Valley of Hope

Exploring the finest canyon of Sahyadri Mountains

I always believed that nature is our best teacher. It not only motivates you but it helps you to discover yourself. The more you explore the nature the more you will know yourself. This is how my experience was with Sandhan Valley.

Sandhan Valley which is also known as Valley of Shadows is located in Sahyadri Mountain Ranges which is an amalgamation of a canyon and a valley. Made from the backwater of Bhandardara, Sandhan Valley is in full flow during monsoon. But I went there in winter, so the whole river was dried up. This made it difficult to hike because of the rocky surfaces and odd patches of water where you can neither swim nor walk properly.

Dark rocks of Sahyadri with odd water patches
(Photo Courtesy —Ramanik Pevekar)

Sandhan Valley has a narrow opening with two 300 feet walls of the enveloping mountain trying to come nearer and nearer as if their only purpose is to demotivate whoever passes through them. You see no end, all you see is the darkness of rocks which your eyes can reach. It feels like you are going down to the bottom of the earth, probably even hell, but it is the other way around. As you go ahead tackling the obstacles of rocks which river had set for you, you start to realise the strength of the Sahyadri Mountains. Your knees start to burn up and uneven water patches make your path even difficult. If you try to swim in those patches, there is higher probability that your legs will hit stones sitting deep in the covering water. If you decide to walk, you can’t predict where your next step will be. Will it be 6 ft. deep or even 3 ft. higher from the surface of the water?

Throughout the hike, no sunlight will ever reach you. Both mountains around you try to block every peace of light reaching to you. But you still move ahead because now you start to see the end of the valley. As you march ahead the path becomes even more difficult. Most people may give up at this point but this is the heart of Sandhan Valley. You go through tunnels of wobbly rocks, jump from one place to another knowing that one wrong jump may severely injure you but you still go ahead because you see the light coming through. And when you finally reach the end, you are bathed in the sunlight. The warmth of the sunlight is so pure that it gives you the feeling of being in your mother’s womb. That warmth puts you in a sleep which you never had in years.

Descent of the Canyon which converts it to the Valley
(Photo Courtesy —Ramanik Pevekar)

When you wake up you see the descent of the canyon in front of you. You are standing on top of the valley, bathed in the sunlight with darkness of the canyon behind you. This is the moment when you realise that you have conquered it.

Sometimes in life you don’t know what lies ahead. But you have to move ahead with a belief that there is something good in the end. Because dark mountains of failure will try to crush you, water of negativity will pull your feet into deep and shiver of disbelief will freeze you, but you still move on and march ahead, hoping that there is a light at the end of the tunnel to conquer all fear and darkness.

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