Sandhan Valley is an amazing trek which will give you most unique experience of adventurous activities like abseiling and staying in the lap of nature. This Beautiful place is located near Bhandardara region near village called Samrad.
Sandhan Valley is surrounded by few more forts and picturesque places. Dazzling & deep narrow rock floored canyon between the two high walls of mountain range. At some places its width is so less that even sun rays can’t reach & cast shadows over those places. So the place is called “Valley of Shadows”.
Base Village: Samrad, Bhandardara
How to Reach?
From PUNE: You can arrive Samrad Village from PUNE by following routes:
The route we used:
via Bota (approx. 200 km)
Pune – Narayangaon – Alephata – Bota – Bramhanwada – Kotul – Kotul Phata – Rajur – Randha falls – Ratanwadi phata – Shendi Bhandardara – Udhawne – Ghatghar Dam – Samrad village
Some More Options:
Via Sangamner (approx. 250 km)
Pune – Narayangaon – Alephata – Sangamner – Akole – Rajur – Randha falls – Ratanwadi phata- Shendi Bhandardara – Udhawne – Ghatghar Dam – Samrad village
Via Otur (approx. 200 km)
Pune – Narayangaon – Alephata – Otur – Bramhanwada – Kotul – Kotul Phata – Rajur – Randha falls – Ratanwadi phata – Shendi Bhandardara – Udhawne – Ghatghar Dam – Samrad village
From MUMBAI: You can arrive Samrad Village from MUMBAI by following routes:
The route we used:
Via Ghoti (approx. 200 km)
Kalyan – Shahapur – Kasara – Igatpuri – Ghoti (Ghoti- Bhandardara Road) – Vasali Phata – Varaghushi Phata – Shendi Bhandardara – Udhawne – Ghatghar Dam – Samrad village
Some More Options:
Via Igatpuri & Bhavali (approx. 180 km)
Kalyan – Shahapur – Kasara – Igatpuri – Bhavali – Ambewadi – Vasali Phata – Varaghushi Phata – Shendi Bhandardara – Udhawne – Ghatghar Dam – Samrad village
Places Near Sandhan Valley:
Ratangad Fort, Ratangad Khutta (Pinnacle), Baan (Pinnacle), Karoli Ghat, Aajoba, Alang, Madan, Kulang (AMK), Kalsubai (Highest peak in Maharashtra), Bhairavgad Fort, Pabargad Fort, Katrabai walls.
Ratangad & Khutta
Grade & Accessibility:
November to Mid-March (Little Tough)
In November & December at 1st water pool, water level is 3-4 feet high & at 2nd water pool water level is 4-5 feet high. In January & February level of water in both water pools decreases.
Mid-March to May (Medium)
Water level in both water pools is decreased so you can easily cross it. But due to summer you will have to face water shortage problem at the camp point so carry sufficient stock of water.
Mid-June to September (Rainy Season) – Not accessible
Because of Heavy rainfall in the region one cannot enter into the valley. There is huge waterfalls & heavy flow of water throughout the Sandhan Valley gorge.
In this season water level is too high & water is still flowing at high speed. Huge force of water is falling dawn from both side of high walls of Sandhan valley gorge.
Best time to visit:
November-March, winter is always best season for challenging treks in Sahyadri, the pleasant atmosphere will boost up your energy.
Be careful from the honey bees…!! As there are many beehives which you cannot see easily, so beware & do not disturb the wild life.
We started our journey towards Samrad Village from “Mountain Hikers office”, Chinchwad, Pune at around 11pm (we were 1 hour late as our bus driver got stuck into traffic), en-route we picked up our friends & participants. Finally, our journey started with lots of fun, chit-chatting, songs, some masti & little sleep…!!!
We reached Samrad Village at around 6am. It was just awesome timing & atmosphere to enter any village in Sahyadris. That cold breeze, chirping birds, moon saying good bye from west & at the same time the sun is peeping somewhere from east to say a Good Morning… This early morning time always fascinates a true hiker.
Walk Towards First Abseiling patch
After some refreshment & breakfast we started our trek to THE VALLEY OF SHADOWS. It was around 1 & half-hour walk to reach first abseiling (rappelling) patch, at some point we had to walk through the water pond, where the water level was around 5-5.5 feet. It was really cold & super chilled.
This first patch is around 60-70 feet. Due to the heavy traffic at this point our team had to wait for 2 hours to get down. Finally, we rappelled down and started walk towards second abseiling patch.
Our expertise took this wonderful opportunity to give some extra knowledge about abseiling technique, to increase awareness of safety in such technical activities.
Mountain Hikers Expert –Aditya, giving tips for abseiling and the starting Point of Valley.
First Abseiling Patch
After around an hour of trek we reached the second patch, this was comparatively smaller patch of around 20-30 feet. Still we had to wait for an hour due to traffic. The rock formation at this point is very unique as it has changed due to heavy rainfall.
Towards Second Abseiling patch
After abseiling, we started walking towards the third and final patch. It was an amazing walk through the shadow valley, which gives us enormous energy, positivity, liveliness. A magical place where we actually listen to our inner voice, beautify our inner world…!!
We reached the third & final patch after 1 & half hour walk. It was 20-30 feet patch which directly took us to the water pond, the water level was 2-3 feet. Our participants enjoyed all these rock patches throughout.
Then finally, we reached our Camp Point late evening. After some rest we had delicious dinner, which was very tasty, after dinner we enjoyed some chit chatting, night photography around our tents and went to sleep early because it was a very hectic schedule today…
Today we woke up at 7am, after refreshment we had delicious & yummy “Pohe & Tea” for breakfast. After some fun & photography we started our backpacking as we had to start our return journey. It took 3 hours to reach Samrad Via Karoli Ghat.
Good Morning…!!! Breakfast is ready… Yummy Pohe….!!!
We reached Samrad Village at 11am, after some rest we enjoyed beautiful views of nature. We took so many photographs of villagers & Scenery. We captured the pics of Alang, Madan, Kulang, Ratangad.
Again it was a time for yummy food made by villagers….!!
After lunch it was time to say good bye to Samrad & Sandhan Valley…!!
We start our return journey at 4pm en-route we visited “Amruteshwar” temple. This is beautiful stone carved Shiva’s Temple. This temple is on bank of holy river Pravara. After some photography & ‘Dev Darshan’ we started our journey towards Pune. Reached home at around 10:30 pm with thrilling and amazing memories of Sandhan Valley…!!!
Blog by: Vallari Pathak & Aditya Phadtare
Photo Credits: Aditya Phadtare, Shreyas Shaligram, Vaibhavi Pandit