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Sandhan Valley, Igatpuri Overview

Famously termed as ‘Maharashtra’s Grand Canyon’, Sandhan Valley is located in Ahmednagar of North Maharashtra in the Sahyadri region (Western Ghats). This amalgamation of a canyon and a valley can be found near the Bhandardara region, in a village called Samrad, as a deep rock in between two mountain ranges. It is ideal for any adventure enthusiast or just for anyone looking to step out of their comfort zone, away from busy crowds of tourists. However, one requires some level of past trekking experience and a high level of fitness and stamina to be able to go on this challenging trek.

Teeming with unique outdoor activities and nature experiences, Sandhan Valley is approximately 200 feet deep and 2 kilometres long. The valley is such that the sun’s rays are unable to reach it at some points, giving it its famous nickname of ‘The Valley of Shadows’. The Sandhan Valley is surrounded by many mountain ranges, including Alang, Madan, Kulang, Ajoba and Ratangad.

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Things to Do at Sandhan Valley

A trip to Sandhan Valley usually consists of trekking, along with a few other outdoor activities, including camping, rappelling, rock climbing and more. The trek to the end of the valley includes crossing water pools, moving through boulders and rappelling down rock patches. One can also enjoy stargazing in the clear skies of the Sandhan Valley. The skies are free of any city lights, thus making it ideal for photography or astronomy. Another unique activity included in some of the treks is the giant swing, which must be done under an expert’s guidance.

Places to Visit near Sandhan Valley

The valley is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, streams and gorges, which make for breathtaking views all around. The valley includes some naturally formed viewing galleries, such as Konkan kada, which provide mesmerising views of the mountain ranges nearby.
There are ample sightseeing opportunities in and around Sandhan Valley. One can witness the unique phenomenon of the reverse waterfall near Samrad, where the strong winds create a reverse effect, resulting in the water flowing back upstream. The ancient forts of Alang, Madan and Kulang, as well as Ratangad Fort and Nanhe Ghat Waterfalls, are nearby attractions you can visit. One can also visit the Bhandardara hill station (30 kilometres from Samrad), Randha Waterfalls (10 kilometres from Samrad) and Amruteshwar Temple (10 kilometres from Samrad). There are also several attractions in Igatpuri to explore such as Myanmar Gate, Ashoka Waterfall and Thal Ghat.

How to Reach Sandhan Valley

Sandhan Valley is located approximately 180 kilometres from Mumbai, near the Bhandardara region of Northern Maharashtra. If you choose to book your trek with a tour group online, most websites provide details for the best way to get there. However, the best approach is to check railway timetables for trains going to Kasara or the nearest town, Igatpuri. The Nashik railway station is also close by to Samrad, approximately 55 kilometres away.

Igatpuri is approximately 70 kilometres away from Samrad, while Kasara is located about 80 kilometres from Samrad village. Samrad can then be reached by road (by hiring a private vehicle) within around 3 hours. Public transportation is limited here. Travelling by taxi or jeep is recommended.

Where to Stay

There are not many accommodations for travellers in the village of Samrad. Many opt to stay in local home-stays. Trekkers and trekking groups choose to pitch tents and sleep in their camping tents. There are limited shops and washrooms; hence tourists are advised to make their arrangements for food, water and toilets. Drinking water is available in nearby wells.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to go trekking at Sandhan Valley would be from November to February, avoiding summer and monsoon season. Summer months tend to be quite hot and humid, which can make trekking quite tiring. During monsoon, the valley cannot be reached easily due to heavy rainfall.

Tips for Travellers

Make sure to carry snacks and beverages with you on the trek, as there will be no shops en route. One can also enjoy homemade Marathi cuisine in Samrad village.
Do not start the trek on an empty stomach – be sure to have a healthy breakfast before starting.
Avoid trekking if you have any severe medical conditions.
If you are travelling without a trek operator, it is best to hire a local guide from Samrad to provide assistance and ensure safety during the trek.
All in all, one must visit Sandhan Valley for the trekking experience of a lifetime! It makes for a memorable outing for anyone looking to explore an off the beaten path and is truly a trekker’s delight.

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