Popularly known as Valley of Shadows, it is a stunning paradise where the sun’s rays don’t reach the ravines. It is a spectacular canyon in the Sahyadri mountains, and one of the most challenging and enjoyable treks in Sahyadri. Located near Bhandardara near Igatpuri, Sandhan Valley offers adventure experiences like no other. When you set foot here, you don’t just trek around, instead, you rappel, rock climb, enjoy bonfires and camp under the starry sky. The natural gorge of Sandhan is nestled between AMK forts – Alang, Madan and Kulang, thus the name AMK. Moreover, the “Sandhan Trek” is famous for its unexplored trails and excellent photoshoot spots which makes it an ideal vacationing point.
Best Time To Visit Sandhan Valley
Any time of the year is good to initiate Sandhan Valley trek, except summer. During summers, it gets extremely hot and all your energy is sapped by enduring the heat, making the trek less enjoyable. Hence, winters, autumn and even monsoon season is ideal to take a trek here and have a memorable and enjoyable time.
How To Get There
Sandhan is located in Samrad village, and to reach there you will have to reach Kasara or Igatpuri first.
Road: Book a self-drive car and drive down to Samrad village. The distance from Mumbai to Sandhan Valley is around 200 kilometers that can be covered in 4 to 5 hours. Or else, from Mumbai or Pune, you can take a state transport bus to Igatpuri-Ghoti from where buses are available to Bhandardara and take a shared jeep from there to Samrad village.
Rail: You can take a train from Mumbai to Kasara. Get down at Kasara and book a shared jeep to Samrad Village. Plenty of shared jeep rides are available for this route. You can also board a long distance train which stops at Igatpuri.
Sandhan Valley Trekking Route
Begin your Sandhan Valley trek at Samrad and within the first few hours, you will be trudging through shallow water bodies 2 to 4 feet high. Upon the descent, you will come across Tarzan Swing Point, where you will rappel and use a rope ladder after which there will be some cave crawling. Then you will slope down and hike among rock patches. There will be deep water pools to wade in, followed by wide rocks and then you will reach the camping spot. After reaching the spot, you can witness the admirable vistas of Baan pinnacle and Ajoba Hill.
When you plan a trip to Sandhan Valley, Maharashtra, you can expect the following expenses and plan your trip accordingly.
- A self-drive car from Mumbai to Bhandardara (round trip) would cost you from Rs 5000 to Rs. 8000. Train tickets will cost you between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1200 (round trip).
- Shared jeeps charge Rs 50 per person. Bus tickets to Bhandardara from Mumbai will cost anywhere between Rs. 600 to Rs. 800.
- Camp overnight in your own tent at the gorge campsite. You can even consider a homestay in Samrad village, which can cost around Rs. 500 to Rs. 800 per night. Bhandardara budget accommodations start from Rs. 1000 onwards.
Food: Food will cost anywhere from Rs. 200 to Rs 600 during the journey.
Sandhan Valley Trek Package: Trek operators offer several packages ranging from Rs. 1600 to Rs. 2000.
Places To Stay
You can camp overnight at the Sandhan Valley location for the best camping experience ever. There are no hotels or lodges nearby, but homestays through locals are available around Samrad Village. If you do not wish to stay at a camping spot, then head to a more comfortable hotel in Bhandardara. Try MTDC resort, it is quite popular. You can also check out a few plush hotel and resort options (like Anandvan resort) in Bhandardara to revel in luxury after a day of roughing out.
There will be no food enroute as it is a shadowed ravine trek, with no habitation around. But there are plenty of home cooked meals offered by Samrad village locals who cook fresh and hot Marathi cuisine, including bhakhri, poha, upma, bhaji, dal and rice. Have a healthy and full breakfast before you start the trek, carry food with you for night and upon descent, have a good lunch in Dehne or Samrad. If you book a Sandhan Valley trek package from one of the trek operators and travel in a group trek, then you can avail three time meals (which are a part of the package).
Nearby Places To Visit
Trek uphill to discover the ancient forts of Alang, Madan and Kulang, only if you’re not exhausted completely from the trek. These are demanding climbs, so maybe rest in Bhandardara for a day and then go trekking again to check out these forts.
Undertake yet another exhilarating trek in Bhandardara to Ratangad Fort, through a moderately steep ascent. Down the trek, you will find the famous Shiva Temple filled with crowds and ringing bells followed by loud chanting of Lord Shiva.
Nanhe Ghat Waterfalls
Visit this beautiful waterfall in Ratanwadi, a few kilometers away from base camp. It is one of the most popular and most crowded waterfalls in the Bhandardara area.
It is easily accessible from the Sandhan Valley location. There is ample parking for all visitors and they can simply enjoy the admirable waterfall. Besides the fall, you can feast on some snacks and tea to double the fun.
Visit numerous picturesque waterfalls in Bhandardara, such as Umbrella Falls, Kalsubai Peak, Randha Fall and also visit Wilson Dam, Arthur Lake. You can also take a walk around the charming village of Ratanwadi.
You can travel from Sandhan Valley to Igatpuri which serves as a great escape from everyday’s city chores. A haven for nature enthusiasts, the town also has many ancient forts, pristine waterfalls and boasts of several adventure activities, including rock climbing, trekking, camping and more. It is a few hours away from the valley where you can explore Myanmar Gate, Tringalwadi, Ashoka Waterfall and Thal Ghat.
Upon return, you will have to descend from the pond through gentle slopes and a river bed trek and reach Dehne village, from where buses are available to Asangaon station. Alternatively, return through the same trail back to Samrad and take a shared jeep back to your destination, or stay at Bhandardara for an extended vacation.
Safety & Travel Tips
- First-time trekkers should not attempt this trek without a guide or a trekking operator.
- Trekking can test your stamina to a great extent. Avoid it if you have a medical condition or a weak heart.
- Carry energy bars, mosquito repellents and a windbreaker.
- Pack light and carry a comfortable backpack.
- Carry a power bank and a DSLR camera if possible.
- Carry enough water from Sandhan village. Water from the trail streams may not be pure to drink.
- There are no restrooms on the trail unless the trek operator has set up a porta potty.
- Do not miss the opportunity to explore this trek at the earliest. It has rave reviews from trekkers, adventure enthusiasts and regular travelers too. Leave comments below.
Taking a trek trip to explore the Sandhan Valley top view is an incredible experience that should not be missed. It is the perfect way to explore the beauty of Maharashtra and indulge in some exciting activities at the same time. So what are you waiting for? Go out and explore this trek ASAP!