“Travel” is something which keeps us alive in this stress full world. It’s a long weekend, sitting in the room and drinking all day is just a casual routine for most of job holders these days. I just don’t want to be one of them. I just thought for a second – why don’t I just get lost in this beautiful nature for one day. After going through a lot of research I just came across this “Valley of Shadows” in Maharashtra. Lonavala and Lavasa are always a destination for the natural lovers and travel peaks. But I just wanted to try something new. This one seems to be a perfect choice for me. Sandhan valley popularly known as “Valley of Shawdows” is one good choice for the people who love adventure.
I took my train to Shirdi on Friday evening, reached there by morning, freshened up, completed my darshan. Now I am all set for one hell of an adventure. Samrad, which is a base village for the treck is three hours drive from Shirdi. There is no direct transport from here though. People usually take a train from Mumbai to Kasara and from there we’ll get buses to Samrad village but they are also too rare. Local transport is also available. One can go to Bandaradhara and from there they can reach Samrad. After a hustle bustle road drive from Shirdi, I finally made it to Samrad village. The main occupation of Villagers is tourism. Most of them are guides, they will take us through the wonderful valley of shadows. They will also arrange night stay in their homes, also they provide camping too. I was too tired by the time I reach there. Manoj, my guide for the tour arranged for a home stay. Its been a long time I stayed in the hut.The houses are made of cowdung and roofs of dry hay making them cool. Many travellers got their sleeping bags and sleeping in the outdoors.
Some noises outside woke me up. Its 5 already. A group of 20 people from Mumbai were getting ready to start their trek. I managed to get through them and then I came across this amazing view of western ghats. Surrounded with mighty Alang, Madan and Kulang (Known as AMK- rated as the toughest trek in Sahyadri) Ratangad, Ajoba & Kalsubai (5400 ft. highest peak in Maharashtra) mountain ranges, the village offers you a stunning view and spectacular sceneries. I started my trek at 7am. Manoj, my guide carried all the necessary requisited for the camping and rapelling. The whole trek was a dream like and you will feel the wilderness to the core as you walk into the Valley of Shadow. Its not like a normal trek. This is called a down trek where you have to pass through two pools of water which are almost 4-5 feet deep. The water was too cool which made my legs freeze for some time. After walking for sometime on rocks and through rocks, and we finally made it to our first view point. This place something which offers an excellent view of the valley. From there we have to go down by rappelling. As there is some crowd, I spent my time taking pictures the best way possible.
Now its time for another adventure. Getting down the rocks by rappelling, its something which you can never forget for life time. For a second I felt like I m standing at the edge of death, its adventurous at the same time its freaking scary. I managed to get down and reached the base camp by 5. Manoj has set up the camp, there are lot of other travellers and the environment was quite entertaining with their talks, music and more. The Sun started escaping and stars took charge of the sky giving us a perfect moment to capture some wonderful pictures. It was a peaceful night, one can forget all the work pressures, problems and spend time retrospecting his life. With some beautiful moments to cherish, we came back to the village. I packed my bags, with a heavy heart I got into the bus to Bandaradara. Bandaradhara is another must visit place. Bandadhara dam offers you some awesome view and also a good boat ride as well. Its time for me wave a good bye to these mountain ranges and specatalar lake views I got back to my beautiful city of jewels and the hectic corporate life.
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