Sandhan Valley is one of the greatest canyons in Sahyadri mountain range. It is located at the border of Ahemadnagar, Pune and Kalyan district near Bhandardara dam. A water carved valley with 300ft rock walls on both sides, there are many points where sun light can not reach and hence the name " valley of shadows". The valley is surrounded with Alang, Madan and Kulang (AMK- rated as the toughest trek in Sahyadri) Ratangad, Ajoba & Kalsubai ( highest peak in Maharashtra) mountain ranges.
On our last weekend trip to Bhandardara, we were very clear about the plan; camping near water body, witnessing fireflies, and next morning visit to Amruteshwar temple and Ghatghar..Easy peasy! A relaxed weekend, as we thought, unaware of what's in store for us!
The moment we got to know from locals that Sandhan valley is very near to our camping village Udawane (10 K.M) and this time is perfect for full trek, our next day plan started getting sluggish! We are greedy travelers to be honest, no matter how much we plan for a relaxing trip we end up doing some adventure (sometime uncalled). And this time it was none other than Sandhan Valley, A combination of Valley and Canyon! who would like to miss?
Confused we left the decision on next morning, and went ahead with our plan of witnessing magical fireflies festival, you can read about the experience in our last blog.
Next morning, we woke up in our tents and went to our local guide's place for freshening up and tea. We discussed with our guide about our wish to trek Sandhan Valley, he was initially reluctant as it will take around 6 hours for descend only and again 3 hours to return. To be honest, he was not sure about our capabilities, fair enough!(he was being realistic!). Moreover, as the trek was not in the menu we were not all prepared both mentally and physically; we were in floaters, our friends in casuals, we had to drive back to Mumbai (5 hours) on the same day as next day we had to report in Office (every Monday Story). So, in short everything was not in favor but somewhere in our heart we wanted to have a peek, if not the whole trek! Finally after agreeing to every difficulty and possible scenario, explained by our local guide we left for Sandhan Valley at 10 A.M.
How to reach
It is around 180 -200 K.M. from Mumbai (depending on route), 250 K.M. from Pune, and 95K.M. from Nashik. The base village for Sandhan Valley trek is Samrad Village.
For Mumbaikars, the pocket friendly way is to take a Central Railway train bound for Kasara. The journey takes around about three hours. The other alternative is to board a train to Igatpuri. From both the stations, one can opt for ST bus going towards Bhandardara or Shendi . From Shendi, one have to hire a private vehicle to Reach to the Samrad village. Hiring a private vehicle would be the most suitable way of getting to Sandhan Valley as this place is not well connected and hence getting public transport is difficult.
If you are planning to go by your own vehicle, it will take around 5 hours to reach the base village, Samrad. We traveled in our friend's car and it took us four and half hours to reach Bhandardara from Mumbai. It took us another one hour to reach base village.