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.
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).
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.
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.
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 cos 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.
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.
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.
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