Matheran is a fascinating hill-station 80-km east of
in Alibag district is situated at an Altitude of 800m. This little hill
paradise has been left largely undisturbed, since the time when an
Englishman, Hugh Mallet, Collector of Thane, discovered it in 1850 and
declared it a fine place for shady walks.
Matheran is the closest hill station to Mumbai and Pune . Ideally suited for the weekend Matheran provides a break from the city. Perched on top of a hill and enveloped in shady trees, Matheran is ringed by walking tracks. The views from the look out, which drop sheer to the plains, is fantastic. On clean days it is even possible to see Mumbai from Hart Point.
One gets to breath fresh air over here, as vehicles of any kind are not permitted in the town, which makes it a very quiet, serene place. This ban on vehicles makes the journey to Matheran an adventurous journey. The journey involves an adventurous two-hour ascent in a toy train. With food and drink vendors and monkeys jumping on and off, as the valley glides by sedately. Hikers can opt for a tough 11-km hike through thick and shady forests.
There are a lot of nice walks in Matheran and points like
Louisa Point, Panorama Point and Little Chouk Point have fantastic views.
Make it a point to watch the sunset from Louisa Point.
One can also see the little Charlotte Lake and the Parsi and Hindu cemeteries near Rambaug Point. For the adventure trekkers, the interesting places to visit are the romantic precipice called the "Byron Garbutt" point, "Panorama Point". Trekkers can try a footpath southwards from One Tree Hill, where Shivaji's ladder descends into the plains. This path was discovered by Mallet but was known to the local people for centuries.
One can stand atop these peaks and survey the wild ravishing landscape, and the reddish brown mountain ranges. The red soil is everywhere. Matheran is a continuous poem of shady, thickly wooded paths of red mud and velvet moss, stretching endlessly.
The Best Time To Visit to visit this place is between the months of November to June but the place is worth visiting any time of the year. During the monsoon the trails become very dirty and the place virtually shuts down.
Air: Nearest airport is the Mumbai at 100-km.
Rail: Nearest railway station is Neral at 21-km.
Road: State Transport buses regularly ply from Mumbai and Pune to Matheran.
From Mumbai, one can take a local train to Neral, where a tiny toy train waits to take people to Matheran. Taxis are available from Neral to Dastoori car park one can also catch a bus or taxi from Neral to Dasturi car park from where one will have to walk to Matheran or hire a horse or hand pulled rickshaw. As vehicles are not allowed inside Matheran, ponies are favored as means of transport. Don't miss the train, which is run four times a day. During the monsoon, the service is restricted to one train a day and during heavy rain even this can be cancelled due to landslides.
MTDC accommodations as well private hotels are available in Matheran.