India’s Canyon or Sandhan Valley is nested beautifully in Sahyadris, , Maharashtra,India. It is also known as valley of shadows- since the rock cuts are formed such that there will seldom be sunshine .
And while I say adventures of Sandhan- this is a peculiar trek unlike others which is a full descend. So, the trekker in me decided to go on a trail in Sandhan during winters-February to be precise.
We reached ‘Samrat’ base village after a humpy-dumpy jeep ride from Kasara gazing a clear sky and twinkling stars-a luxury these days. With no sleep, we started off our mission i.e Adventures of Sandhan.
After a 20 min descend there came a thrill-at 4.30am in the morning, with no sleep we had to cross waters 4-4.5Ft. deep. As simple as it seems, the situation was tricky yet exciting. With our bag on our head with a hand to support it and another hand holding torch we put our feet into the cold waters of Sandhan-just gauging the depth while one foot religiously followed other. Balancing ourself , a bag on our head ,finally we crossed the waters in quarter to an hour -first feather in our hat at Sandhan.
And then looking ahead, the view was endearing-two rock patches saying ‘Hi’ to each other.
As further we descended into the valley- placing our feet firmly on the rocky terrain. This was a bit scary, since there were rocks and only rocks to descend through. A step missed can cost us a severe injury. However, we kept going minding each step and descended further .
A saying “You ought to train your mind before your body’ was validated.
Yet another scrutiny , we were half way through the valley and stranded- standing on one part of the rock- had to mandatorily descend further but no path. The valley went further deep and we had to rappel 30 feet long patch . We can only get down, going uphill was never an option. A little petrified, with our bags on our back we rappelled – adrenaline rush pumping and anxiety at its peak.
Note: I will share a separate blog on rappelling.
Second feather in our hat- we crossed the valley, with a rope and support equipment , we conquered our own inhibitions. Well, Sandhan had a lot more to challenge us other than this- two more patches awaited us which had to be rappelled and we did it. A total four feathers in our cap.
Descending further, gripping our hands and legs firmly onto the rocky terrain, cutting through the rocks forming caves we moved ahead . After 7 hours of effort- we were finally down the valley.
All I could do was pat on my back, drooling over the mountains from the valley and wondering ‘Was this me who did this’!!!
Insanity makes us thrive-I am no exception to it.
We then had our packed lunch,sang songs in an awful voice and admired the beauty.Had a much deserved siesta. The night followed by dinner cooked from the fresh water stream flowing in Sandhan. Dinner was followed by bonfire, cool breeze, conversation with self , crackling of dry leaves, a clear sky and twinkling stars. We slept there with nature.
What a luxury to stay with self, a clear sky and shinning moon with absolutely disconnected from the world.
Next morning, after breakfast with an unending desire to say goodbye, we departed from Sandhan towards Dehne-nearest village from Sandhan which took us nearly three hours. A home made Maharashtrian Thali was the perfect end to two days of trekking.
To be continued…………..