The treks in Maharashtra are unique in itself, portraying fragments of history, culture and heritage of whatever remains of them. Majority of the treks in Maharashtra take place in the Western Ghats, Sahyadri ranges where the ruins of ancient forts still exist. Hence most of the western Maharashtra is occupied with trekking and camping grounds due to the favorable landscapes and terrain for outdoor activities. Maharashtra’s favorite Sandhan Valley is also a part of one of the most fascinating adventure spots for the trekkers.
Sandhan Valley is a mind blowing creation of Western Ghats in Sahyadris. The Valley is located at an elevation of 4000 ft above sea level and is incredibly deep as well. The gorges are 200ft deep and 2 km long, locked with high rocky patches and internally flowing rivers and waterfalls. Along with trekking, Sandhan Valley is known for its rappelling and camping facilities. The Valley is surrounded by highest peaks in Maharashtra; Kalsubai and Ratangad which offer stunning views of the Sahyadris during the trek. The Sandhan Valley trek is unique in its own way as the Trek lasts for 3 days and an overnight camp stay where you descend down further in the valley on the first day, camp inside the valley and climb up the next day. Out of the 200ft deep gorge, 100ft are covered by rappelling down with equipment provided by the local guides. There is no doubt that Sandhan Valley trek is not for weak hearted people. Along with being a weekend destination for people of Maharashtra, there are other things around Sandhan valley which might interest other people;
Sandhan Valley sits in the lap of Sahyadris beautifully and offers breathtaking views of the neighboring peaks and forts in the area. Ratangad is just 3 km far from Sandhan Valley which is also a wonderful trekking spot for the trekkers exploring the area. The fort consists of caves and a Shiva temple in its premises. The trek trail consists of open fields and slippery rocky patches along the way which makes it a little tricky to climb in the monsoons. The base village for Ratangad is Ratanwadi where the local villagers offer delicious food for the trekkers. During the monsoons, the views are out of this world accompanied by white clouds at the top.
Bhandardara Lake, also known to be Arthur Hill Lake is a beautiful creation resulting in Bhandardara dam. The lake is famous for scenic wide waters and greenery surrounding it. The lake offers boating to the tourists and also two majestic waterfalls near the area. The Bhandardara region is prominently known for its tropical paradise and perfect atmosphere for camping and day outs. There is also Wilson dam near where you can click pictures and enjoy nature during the monsoons.
Nestled in the rugged Sahyadris, Kalsubai is the highest peak of Maharashtra. It is conveniently located close to Sandhan Valley at just 8.8 km. The Kalsubai Peak offers extraordinary views of the Sahyadris and the villages in the valley. The entire area is drenched with freshness of monsoons and large meadows filled with thick grass and bushes during the monsoons. It takes almost 6 hours to complete the trek where you will see the temple at the top of the peak. Often trekkers opt to camp at Kalsubai and have fun bonfire nights. The best time to start your trek is early in the morning when the golden rays fall on the sleeping Sahyadris under the blanket of clouds.
Bhandardara is filled with nature’s wonders; be it rivers, waterfalls, open fields, forests or mountains. Umbrella falls in Bhandardara is one of the wonders attracting the tourists with its aesthetic beauty. These falls might not be the natural waterfalls you see in the monsoons, but rather the falls which are created when the dam gates open. These falls then loosely resemble the shape of an umbrella hence the name, Umbrella waterfalls.
Bhandardara is a haven for trekkers in Maharashtra. The district is known for its laid back scenic views of nature and Sahyadri Ranges. It has beautiful pristine lakes, rivers, dams, waterfalls, camping sites and fort treks, you would never get bored in Bhandardara. It is located within 7 km from Sandhan Valley and is a great weekend getaway specifically during the monsoons.
Sandhan valley and its prime location offers the tourists with wide range of options and places to explore nearby for the non trekking audience.