Sandhan Valley Trek

Normally every trek starts with climbing & then descending, but first time in my life i did a trek where there was no climbing, only descending till the end. The trek was Sandhan Valley. Sandhan Valley is situated in the western ghats of Sahyadri. The valley is located on the west side of beautiful Bhandardhara region near Samrad village. The village itself is located approx.  at 3000 fts above sea level. Valley is surrounded by Alang, Malang, Kulang, Kalsubai, Ratangad and Ajoba mountain range.

Mountain Ranges all Galore



Friday 16th Dec 2011, night we started our trek journey by 12.16 AM Kasara local, but two of our newly wed friends couldn’t reach the station on time and missed the train. So i and Saurabh decided to get down at Kalyan and wait for them to come. We 4 met at Kalyan station and at 1.40 AM we started our journey by last Kasara local. It was freezing cold in Kasara at 3.00 AM when we reached there. A hot cup of tea came to rescue us. We left for Samrad, the base village of the trek at 3.30 AM by 2 jeeps which we had arranged from Kasara Station to Samrad Village. At 6.00 AM we reached the small yet very beautiful Samrad village.

We took halt at our trek guide Datta’s house. He was the one who was going to give us technical support required at 3 patches. After morning rituals and breakfast, we started our trek at 8.15 Am. We enter the valley in just 10 min and from that time our foots were going to just walk on the rocky path. We crossed 2 water pools, in both the pools we first passed all the luggage. The water level in the first pool was below waist height and in the second pool it was above the waist height. (The water level changes according to the season).

Through the water capsule

We were passing between two huge mountains range. The sun was spreading its rays but the mountains were just blocking it from reaching us. Sandhan Valley is also called as Valley of Shadow as it hardly allows the sun rays to reach the bottom. The valley is also an awesome place for photographers.

Valley of Shadow

The descending is not that simple as it looks. We need to make way from many big rocks. The main problem faced while descending is that we were always in the search of shortest and the easiest path but there is no such path. 14 member of our group went ahead and 4 guys stayed back with 2 girls as they were finding it difficult to descend. The path till the first rappelling point is very time consuming. The first batch completed their rappelling patch and were waiting for us to reach. After around 6 hrs of walk on the rocky path we reached the 1st rappelling patch.  The first rappelling patch is about 45 feet. By 3 PM the last 6 members completed their 1st rappelling patch. We decided to have our lunch as we were walking continuously and were too hungry.

Rappelling

At 4 we started our journey towards the second patch. We had told the guide to make sure that the first batch cross the 3rd and final patch before we reach the second rappelling patch. 2nd and 3rd rappelling are of just 10 -15 feets as compare to 1st one but are as thrilling as the first one.  Thanks to the two girls because of them we even enjoyed rappelling in torch light as by the time we reached the 3rd and the last patch it was already dark.

We reached our camp at around 7.15 PM. The camp was close to a waterfall. Beautiful sky packed with shining stars, chilled weather made us forget the tiredness. After the delicious dinner we decided to sleep, so we can get up early and enjoy in the waterfall.  Early morning after tea some enjoyed in the waterfall and other enjoyed cooking breakfast for everyone. After the breakfast we started our return journey. The rocky path was back in the trek, yes but this time this path last only for 30 -45 min. After that we started walking towards Dehane village from where we would take the State Transport bus till Shahapur. (Remember to keep ample of water as once off the rocky path there is not source to get water, till we reach Varpadi Village.) In Varpadi village one can get those old peecee colas for 1 Rs each, we had plenty of them. From Varpadi village Dehane village is just 1 and half KM away. We got the 2 PM bus to Shahapur (which came at 2.30 PM).  The bus took 1 and half hr to reach shahapur and from there we sat in another bus which was till Asangaon railway station. (Shahapur – Aasangaon journey is of 15-20 min). We reached Aasangaon on time and we were able to catch the 4.20 CST local. This was my first ever trek that got concluded in the day light. And yes Sandhan Valley trek was the most thrilling and memorable trek till now for me.

Fulfilling

Few points to remember while on the Sandhan Valley Trek

1. Technical support is must for 3 rock patches.
2. It’s not easy to descend as it looks, its time consuming. So time management is important.
3. Have ample of water while on the way to Dehane as there is no water source in between till Varpadi village.

Travel

1. Get down at Kasara and book a jeep for Samrad Village. 1 Jeep cost is around 2k to 3k (depending on the season)
2. You can hire a local guide cum technical support guy (in advance). They charge 300-400 per person. (For techical Support contact – Datta bhangre – 8605151641)
3. Dehane to Shahapur State Transport. Ticket 33 Rs. 1hrs 30 min Journey
4. Shahapur to Aasangaon State Transport. Ticket 5 Rs. 20 min Journey. (Share auto take 8 Rs per person)

The total cost of our trek was 900 Rs which includes Traveling from Thane to Kasara, Kasara To Samrad, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Dehane to Shahapur, Shahapur to Aasangaon, Aasangaon to Thane and Technical expert cost.

Original review of Sandhan Valley Trek

30 Comments

  • mukesh Bhalse says:

    Vishal,
    The post was really thrilling, exciting,electrifying, hair raising…..etc. etc. The photograph of water capsule was breathtaking. I enjoyed every word and every snap of the post. Superb………..

    Thanks.

  • Neeraj Jat says:

    ??????? ???? ???? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ????? ????

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Water capsule pic looks same as robbers cave – Dehradun.

  • Nandan says:

    And it is so close to Mumbai.

    Waiting for your responses Vishal and look fwd to read more.

  • ?? ???? ????? ?? ????? ???

  • Mandar says:

    Very nice and informative article . Can somebody please explain , whether we have to carry our equipments OR the local people can arrange them for you ?

  • Nandkumar Mahajan says:

    We have planned this trek in April 2012. is it ok? You have not specified but I assume that you have done Sandhan & Karoli Ghat trek together. Because Sandhan valley ie.valley of shadow is only 1.5 km long ? Am I right ? I am seeking information because some of us are senior citizens and they wish to do only Sandhan valley and back to Samarad village as the further Karoli ghat is difficult , they will not be at Dehne- shahpur etc. Is it possible ? Please advise .

  • We are again going to Sandhan Valley. Will leaving this Friday. Wont be doing the rappelling part. check this link for more details http://www.mumbaitravellers.com/sandhan-valley-bhandardara/

  • Amol says:

    got a good info dude..thnx a lot..!!!

  • Amol says:

    Hey vishal..just wanted ask a small thing..can we complete this trek..means sandhan valley+karoli ghat in one day…can we get back to samrad village till eve if we start early morning?…please advise..thnx in advance :)

  • NITISH A BAPAT says:

    I have a question. i am planning to do Sandhan valley trek with my friends in the month of MAY. but we dont have any equipments with us. so if we do the part that doesnot requires any equipment; is it still exciting to do that only or worth i meant to say?? pls rply asap..

  • Amazing Experience Vishal …………..

    Thoroughly enjoyed………….

  • Shankar Jedhe says:

    Thanks a ton Mukesh !! U did a superb job by publishing this valuable info. It will really help to many of us.. We do arranged this trek on 8th June’2012. :)

  • Alok says:

    are we wend there but did not find any such place.
    No one knows this place.
    Talk with someone for route idea before you go there.

  • Alok says:

    we went there but did not find any such place.
    No one knows this place.
    Talk with someone for route idea before you go there.

  • B.B.DESAI says:

    Hi ,I would like to get ur help as we r group of @ 14 persons including few Girls we would like to under take the Trek but would like if some one can organise it for us ,can U Pls let us know some one who can do it for US…Thx Waiting for Ur reply.

  • Abhishek says:

    Amazing place.. i’ve been there twice… Sandhan Valley to Harishchandragad..

  • Abhishek says:

    U can do Sandhan valley to Ratangad trek also… Its memorable..

  • rajesh ghumatkar says:

    my friend told me about this trek, planning to trek in 3rd week of oct

  • Vinit says:

    Nicely written, thanks for sharing contact details and approx costs, it will surely provide some idea.
    keep travelling keep writing.

    Enjoy.

  • Sushil says:

    Trek from Samrad -Sandhan valley-Karoli Ghat-Ratangad-Ratanwadi

    The world was preparing for the Doomsday 2012 and here I was thinking what I should I be doing if I survived this holocaust to live another day. The Doomsday passed away without ruffling any feathers and I said Buddy its time to celebrate As my bro once said to me Tere ko to bas bahana chahiye , Pahado per jane ke liye and I have realized one thing that what you think on your mind screen Toh puri qaynat lag jati hai aapke us khwaab ko pura karne ke liye aur mere sath bhi kuch aisa hi hua.

    View from Karoli Ghat
    I got this call from nowhere(sadhana I mean) as to can I join her for the trek to Sandhan Valley. For me it was like Christmas cake delivered to me in advance and to make this event more merrier.. Santa Claus added few more goodies in form of additional trek from Sandhan Valley to Karoli Ghat, Samrad Village to Ratangad via Trimbak Darwaja. I simply could exhalt and say Wow !!!

    Trimbak Darwaja of Ratangad Fort
    21st Friday,2012
    Someone has very rightly said that there can always be a Slip between a cup and the lip.This idiom almost came true on Friday night. I was informed that we were to catch 11.04pm Kasara Local and being a stickler for punctuality I was at the Dadar Staion at 10.35pm. Sunil and me kept waiting for eternity and yet there was no sign of Kasara Local. In the meanwhile I get a call from Sadhana who is waiting at Ghatkoper Sir in which compartment are you I said “Arre what compartment, I am at the station itself, Ghadi toh aayi hi nahi abhi taj she replied sir baki sab to train me hai now I panicked , laga ho gaya mera kaam tamam, Gayi bhais pani me I soon realized the blunder that I did, Actually no one told me it was a fast local and here like a stupid person I was waiting on Slow Platform. Dil se awaaz aayi Beta Dimag ki Bhati jala, warna Sandhan Valley Trek ka khawab, Khawab hi rah jayega.

    Beta Dimag ki Bhati jala, warna gaya Sandhan Valley Trek

    My trek mate Sunil and I decided that we will take the train to Ghatkoper and meet up Sadhana and Rohan there, Embarrassed I called up Sadhana and told her I am joining them at Ghatkoper( as they gave the train a miss because of our blunder) and from there we will go to Kalyan and take outstation train to Kasara.

    Bas ab kya tha only fulltoo action for me…. Bhag bhag DK Bose.. Jumped into the Thane local, lept out of train at Ghatkoper station,made a dash to overbridge and took the first local to Kalyan Phew !!!

    Kalyan Station:
    The struggle continues for us (All thanks to me !!!) to understand which train will go to Kasara. Anyways we were informed that Amritsar train will go towards Kasara. The Action continued for us , The Amritsar train arrived and we were suppose to get into a general compartment. Ab Mumbai ki local ki aadat thi,Therefore we survived another doomsday and got into the train, Inside the compartment the view was no view Kuch dikta hi nahi tha,Public bhar bhar ke thi, lagta tha Mumbai khali ho rahi hai. Mai toh kisi circus artiste se kaam nahi lag raha tha what with one hand holding the bag, balancing my whole body weight like ballad dancer on one leg because Doosri tang kaha rakhu kuch samaj me hi nahi aa raha tha. Baba Ramdev must have felt proud of me if he saw me in this yoga posture. “Ab compartment ke andar toh aa gaye the, but bahar nikal payenge ya nahi,pata nahi Lekin Sandhan Valley toh paka jana hai, jaha itna manage kiya thoda aur karlenge.” So like a true Gladiator Sunil,me,Rohan,Sadhana were swishing our swords(I mean our bags) we cut across the crowd and jumped on to the platformand I let out a grasp of air and exclaimed Phew Made It !!

    Kasara 2.15am:
    Once we reached Kasara Station rest of the gang i.e Anthony sir,Shashi,srikantji, and Karan joined us and from there we moved on to catch jeep which was to take us to Samrad village.The 2 hour jeep journey from Kasara station had its own share of discomforts. As I was sitting at the window seat so never slept Kyo ki nazar hati toh Durgatna ghati, the context here is with reference to these local jeeps whose doors are very unreliable, there is always a fear of them opening up and you ending up on the roadside ditch or even the valley. Bhai log agli bhaar jeep me bhaito tho iska Dhayan rakna , mere personal experience se bol raha hoon.

    Samrad Village at 6.30 am
    22nd Dec 2012:Samrad Village

    It was 04.15 am when we reached the village, It was pitch darkness when we touched down at Samrad Village and the moment we stepped out of the jeep the chill in the air made us shiver to no end. Here we were met by a local guide who was waiting for us like Ramsey Brothers Horror Movie style with a lantern (Chinese wala re, dont get excited) in his hand and some dirty muffler wrapped around his face.He took us to his house where in a jiffy everyone spread their sheets,newspaper,sleeping bag etc and manage to catch a wink for an hour.

    Sadhana and Anthony sir checking ropes

    5.30 am: We woked up ,quickly had our tea and started preparing for the trek. Sadhana and Anthony sir checked out the ropes, meanwhile we shifted our bags removing all unnecessary things. We were told not to carry much water as lots of water sources are there along the valley.

    6.30 am: We were on the trail. Sandhan Valley trail opens up from a large field and at 360 degree view one can see mighty Alang, Kulang,Madan,Kalsubai, Ajoba,Khuta and Ratangad.

    On the trail with the panoramic view of mountain range

    After walking for around 20 minutes we entered bushes

    and suddenly you are drawn into a mouth of a valley

    and next moment one find himself staring at a rock valley.A gigantic black stone wall of mountain.

    Valley of Shadow

    One look and you wonder at the creation of nature. It is nothing but a water carved valley of around 150-200 feet deep. The width between the mountain keeps varying at some point it is very narrow say 3-4 feet and at some place it is wide

    eerie darkness
    The best part was that one can actually feel that he is in valley of shadow especially with the eerie darkness enveloping the entire surrounding with just a gleam of sunlight like a swish of a sword cutting across this darkness .

    Upon entering the valley we moved on jumping from one stone to another because the entire valley is in a way for waterfall.Stones and Rocks littered everywhere.

    1st patch of Water pool

    Walking little ahead we came across a small rock patch near the 1st water pool,which can be easily crossed, In some blogs that I had referred to mentioned that water levels here could be between 2 to 3 feets in oct/nov month. Luckily for us we didn’t have to negotiate deep water here.Bas pant upar chada liya aur nikal liye.

    Light from the top of the Valley
    If one looks upward one can see narrow daylight opening.The endless narrow valley has its own enigmatic feeling. After covering few distance we came across the second pool of water

    Second Pool
    Water at this pool was deep say upto than 4.5 feet, Luckily for me i was saved another discomfort because I was prepared to encounter this deep water here (thanks to some reading on net about this trek) My second set of clothing came handy here.In one minute trek suit was down and shorts up.Now the big moment was coming up for me, i.e the walk through this chilled water, 7.30 am in the mornings and in half Chadi, & baniyaan I was ready to take a dip, full fatti padi thi,

    Watch shashi holding his bag and you will understand the depth
    and shashi is little taller than me

    I saw Sadhna, going into the water and when the water came upto her neck level I had a shiver running down my spine, I have this phobia of deep water, (thanks to 26th July Mumbai floods). Next was my turn, now to handle myself along with my bag was a tougher task for me Saala ek to height chota hai apna, upar se bag dala hai peeche, gila toh hoga hi na..ab bag sir per rakhu ki apne aap ko sambhalu the choice was very difficult.

    Thanda thanda pani !!!
    I gave up the idea of carrying the bag on my head and called out to Karan who being a taller guy among us ,He took my bag and I managed to cross this pool with goosebumps all over my body due to excessive chilled naturally refrigerated water.Ab yeh aur bat hai ki I still managed to give pose for photograph.

    One pose for this waterpool
    ( See karan behind me going back into the water to take Shashi bag)
    The march through the valley continued with lots of rocky section,We kept moving in & out of narrow rocks,

    Large rocky section

    Passing through these rocky patches we had an unfortunate event when Anthony Sir, slipped and had a fall which resulted in a cut just above his forehead, I must say he bravely said that he want to carry on, because actually those cuts required stitches, somehow he bandaged his wound, hoping the blood to stop flowing and kept moving forward

    Wounded Anthony sir been taken care
    and now a new obstacle, 50 feet Rapelling to reach next level. The whole experience of this trek was nothing short of a Video game, where the difficulty level keeps going up a you reach next level and the game becomes more tougher.

    50 feet rappelling

    50 feet rappelling

    50 feet Rock patch

    We were well prepared, Sadhana and other team members made a joint effort and soon we successfully negotiated this 50 feet rock patch.

    After the rapelling we had a short break for our breakfast. Ab itni mehnat ki hai to rest toh banta hai na bhai. The pleasure of trekking is such that you can have Kanda poha in one hand and dangle your legs over some cliff or rock.

    What a place to have your breakfast !!!
    The splendors of mother nature surrounding you…. it simply can overwhelm anyone. .Kyo sahi bola na , ki koi shaque !!!

    Treacherous rocky path
    The trek kept moving forward negotiating more and more treacherous rocky path and

    ultimately reached second rock patch where again rappelling is to be done. This patch was of 14-15 feet ,

    Getting down the 2nd Rock Patch
    the only catch was the overhang at the end which leads you to a kind of blind spot…Yeh samaj me hi nahi aata ki pair kidhar rakhoo and you end up with jumping into water pool below this rock patch. Mera toh camera hi idhar pani me gir gay tha…

    Arre pair kider rakhoo kuch dikhta hi nahi yehan se !!

    Walking further for more than 40 minutes we ultimately reached the Water pond. Where we all rested for a while, had a photo session, filled up water bottle from the pond, and prepared now for the arduous climb to Samrud Village from Karoli Ghat.

    Near the base water pond

    The climb from Karoli Ghat was becoming more and more tedious for us because now we were out of the valley, the sun was heating us hard, and further the decent part was over, and the climbing part was on.

    Climbing the Karoli Ghat

    The rest breaks became more frequent, but like brave soldiers we kept moving on.

    Anthony sir and me
    The climb took more than the normal time for us as 2 member shashi & shrikant were not feeling well. Anthony sir with his head injury was moving forward bravely.

    As the climb was getting on everyone’s nerve we all took rest, and planned as to what we will have for dinner, Dinner ke naam sunkar sab motivate ho gaye, and unanimously decided that kisi na kisi Murgi ko shahid hoana padega, for dinner, so chicken with rice was the menu for the dinner time. Shashi & me being veggie lovers, were given respite by Anthony Sir, Who said he will prepare fried rice, it is a different story how fried rice got converted in Veg Biryani, as they say too many cooks spoil the broth. Anyways Sab ko dinner ke, chicken ke kwaab dikakar we pulled off this climb and reached the top plateau of Samrud Village.

    Getting refreshed at the Plateau
    Bodies were almost on the verge of been termed an dead bodies by this time, luckily for us we found a small pond of collected rain water on the plateau where everyone had little bit of shower, splash etc. and suddenly we felt rejuvenated. It took us hardly 10 minutes from here to the Village at our local guide’s home.

    The dinner was superb, I felt sorry for the two hens who were now residing in the stomach of my co-trekker, and by 10 pm it was good night sleep time as we have to move to Ratangad next day.

    Tomorrow will be another day and another trek and of course another blog. Till then wait for the next part of this blog.

    Thank you all

  • Umesh Kumar says:

    Hey, do you have some contact for Kasara to Samrad Travel.

    We are planning a trek to Ratangad, and need to hire a private vehicle.

    How is the transport availability in there?

  • smit says:

    DearVishal,
    Can you plz.. share your contact number. need ur help…. on urgent basis

  • charu says:

    please provide me proper information regarding sandhan valley

  • jagadeesh says:

    please provide the information rgarding trip in Jan 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.