Sandhan Valley, also known as the ‘Valley of Shadows’ (the sun’s rays are said to not reach it), is a stunning canyon in the Sahyadri’s. It is believed to offer one of the most challenging and enjoyable treks in Maharashtra.
Located near Bhandardara near Igatpuri, Sandhan Valley not only offers tons of other adventure activities like rappelling, rock climbing, enjoying bonfires and camping under the starry sky, but also many sightseeing options such as the AMK Forts of Alang, Madan and Kulang, and many waterfalls.
Among the most beautiful things to do here is sitting around a bonfire at the night camp at the gorge. Since there are no hotels or lodges nearby, this is the best way to stay a night there. Or you could also experience staying at the home-stays around Samrad, which will give you a local experience like no other.
Eating a home-cooked meal here is an absolute must; the villagers at Samrad cook fresh and hot Marathi cuisine, including dishes like bhakhri, poha, upma, bhaji, dal and rice. It’s highly recommended that you eat a hearty breakfast before you start the trek, and carry some food with you for the night as well.
Now, among the attractions, a trek uphill will bring you to the AMK Fort – the ancient forts of Alang, Madan and Kulang. If you’re completely exhausted from the Sandhan Valley Trek, rest in Bhandardara for a night and then resume trekking again.
Another route from Bhandardara will lead you to Ratangad Fort, a gorgeous fort that can only be reached upon undertaking an exhilarating trek. Nanhe Ghat Waterfalls, just a few kilometres away from the base camp at Samrad are a must visit too.
There are numerous waterfalls in Bhandardara as well; the most picturesque ones being the Umbrella Falls and Randha Falls. Other attractions include Kalsubai Peak, Wilson Dam, Arthur Lake and a walk around the charming village of Ratanwadi.
Since Igatpuri is also close from here, the attractions one can explore here are the Myanmar Gate, Tringalwadi, Ashoka Waterfall and Thal Ghat.
Mumbai is about 200km/4.5 hours away from Sandhan Valley by road.