21-Mar-2014: Our company’s trek group had planned for 2 days trekking trip to Sandhan Valley. Sandhan valley is a deep gorge/valley formed between 2 hills in the Sahyadri mountain ranges due to constant cutting of rocks by water streams over many million years. It is located in Nagar region and close to Bhandardhara dam. This was going to be a unique experience as I had never done a night stopover trek before. A big group of over 60-70 people was going to go for this trek. We were to leave on Friday night and the bus was going to start from the company gate itself. So we had brought all the stuff to carry with us to office on that day and had dinner at company canteen only. I remember the day distinctly as it was India v/s Pakistan World T 20 match and we had our dinner in the canteen, watching Indian team playing good (India won the match eventually).
As this was going to be a stopover trek, we had brought bedding and bigger stock of things like food, clothes, water etc. We reached the gate by 8:40 pm, the official leaving time being 9:00 pm but as always the bus came late and we didn’t start before 10:00 pm. Finally we were all seated in 2 buses and we started for Sandhan valley. The route we were going to take was Nashik Phata-> Narayangaon->Bhandardhara->Amruteshwar Temple. I had earlier been to Bhandardhara with G couple of years ago and we had taken different route i.e. Nagar road -> Sangamneshwar->Bhandardhara, which I think was better, but the organizers had a different route in their plan. Bhandardhara and the adjoining region is beautiful place and we had liked it a lot, so was looking forward to go to this region, but to visit a new place.
The road is pretty bad and rugged to say the least and also there are lot of small/medium ghats one has to cross, though the route is scenic. The worst part was the driver was in full form and driving like there is no tomorrow. Only by god’s grace we reached safely to the destination. As per the itinerary we were supposed to reach by 2:00 am, but late start and bad roads later, we reached around 3:30 am. We were going to stay in the Dharmshala adjoining to Amruteshwar temple. The 1st thing we did after we got off the bus, was to capture the space for our group and put in our beddings there. The people who were bit lazy faire had hard time finding space to sleep and few even had to sleep outside in open :). God was besides them to bless 😉
So this was it for the day and wake up call being set at 6:00 am in the morning, we hardly had few hours to sleep and rest.