Year 2019 was on the verge of ending and there I was full of adventurous wishes to fulfill that year. Even after Ghangad Camping+Trekking, K2S(Katraj to Sinhgadh) Trek, Matheran Trek & River Rafting in Rishikesh, I was craving for at least one more adventurous trip to my 2019 bucket. And then I decided to go for Sandhan Valley trek with my trek partner and alter ego Rohit guru.
Sandhan Valley, the great Canyon in Sahyadri Range which is a combination of canyon and valley, is located in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra near the Fort Ratangad.
We left Pune by Tempo Traveller at night on 27th Dec (Friday) with the group of Surmount Adventures. The travelling is of around 6 hours through Nashik Highway from Pune and hence we decide to travel in the night so that we could start the trek early in the morning.
Once the traveller crossed Pune, we started feeling the cold breezes passing by the open roads. It being the winter season, even if we had enough warm attire on our body but opening the window for a while caused tantrums from the guys sitting next to us.
Also Read - A night with camping followed by trekking to the fort - Ghangad Trekking
I was sitting on the last seat along with Rohit & Mitesh and sometime Akshay also joined us on the way to keep us awake and having fun all the way. We started our storytelling sessions in our group and laughed at each story wholeheartedly even if the content was not worth.
You may call us crazy for this but the feeling of escaping the daily life in the city made us react this way.
Somehow, we thought to have bit slumber for a while but that too no avail because of the bumpy earthen road while we were near the base village of our trek named Samrad.
We reached the Samrad Village early in the morning at around 4:30 am and felt so intense cold as soon as we got out of the traveller.
We halted at the abode of Nivrutti one of the local villagers who was there with us to guide for rappelling. We had our breakfast and stored the sandwiches in our backpacks for the lunch.
It's 5:30 in the morning when we started the trek from base village Samrad. The village looked spectacularly beautiful and serene while the Sun was rising and we entered the forest towards valley.
After a while we were at the entrance of the valley. I peeked out through the valley to witness it's giant rocky structure.
As soon as we entered the valley, photogenic souls brought out their phones and cameras to showcase their best ever photography skills.
I played safe here to hand over my DSLR to Viraj so that he could get good pictures of mine.
After the photographic session at one place, we moved ahead trekking over the giant rocky surfaces and came to the point where the water was there upto our chest.
All of us removed our jackets and few bottom clothes so that we could easily pass it through. Keeping the backpack on my head, hanging the camera in neck I walked through it with the water level upto my chest.
There were 4-5 places where we had to walk through the water and after 2 such passing came the rappelling point which was of around 60-80 ft.
Witnessing the guys hanging down with rope to rappel, I felt a bit scared for the way few cried on the way itself.
I sat there at one rock from where I could see the guys rappelling throughout the way so that I could grab some techniques to manage my fear and of course the way I had to rappel.
The simple instructions which I witnessed were keeping both the legs almost straight surfaced with the rock, keeping left hand straight while shifting the body weight behind and with the right hand one had to leave the ropes with the pace one was comfortable.
Suddenly a smile appeared on my face thinking about life and it's journey. We human beings are also doing such act of crying and being afraid of situations when we see the danger zone. We rarely get courage to move, keeping our fears aside. And when that phase is over, we always start crying and cursing the time which passed. Instead of waiting for a while and thinking how to come out of dark phrase of life and grab the opportunities.
After seeing a lot many people, I became ready to rappel down the mountain. Rohit and I went in the queue to have the safety harness worn in our abdomen.
I asked the rappelling guy thrice if the harness was all okay to go ahead and he could sense my fear.
But for me it was for the safety purpose as I had made up my mind to go ahead.
Wearing the helmet and taking the ropes in hand, I took a deep breath as if I were leaving for the battle. I stood there on the top rock straight, took ropes in my both hands. And there I went with the instructions of guide.
Moving my legs behind one step at a time, I left the ropes grabbed in my right hand with the pace I was rappelling down.
While Rappelling at Sandhan Valley!
Forgetting all the things, concentrating at this rope only, I became so much focused to something perhaps for the first time.
I was aware that my left leg was not being straight much but I managed rappelling down with slow pace. Rappelling more than half way, I felt that I could no longer take the support of the rock and then the point came where I had to leave my body freely in the air hanging with the rope. This moment left me thrilled with the feeling full of petrified. For a while, I just hung at one place with the rope in my right hand grabbing it with the stiffness I could manage at that time.
Taking a deep breath again, I peeked out my surroundings and got to see the waterfall beside me. Now again, I recollected my courage to lose the rope by my right hand, and came down.
Finally, my legs started groping the ground surface and succeeded in a while to touch the surface of a rocky stone and I felt like a warrior who had just shown up in front of his people after winning the battle.
Here I sensed what is called as the real taste of happiness, I completed my task without diverting myself towards the fear of HOW. The fear is that hurdle which will never allow us to do anything if we give it space in our thoughts.
I walked through the cave to get down of the rocks and joined the rest of my group members there.
All of us got a giant rock to sit while I made some space for my body to lie down. The sun light falling directly on the head, gave much warmth to us in such cold weather.
Later, we did 2-3 more rappelling coming along the way but without harness as the height was normal. Crossing the water on the way again and doing all the rappelling finally we all halted at one place to fix our bombs and had some rest. While resting, we all ate the sandwiches.
After around 20 mins of this rest, we moved ahead on the trail to trek through the dense forest so that we could reach the base village where we had to camp that night.
While moving on the trek and looking toward setting of the Sun I came with the conclusion that Journey of Life is also like this rappelling which comes with hurdles but we can't taste the sweetness of success until we cross them fearlessly.