Sandhan Valley trek via Samrad to Dehene is a high difficulty grade trek in the Sahyadri – Igatpuri region of Maharashtra, India. The highest point of the trek at 3000 ft (915 m).
Sandhan Valley is also known as the valley of shadows because of its unique structure. Even during the peak of the day, the sunlight doesn’t reach the ground in this valley which makes it an attractive trekking destination even in summers.
Visit this trek for its thrilling technical patches (rappelling, water crossing, etc.), its beautiful camping site, and its one-of-a-kind structure that you might not see anywhere else in Maharashtra. Find all the information about the Grand Canyon of India on this page.
- Want to descend through the valley of shadows
- Are looking for an adventurous hike with rappelling and rock climbing
- Want to camp at a campsite and stargaze with a backdrop of huge mountains
The Sandhan Valley full-descend is just 2.5 kms long (up to campsite) but the time taken to finish it on a normal weekend is around 10 hours, owing to the multiple technical sections and the human traffic. You will be crossing neck-deep water pools, rappelling down a 120-feet rock patch, descending through rocks with rope support, and more.
(Some people also trek just till the first water pond which takes only half an hour to reach. If you just want to witness the beauty of this valley, you can simply do the mini trek and come back to Samrad. You do not need any technical support to reach till this point.)
It starts with a flat trail till you reach the opening of Sandhan Valley. Once you’re into Sandhan Valley, you will be descending through the valley for the entire duration.
The first obstacle is a 100-feet long water body. It typically has around 4 feet deep water and you’re supposed to hold your bag on your head while you cross this. Do not walk in this barefoot since there might be some broken pieces of glass lying around.
After this patch, there is just one more water body which you can cross jumping on the stones without getting your shoes wet.
There’s a 120-feet rappelling patch where maximum traffic gathers. If it’s too crowded, it might even take 3-4 hours just waiting in this area for your turn. Majority of the time goes into putting on the harness and all the safety gear.
After this, there are a few 15-20 feet vertical rock patches which won’t require as much time to cross since you do not have to put on any harness. You will be using ropes just for support.
Don’t forget to carry torches with you since it might get dark before you make it to your campsite. Most campsites are located near a small pool outside Sandhan Valley. Once you have reached the campsite, you can spend all your time chilling by the pond and bonding with the people around you.
The base village, Samrad, is at about 915 m ASL in Akole taluka of Maharashtra. Samrad is the base for Sandhan Valley as well as Ratangad. During the month of June, Samrad is also popular for its fireflies sightings during early June and reverse waterfalls all through the monsoon (June to September).
The trek does not have a circular route and ends in Dehene village which 120 kms away from Samrad village if you go by road. Thus, the transport for the return journey will be different from the transport towards Samrad.
How to Reach Samrad Village with Local/Public Transport:
1. Via Mumbai: Take a local train till Kasara railway station which is on the central railway line.
Hire a direct Jeep till Samrad from Kasara/Igatpuri for 2500 to 3000 INR (one-way) which can be shared by around 8-11 people and will be a good option if you have a big group (You can find the contact details for private jeeps in the “Local Contacts” section).
Alternately, you can also go to Igatpuri, catching an express train. Options of ST buses as well as shared Jeeps from both Kasara and Igatpuri are available.
If you can’t find any direct mode of transport from Kasara, take a shared Jeep or bus till Ghoti. There are more options available from Ghoti. (Buses and Jeeps coming from Igatpuri and Nashik). You can also take an ST bus till Shendi from Kasara and take shared Jeeps from Shendi to Samrad.
These services start as early as 5 AM but if you are travelling in the night, we recommend hiring a direct Jeep from Kasara.
2. Via Pune: Catch an Igatpuri bus leaving from Shivajinagar bus stand at around 1:30 PM and reaching Bari village around 8:00 PM. Contact your guide and they will arrange accommodation for you at nominal costs.
Alternately, travel till Nasik, catch a bus to Igatpuri, and get down at Ghoti. As mentioned previously, multiple options available for Ghoti-Bari (22 kms) travel.
If you’re interested in some bus-hopping, travel to Sangamner from Pune. From Sangamner, go to Rajur or Akole and catch a bus going to Kasara or Igatpuri or Ghoti (all stop at Bari Village) from Rajur or Akole. Direct bus for Igatpuri via Bari is available from Sangamner at 5:00 AM. Use the same method to get back.
Pune > Sangamner > Rajur > Bari
Pune > Sangamner > Akole > Bari
How to Get Back from Dehene with Local/Public Transport:
Again, you can hire a private jeep for INR 1000-1500 from Dehene to Asangaon (Railway station, well connected with Mumbai through the central railway line). This is the most convenient option if you are a group of 8-11 people. Use the contact details in the “Local Contact” section and make sure you confirm the booking in advance.
If you want to hitch-hike your way back to Asangaon, you can find local transport from Dehene as follows: (going from one shared jeep to another)
Dehene > Dolkhamb > Shahapur > Asangaon
This will cost you INR 80-100 per person and is advisable for a group of 5 or less people.
How to Reach Samrad Village with Private Transport:
Samrad Village is accessible by road. Just make sure that you download the map of the area before starting your journey because you might lose signal multiple times on the way. Please note that this is not a two-way trek and ends in Dehene Village. Samrad and Dehene are 120 kms apart by means of roadways.
It is best to hire two separate means of transport instead of taking a personal vehicle.
No drinking water sources throughout the trek. There is a natural pond near the campsite (outside Sandhan Valley) for drinking water.
There are no food stalls along the way in Sandhan Valley. There are some small stalls on the way to Dehene from the campsite (outside Sandhan Valley) that sell Nimbu Sherbat (Lemonade), Kokum Serbat, cucumbers etc.
You can stay at a local’s house or in the local temple in Samrad.
You can pitch your own tents or get help from a local to arrange stay for you at the campsite outside Sandhan Valley.
Always ensure that you book your tent in advance by talking to a local. (Find the contact in the “Local Contacts” section on this page)
Guide from Samrad Village (Food, camping, technical assistance):
Santosh Bharmal: +91 96734 64940
Transport from Kasara to Samrad Village:
Ananda: +91 9823761312
Transport from Dehene to Asangaon:
Suresh: +91 92096 16694
October to May:
Sandhan Valley is closed during the monsoons. Sandhan Valley is full of huge boulders which can get very volatile when the valley is flooded with gushing rainwater.
Apart from the monsoon months, you can visit Sandhan Valley pretty much any time during the year. Avoid going there on long weekends because it is very crowded. Plan your visits around no-moon nights to witness the beauty of the sky in the campsite.
- 3 Liters of water (compulsory)
- Torch with extra batteries (Do not rely on your phone’s torch) - preferably buy a headlamp
- Sun hat or cap
- Blankets and sheets (if you plan to camp or if it’s a night trek)
- Warm clothes during winters (Temperature could drop below 10° Celsius)
- Sports shoes or trekking shoes (strictly no sandals or chappals)
- Comfortable t-shirt (preferably dri-fit and full sleeves)
- Comfortable trousers (no jeans or shorts)
- Extra pair of clothes and a hoodie (weather gets chilly before sunrise)
- Electrolyte powder (such as Electral, Enerzal, etc.)
- Light snacks to munch on during breaks
- Fresh fruits / Dried fruits such as dates, figs / Nuts mix etc for eating along on the trail
- A small day pack to carry all the above (Kindly avoid hand bag / sling bag)
- Personal medications, if any
- Optional items: sun goggles, wet tissues, hand sanitizer, cameras etc.
The Schedule for the trek can be as follows:
Day 0 (Friday Night):
11:00 PM - Leave From Mumbai
Day 1 (Saturday):
01:30 AM - Reach Kasara Railway Station
05:30 AM - Reach Samrad village by Jeeps - Rest for a while and then grab breakfast
07:00 AM - Start hike towards Sandhan Valley
01:30 PM - Have packed lunch enroute
06:00 PM - Reach campsite, get tea, chill near pond
08:30 PM - Have dinner, chat with fellow trekkers under the open sky, and retire for the day (stay in tents)
Day 2 (Sunday):
06:30 AM - Wake up call followed by breakfast.
07:30 AM - Start hike towards Dehene village
10:00 AM - Reach Dehene village move to Asangaon in Jeeps
11:30 AM - Reach Asangaon railway station and move to Mumbai