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#TravelTales: Move over Grand Canyon. India Has Its Own Spectacular Canyon & You Must Explore It!

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Imagine walking along a 200 ft deep gorge carved by water over a million years, as sunlight flickers though the moss-covered crevices and the sound of your breath echoes against the narrow walls. At the enigmatic Sandhan Valley – affectionately known as Maharashtra’s very own Grand Canyon – this spellbinding experience is what awaits visitors.

A perfect blend of a rugged canyon and a lush valley, Sandhan’s sublimely beautiful landscape is adorned with breathtaking gorges and glistening streams that snake their way down to the lush valley.

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Sandhan Valley
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Rising 3000 feet above sea level, Sandhan Valley is a deep natural crack in the scenic Sahyadri mountains of Maharashtra. Located 180 kms away from Mumbai, near the beautiful Bhandardara region, the spectacular valley is almost two and half kilometer long and nearby 500 ft deep in some patches.

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Sandhan Valley
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The following pictures capture some of the raw beauty of this little known haunt that is ideal for treks. But for those with adventure in their hearts and dreams of distant mountains in their eyes, only an actual trip to this striking natural wonder will suffice.

1.  A Trekker’s Paradise

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Trekking through the Sandhan Valley is an amazing experience. Hiking into this canyon’s spectacular chasm involves rappelling over rocky descends, wading through pools of cold mountain water and making your way through shadowy moss-covered ravines.

2. A Reverse Waterfall

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Near the Samrad village of Bhandardara region, there is a unique waterfall where the cascading water seems to defy the natural law of gravity. This natural phenomenon occurs when high winds hit the area and their updrafts force the water to blow back upstream — resulting in a sort of reverse waterfall!

3. Living On the Edge, Literally!

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Ever wondered what it feels like to be in a vertical hanging tent? Stop dreaming about those incredible international pictures of Portaledges (hanging tents) and instead try being in one for a bird’s eye view of the magnificent Sandhan Valley!

4. Wading in Cool Creek Waters

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Wading through a creek in the Sandhan Canyon
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Thrill-seekers who don’t mind getting wet will enjoy wading in cool creek waters that can range from calf-deep to chest-deep. Navigating slippery boulders and narrow walled crevices is also a little tricky but definitely lots of fun!

5. Surreal Rock Formations

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The rock formations of Sandhan Canyon
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Like many things, the best and most beautiful things in the earth’s geology take millions of years to form. Slot canyons (or narrow canyons) like the Sandhan valley are undeniably among the most stunning of the things nature has to offer.


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6. Hidden Surprises

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A waterfall in the Sandhan Valley
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Towering rock formations are not the only natural wonders visitors will enjoy on a trek through the Sandhan Valley. Just when a visitor thinks that the canyon couldn’t get any grander, he stumbles upon some surreal waterfalls hidden in the the cool, lush green crevices of the canyon.

7. Valley of Shadows

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A trek through the Sandhan Valley
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A naturally sculptured geological formation, the sides of the canyon are so narrow that even sunlight makes brief appearances. Hence, its name the Valley of Shadows.


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8. A Pretty Pool Within the Canyon

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There’s nothing like the sight of a pool of crystal-blue water nestled within a canyon. Waters from tiny streams pour over cliffs, creating stunning waterfall and fern-decked pools. If you are tired of scrambling over boulders, follow the stream to reach this picturesque plunge pool that looks like something straight out of a movie.

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Written by Sanchari Pal

A lover of all things creative and happy, Sanchari is a biotech engineer who fell in love with writing and decided to make it her profession. She is also a die-hard foodie, a pet-crazy human, a passionate history buff and an ardent lover of books. When she is not busy at The Better India, she can usually be found reading, laughing at silly cat videos and binge-watching TV seasons.