|Train Journey till Kasara|
The journey to Sandhan started with the train from CST to kasara. People boarded the train from respective stations and we gathered all into first boogie of train. We reached kasara at around 1.30 am.
Reached the base village at 4.30 am, rested for a while and at 6 am, refreshed ourselves; and were served with delicious breakfast of ‘kande pohe and tea.’ A little introductory session and we were set to start the trek.
Trekking through the Valley
|Outskirts of Sandhan Valley|
We moved forward towards the valley. Sandhan is a great combination of canyon and valley. There are 300 feet rock walls on both sides. Once started with descend one could literally feel moving through mystic environment. Rocks on all sides, walking on stones and rocks, walls of carved rocks. The valley is deep enough for not reaching the strong sun light, which is a pleasure. Walking in shadows provide a cool climate. We were divided into 3 groups. Every group had a leader, The first group was led by Shreeharsha, The Second was led by Sushant and Sagar was leading the last group at the back. Chaitrali and me were connecting the groups and gaps.
|The Valley Starts|
|Our Journey Begins|
Walking further we could see many pools of water formed. Fishes are also present in them. After sometime we reached a spot where there was water till waist length and the rock walls were very close to each other forming a narrow gap. We pulled our track pants up, took our bags on head and walked through it. The water was icy cold. It literally was freezing. After crossing this we had to walk further straight.
|Water till waist length|
Just walking in the valley is a diverse experience. Long ahead one could see the opening of the valley and besides there were natural carvings formed on the wall.
Sometimes I feel reality is an amazing experience. Well places like these are heaven for photographers and platform for people who like to get photographed. Every 5 min of walk and we all clicked pictures. As now-a- days people are obsessed with their display pics, everyone was choosing the spots to get clicked and upload. Here our photographer of Small steps has to be patient and click pictures that would satisfy everyone and also satisfy him.
We had walked nearly for 4 hours, now further descend started. Here the rock patches were tricky. One had to look carefully and step down. We were approaching the first rappelling patch. We had to cross 3 rappelling spots to reach camping site. The descend was pleasant change from just walking between the rock walls. Although just walking down them interacting with one another, having fun, didn’t realize how much time had passed. Rock walls now had widened the gap and it was sort of opening.
|Opening of Rock Walls.|
|Rappelling 1st Spot.|
|Rappelling with Equipment.|
As we moved further we had to descend through rocks carefully taking grip sometimes; or just sliding through them. At some places water was percolating from rocks. The cold water satisfied our thirst.
|Pool of water.|
Ponds of water with fishes in them could be seen frequently. There was one spot where we had to enter through a small hole in the rock, and then slide down further. It was kind of some ride.
|The rock says enter through me and I’ll show you the way|
|Entering through small tunnel.|
The second rappelling spot was small in height. Rappelling by the rope was not actually required here. But for safety rope was tied, no equipment. The height was about 10 feet. But there were no crevices to take grip hence we had to leave our legs freely in the air and completely take grip of rope and push ourselves down. Also as it was a narrow spot. Bags were passed down directly.
|2nd Rappelling Patch|
A narrow stream of water was flowing here; we refreshed ourselves from dirt and sweat trekking for almost 6 hours now. Rested for a while and moved forward to the 3rd rappelling patch.The 3rd rappelling patch was moderate it wasn’t high as first also not as simple as 2nd. Rope was definitely required but no equipment. It was around 20 to 30 feet. With rocks cut in between.
|3rd Rappelling Patch|
Thus the 3 rappelling patches were completed, now the camp-site was not far away. Half an hour of walk further and we reached a beautiful plateau, situated exactly in the center of hills. A stream of water was flowing down the rock and into the pond situated down the plateau, into the rocks. It was not approachable. We had carried tents with us, and started pitching on good spots before other groups could reach.
|Sunset at Camping Site.|
|Just Sitting in Twilight.|
It was becoming dark, we all had engaged ourselves in fun conversations pulling each other’s legs and making fun of each other. As we sat around hearing each other’s experiences of treks, of their professional and personal lives, etc. dinner was ready; again prepared by villagers. Chapati, aloo sabji, dal and rice are perfect meal after exertion of trek.
|Clear Sky Crescent Moon.|
|Pleasant climate for camping|
After the meal, the favourite game antakshri was initiated by trek leaders. The game was fun. Variety and diverse songs were sung. The sound was echoing in the valley. The other groups also replicated us after some time. There were many funny moments while the game was being played, as some moments are inexplicable in the blogs, those are situation based. Soon the game turned into just singing random songs instead of teams playing antakshri. We all were singing till midnight loudly, so much that some songs got once more from other groups. The voice was getting echoed in the valley.
Gazing into the starry sky
Descend from Sandhan
Packed the tents, packed the bags and ready for few clicks; which eventually turned into many because people were still in the mood of enjoyment.
|Cleaning the Valley|
Descend was not that difficult, again we created 3 groups to descend. Ours was in middle this time. All the groups were coincidently were playing songs on speakers, and each group of different themes. Ours was party theme “mahol” we call it in hindi or Marathi. No silent songs in our speakers.
Walking through jungle was fun. Variety of trees with different fruits and flowers on them; just makes a realize importance of bio diversity in trees.
|Captured the flower|
|Path of Jungle and Trail of Water.|
|Sunny Day, returning to base village|
Small Steps Adventures
Sandhan Valley: In Nagar District, Approximately 70-90Km from Kasara.