Exploring new and unique trails has been one of the favorites of thrill-seekers. For avid trekkers and absolute adventure lovers, an offbeat trekking destination is equal to a blessing. While there could be many such destinations, Sandhan Valley tops the list when it comes to the uniqueness of the trail. Sandhan Valley is one of the greatest canyons located in the sahyadris of the Western Ghats. Here is a detailed guide on the Sandhan Valley Trek, a must-visit destination
About Sandhan Valley
Sandhan Valley is also known as the Valley of Shadow and Valley of suspense as the sun’s rays hardly reach the deep gorge. It is 200ft deep and extended up to a length of 1.5 km, located between two high walls of the mountain range with less than 3ft width at some points. The Valley is surrounded by the Alang, Madan, and Kulang forts ( commonly referred to as AMK) and is located in the Western vicinity of the Bhandardara near Samrad village and Igatpuri. The Sandhan Valley expedition starts from the Samrad village of Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra. The valley is a hidden gem of the whole region of Sahyadri which attracts adventure junkies from around the country.
The Sandhan Valley trek
The Sandhan valley trek is considered the toughest trek in the Sahyadris as you will be trudging through water bodies, rappelling, and hiking on the rocks throughout the trek. The trek is short but is extremely adventurous and exhausting. On the difficulty level, it is ranked as a moderate to hard trek with a short trek distance of just 2 kilometers. The trek can be completed in 5-6 hours at a decent trekking speed.
The Sandhan Valley trek starts from the Samrad village which also serves as its basecamp. After trekking for a few hours shallow water bodies will be therewith 2-4 ft in height, then you will have to rappel at the Tarzan Swing Point for about 45 ft using a rope ladder followed by some cave crawling. The trail of this trek is full of small water bodies which can be crossed easily and rocky patches, and then you conclude at the Camping point. At this point, your eyes will be treated to the stunning views of the Bann pinnacle and Ajoba Hill. You can stay there for the night with the vast starry and natural fireflies that make the campsite more delightful to be at or you can just return through the same trail to Samrad Village. There is another returning route that is via Dehne Village to reach Asangaon Railway Station. If you wish to extend your trip, you can stay at the Bhandardara to explore beautiful attractions like Arthur Lake, Umbrella falls, Ratangarh, and Harishchandragad forts, and so on. You can also try another trek on the highest peak of Maharashtra known as Mount Kalsubai trek. Several local villages are also there to explore the local culture and traditions of Maharashtra.
Best time to do Sandhan Valley trek
Winter and Autumn are the best months to do this trek. Summers should be avoided as the hot and humid weather will suck all your stamina ruining the experience of this brilliant Valley. Monsoon season with heavy rain days is also not very favorable, the trail might get more tricky or may even turn out to be dangerous. However, extremely experienced trekkers may choose to do this trek despite the risks.
How to reach Sandhan Valley?
Sandhan Valley is at a distance of 184 km from Mumbai and can be traveled by road, rail, and air routes. However, the most preferred route is via Igatpuri, from Igatpuri one can easily get local buses plying to and fro Samrad village. Another way to reach the start point of the Sandhan Valley trek through the railway is via Kasara, first of all, one has to reach Kasara. The distance between Samrad and Kasara is 80 km which can be easily covered by public transport available from the railway station itself. It will take roughly 3 hours to reach Kasara railhead from Mumbai. Another great option is to just drive on your own to the Samrad Village this will make the journey more enjoyable. Similarly, one can travel to Igatpuri from Pune as well and then to Samrad.
Sandhan Valley trek truly deserves a must-do trek in your adventure bucket list. It challenges you and gives you a great sense of accomplishment on completing it.