the instructor left the string and in no time the ride was done and I was on the other side. This time there was not fear and I just enjoyed the time I was in the air. C. The Giant Swing And then it was the jewel of all the events, the Giant Swing event. This event the valley is 1000 feet deep, the swing that we go through is of about 500 feet. The rope was tied to me and the instructor informed that I am supposed to rappel down initially and once I reach the destined spot he will inform me and leave the rope loose. I reached at the spot and he released the string and there was a free fall. I was under the influence of gravity. At the moment the free fall began the feeling was ‘What now’ but within a fraction of a second it went on to aaaa…..aaaaa….. and there I was enjoying the swing, in the middle of nowhere I was swinging. After I was steady and some moments later they started pulling the rope. The rope was attached to car and thus the speed was a lot, as instructed I kept my legs towards the wall and landed on them perfectly, then matching with the pull speed I went up and was standing on my feet again. The experience was awesome.   D. Rappelling This was a bonus event or one can say cherry on top. Here we had to carry out rappelling in the valley 325 to 350 feet deep. We went at the location, there were three ropes and three persons were to carry on the event simultaneously. I attached the descender to my harness and was waiting for my turn. The instructor called me and let the rope through the descender. I was in the position to begin the descend. The initial was a bit tough as there was no support and had to balance a lot but later on when my body was at an angle of 90° with the wall it was lot easy, I just needed to feed the rope to the descender and within no time I reached the bottom of the valley. Then we had to walk through the valley to reach the base camp again. The valley was all with rocks of all sizes. The geography of this valley is such that it is covered by walls on both sides which don't let the sun rays don’t reach certain places and there is water all the year round. At one point we had to cross belly deep water. Everyone there was struggling to walk as the stones had become slippery. There was a rope for in the center to which we had to hold on while walking. Then we came to the base camp. After all the events done we had lunch. The lunch was just awesome with rice bhakri, puranpoli, kheer, vegetable, pulav, salad, papad. After all these events we were all tired and a lot hungry. After having that amazing lunch we got into one of the tents and took rest for some time. Then around 4 -4:15 pm we left the base camp site and reached the Samrad village.Everyone was so tired that all were down and sleeping. Even though the road was bad and the journey was very rough, everyone was having a sound sleep. At around 10 at night we got down at Kalyan- Bhiwandibypass and then reached Kalyan railway station. I reached home all tired at about 11 at night, and the journey ended.
I am neither a trekker nor a backpacker but I believe in challenging myself to overcome my fears and Trekking has been one such area for me of late. I had partially exposed myself to the rigours of trekking in the rain-forests of Agumbeto try and see the sunset from the top of a hill. Like a typical debutante, I fell 4-5 times and considerably bruised myself. To extract that little extra out of a destination, to go beyond the usual ‘tourist’ spots, one has to take that extra step (quite literally in this case!), so I decided to give trekking another chance. I armoured myself like a warrior before a war- bought trekking shoes, a good backpack, and a head-lamp and was all set to go on my first (proper) trek. I was hoping for a few good pictures as well and hence packed my camera and my tripod as well. The organizers said it was a difficult trek to do; I was a bit nervous and uncertain about how things are going to be. The only thought that kept me going was “when others can, why can’t you?” And I believe you need more of mental strength than physical strength to pursue such tasks anyway. Sandhan valley is a wonder of nature and a gem in the Western Ghats. The water carved valley is the greatest canyon approx 300 ft deep, near Samradvillage. The whole trek was a dream like and you will feel the wilderness to the core as you walk into the Valley of Shadow. My trek to Sandhan valley started early morning at 6:25 am from Samrad village. As soon as the trekking started we had to cross two water pools and that’s what refreshed me up that morning. As the trek progressed, it became more fascinating to walk between two high mountain walls. It reminded us of ‘127 hours’ and we secretly prayed the resemblance stopped there, if you know what I mean. Thankfully the weather was pleasant and not too hot. We kept descending through the boulders and some of the patches were very difficult to pass. At times we all shrieked that something bad was about to happen. But I had faith in the organizers and their skills. We kept walking through the day sharing food and laughs. But after a certain point, we were all exhausted and had no strength left to jump around the boulders. Our legs were shaking and hands were red with bruises. After crossing a few more patches, rappelling down we reached the base camp in the valley at 8:30 pm, after 14 hours of climbing and jumping through boulders and we were dead tired. Some delicious food at night and a swim in pool in morning refreshed me and we walked next day till noon to pass those dreaded boulders again. It was great to finally see the planes and the beautiful village (named Dehane) over them. I wouldn’t say that I have now pledged to trek every now and then but this experience would surely help me in picking my travel destinations which I avoided earlier. You never know your capabilities until you put yourself in such situations. And yes, I did receive a few compliments by the fellow trekkers that I (apparently) am a natural trekker. It is a victory in itself, and now trekking can not hold me back to see the beauty around. But I would still prefer to see the sunrise when I feel fresh to welcome it rather than in sweating trekking pants. And yes about the packing checklist, taking tripod was not a good decision as I didn’t use it at all as the focus was entirely different. I didn’t take as many pictures as I normally would have. I was even scared that my camera might break as the bag kept banging here and there throughout the trek, so I would recommend a small point and shoot over a DSLR. Things I loved the most- Villages- Samrad Village (Start point, near Kasara) and Dehane Village (End point, near Asana Village), it is a perfect campsite for photography and relaxing your muscles. The open grounds surrounded by mountains of Westerns Ghats were breathtaking. Water pool- On day 2 we all bathed in a pool at base camp, Sandhan Valley which was quite deep. People call it Blue lagoon but it was rather grey in the month of February. You may find it in better colour after monsoon. I didn’t let any pool pass by without taking a dip, as it was pretty hot next day. Food- We had delicious Maharashtrian food, cooked by local villagers, it was such a delight after the tiresome day. Giant Swing- It was a great sight to see someone swinging from the height of 500 feet. It is one of India’s first natural Giant swing set-up. It is absolutely safe but even the view sends chills down the spine; of course it is now a part of my bucket list. Important things to know- It is not a monsoon trek as the valley would be flooding with water. It is a difficult trek including challenges of crossing water pools, rappelling down on two to three patches and a full descend among the boulders. Carry your water bottles, headlamp, food and good trekking shoes. Try to join a group for trekking, so that you don’t get stuck alone in extreme situation. You may find more of my travel stories and pictures on my blog datravelography.com
After a long-tired week-day, I longed for a thrilling trek to bring myself back to life. I believe in concept of challenging myself the most when I am down. Leisure’s do not work for me in the same manner as adrenaline rush challenges me as I am an adrenaline junkie. It’s ironic how you feel most alive when heart skips a few beats. So, after little research, here we are to the ideal trek for such a situation: Sandhan Valley. I joined a group of trekkers to hike to Sandhan Valley. Situated in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra at the west side of Bhandardara, Igatpuri lies the canyon in the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Often known as Valley of Shadows or the Great Canyon (of course, the Grand Canyon cut by Colorado river in America is in no way comparable to Sandhan Valley), Sandhan Valley is a naturally formed gorge with a depth of at least 200 ft from the ground level. The sides of the canyon are so narrow that even sunlight was seen for a fleeting moment. The base camp was set up at Samrad village and we were ready to start the journey, unaware of the adventures we were about to witness. After having breakfast at 5:00 AM, we were set to leave the base camp to witness the deep gorges. A 2 km walk from Samrad in the southern direction leads to the entrance of Sandhan Valley. Sun was rising through the top of Alang, Malang and Kulang mountain ranges which surrounds the base camp. We started our trek with high energy and ardour. The trek starts with a flat trail until we reach the opening of Sandhan Valley. After that it is out-and-out descent. After an hour of trek through thrilling patches, we had to pass through shallow water body with a depth of 2 to 4 feet. The adventure starts!!!! We had to keep our backpacks on our head until we crossed the shallow water body. The rocks were slippery, which made it more difficult to cross the streamlet. After struggling to cross through, we were off towards the linear rock patches leading towards the opening of the Valley. The path ahead was straightforward for a while. We were amused by splendid view of high cliffs and deep valleys. There was no food en route and no habitation in the vicinity. There was a sheer silence around. As we approached towards the opening of valley, sunlight was gleaming through the mossed crevices and the sound of my breath was reverberating against the narrow walls. We went further descent for next two hours through huge and craggy boulders. Rocky and rugged beauty makes it awe-inspiring secluded spot. After hiking through the thrilling rough patches, we neared to our first abseiling / waterfall rappelling point. It was a sheer thrill and unparalleled to descent down on a rope in the beautiful environs of Sandhan. It was approximately 120-feet rappelling patch. After this thrilling adventure, which tested my strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control, I was in state of peaceful happiness. Thereafter, we had our lunch on the huge rocky boulders surrounded by spectacular canyon. After an hour of hike, there were three other rappelling points. Each of them was unique and thrilling. After treading through all these hair- raising rappelling points, there was once again a flat trail. It was already dark. Initially it was rocky and after a while it was a jungle-like with barren and muddy road and rich vegetation around. We were too-too tired and hungry, unaware that something yet enduring was to come. This was the first time I witnessed moonrise on a distant horizon as it edges its way over mountaintops, trees and through a starry sky. It was a magical touch to the day and suddenly I was charged up again."There is something in stars, the sky, the moon, the winds blowing that we can relate to. They have a tendency to create magic. Just feel the magic in the air and the power in the breeze. Feel the energy of plants, the bushes and the trees, let yourself be surrounded by nature at it’s best, calm yourself, focus and let magic do the rest"- Sally Walker After spending an hour on the top of mountain gazing at the moon-lit sky, we went ahead to our campsite- our home for one night. Reaching the campsite, the air was filled with aroma of food and there was a bonfire around. We all enjoyed the delicacy of food, even though it was simple but scrumptious. It was a leisurely dinner with much chit-chat and laughter. We gradually drifted off to sleep. Looking at the moon, star-lit sky I recalled a quote by Christopher Poindexter:“Starring at the stars like they were pillows for mind and in their light, one could rest their heavy head.”Finally, I went to sleep in the lap of the nature.
A little about the place:Sandhan Valley in located in the Western Ghats or the Sahayadris. The base village for Sandhan Valley is Samradvillage. You can take the local transport from Pune/ Karjat and reach Samrad village. From the village you can see Alang, Malang, Kulang (AMK), Kalsubai and Ratangad. Day 1:We reached Pune and took the local bus and reached Kasaravillage. Our initial plan was to complete Bhairavgad Fort trek and then proceed to Sandhan Valley. However, the rain gods were not too happy with us. The weather turned gloomy by the time we stopped for lunch and we decided to change our plans and go ahead with only Sandhan Valley. This change of plan also ensued that we change our starting village and we had to find the bus/jeep/car to go to Samrad village. We reached Samrad village late in the evening by jeep/car. Once, there we stayed at one of the local villager’s house. The hospitality was unmatched. After a long day of travelling we were itching to get to bed to get a good night’s sleep. Day 2:We had an early morning, and we were all up by 5:30, we finished our early morning routine and started off towards the valley by 6:30. Most treks start off with an ascent and then start descending after a long hike. However, Sandhan valley is the only trek that’s a descent all the way from the start till the end. 10 minutes into the valley and we were greeted by our first water capsule. The water was cold, dirty and deep. For someone who is only 5 feet tall like me that proved to be my first tumbling block. With the help of my group mates I was able to save my bag from getting wet. Once the first capsule is done, you have a long and winding walk down. There are huge boulders and since there is water everyone, they become very slippery. You have to be really careful when you walk. After about 45 minutes of jumping on the boulders, you get the first rappelling point. The first rappelling point is 40 ~ 45 feet. It took us about 20 minutes to set up the ropes and start rappelling down. Once that was done, we again met with water. Climbing down sounds very easy but it puts immense pressure on your knees and toes. We stopped mid-way to eat something and took a couple of minutes off to give our feet some rest. After another 10 minutes of downhill we reached the second rappelling point. The second rappelling point is 15 ~ 20 feet. Again setting up the ropes and getting down took some time. However, this time it was far more difficult because the unseasonal rains swelled up the water in the valley and this gave rise to an impromptu waterfall. Rappelling in the waterfall proved tough even for the most experienced trekker among us. Once that was done, the rain gods again decided to show up. It started drizzling and slowly by the time we made our way further down, the rocks had become extremely slippery. Luckily for us, we found a cave where we decided to camp out. We were 14 of us and had enough tents to accommodate us, however there was not enough dry land. The cave was wet and moist and was full of bats. The cave reeked of bats and we somehow managed to pass one night in the cave. Day 3: We could not get a lot of sleep during the night, so we were already tired. We started our trek down to the village by 6:30. After walking down for about 1 hour we reached the pool. The water pool was blue and was inviting. We all decided to go for a dip into the pool. It was refreshing to wash ourselves with the some fresh water. From the pool the walk down to the next village Dehane, is about 2 hours. Once at the village, you can take the local state tourism bus and reach Pune. We reached Pune late in the evening and managed to take our evening bus. Things to remember: Sandhan valley is not a rainy season trek. Refrain from going further if the weather deteriorates. There are more than 2 rappelling points. Some places are very difficult to climb down without the use of ropes. Carry water/food along with you. The water in the valley is stagnant and is not fit for drinking. Do it as a group and do not attempt to do it alone unless you are a strong trekker/climber. Lastly, its beautiful place please do not litter.
Sandhan valley is a gorgeously carved valley in the magnificent Sayhadri mountain range, which is part of Western Ghats in Maharashtra. The valley is situated at the height of 4255 ft high above sea level and is surrounded with mighty and jaw-dropping mountains of Ratangad and Kalsubai. The brilliant and deep narrow rock floored ravine is located between the two high walls of mountain range. At some places its width is less than 3 ft and at some places sun rays unable to reach the ground. This valley’s sublimely beautiful landscape is adorned with breath-taking gorges and glistening streams that snake their way down to the lush valley. The trek goes through 200 ft deep and 2 km long gorge carved by water over a million years between the narrow walls. The most adventurous part of the trek is the water rappelling when trekkers are left to rappel at three spots down the 100 ft rocky patch with the help of experienced guides and equipment. Unlike all treks, trekkers descend in valley on the first day and climb up the next day. How to reach? By Air: The nearest airport is Mumbai airport which is approx. By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kasara which take about 2.5 to 3 hours from Mumbai. Samrad is approx. 80 km from Kasara railhead. You can hire a jeep to get you from Kasara to Samrad. Another option is to take a train to Igatpuri By Road: Getting your own mode of transportation would be the most suitable and suggested way of getting to Sandhan Valley because getting public transport is difficult Things to do: Trekking: Hike into this canyon’s spectacular cleft involves rappelling over rocky descends, wading through cold mountain water and making your way through shadowy moss-covered ravines Reverse Waterfall: The gushing water seems to defy the natural law of gravity which occurs when high winds hit the area and their updrafts force the water to blow back upstream resulting in kind of reverse waterfall Portaledges (hanging tents): Experience what it feels like to be in a vertical hanging tent and try being in one for a bird’s eye view of the magnificent Sandhan Valley! Wading in Waters: Enjoy wading in cool creek waters that can range from calf-deep to chest-deep. Also, steer through slippery boulders and crevices which is little bit tricky but loads of fun Rock Formations: Encounter the narrow canyons which are undeniably among the most stunning of the things the valley offers Waterfalls: Stumbles upon some surreal waterfalls hidden in the cool, lush green crevices of the canyon Valley of Shadows: Witness the naturally sculptured geological formation sides of the canyon which are so narrow that even sunlight makes brief appearances. Hence, it’s also famous as the Valley of Shadows Pretty Pool: Jump into the crystal-blue water nestled within the canyon. Waters from tiny streams pour over cliffs, creating stunning waterfall and fern-decked pools Nearby Attractions: Pabargad fort, Aswala fort, Bhairavgad fort, Aajoba, Ratangad fort, Ratangad Khuta (Pinnacle), Bann (Pinnacle), Karoli Ghat, Alang fort, Madan fort, Kulang fort, Kalsubai (5400 ft. Highest peak in Maharashtra) Experience walking along a deep gorge, as sunlight flickers though the moss-covered crevices and the sound of your breath echoes against the narrow walls. Sandhan valley can be described as a perfect blend of a rugged canyon and a lush valley. Thanks to the 200 ft depth and long way descend, which gives the trekkers the adrenaline rush and makes the descending experience a moment to cherish.
Photos of Sandhan Valley
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