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Published: February 19th 2015
Last Weekend, I visited this beautiful place, and I’m eager to tell everyone about this place. This is because of the scenic beauty and the calm cool atmosphere of this tiny hill station in Maharashtra. I cannot resist and I am sure that anybody who went there once will join me in the statement.
Matheran is a hill station situated on the top of a big mountain of Western Ghat range at the height of 800m from sea level. It lies in Karjat tehsil of Maharashtra and near Mumbai. At the base Neral is situated (Neral is one of the Mumbai suburban railway station).
How to Reach:
From Mumbai side, board any local bound to Karjat/Khopoli (Central Railway Route), whether its a fast one or slow one. After Kalyan all local trains stop at every station. Get down at Neral station (It lies on Mumbai-Pune route), it takes around 1-2 hrs from Mumbai CST.
From Pune side, board any express train bound to Mumbai or Kalyan, which stops at Karjat (Since there is only one express train which stops at Neral i.e. Sahyadri Express). From Karjat, board any local towards Kalyan/Mumbai CST and get down at Neral. Its the 2nd station from Karjat. If you Board the Sahyadri express, it will drop you at Neral at 10:00 AM morning (but remember to book the tickets before). Try to reach Neral by 10:00 AM.
For a weekend trip (Saturday-Sunday, since 2 days are enough to visit it), board any express train from Pune starting in Saturday morning. From Neral, there are two ways to reach Matheran –
• Narrow gauge toy train, which take approx 2 hrs from Neral to Matheran, but remember to book tickets before (atleast a week before), since there are very limited general seats and you’ll always find a big line at the ticket counter of Neral. The train will drop you at the centre-point i.e. Bazaar
• The other way is boarding a shared Taxi (6 in all), it charges Rs. 50 per head and took just half hour to reach Matheran. There is a trekking path as well, which can take you till Dasturi Car Parking (the point of entry into Matheran, and beyond which no vehicles are allowed). You can bring your vehicle also and park it at the entry point. There is an entrance charge for tourists.
What is Matheran:
As the name suggests it is the “forest on top”. And yes, these forests are the beauty of this place. There are many points which you can visit during your two days excursion into Matheran. If you reach Neral by 10 AM, you can get fresh by 12-1230 PM, and then you can start your journey towards the scenic points of the Matheran. There are two main hills of Matheran.
First day you can start from either ways. You can start towards Rambaug point, then Chowk point, and cover all the point in the way towards Echo point and Louisia Points. It will take around 3-4 hrs. Be prepare with your food, snacks and ample amount of water, since in afternoon, the heat increases, and you can get tired and exhausted easily. Also, remember that Matheran’s soil is red colour and a loose soil, so bring that pair of shoes which you can put at disposal of being reddish brown afterwards. Before starting your journey, consult the Matheran map, or have a copy of it with you, it will help you in tracking the points you’re covering. Also, do have torches with you, since after dark, there are no lights available, and you have to believe on your eyes. Do try to reach the central point (Bazaar), where your hotel is situated before darkness arrives, since after sunset, all other places become spookey and lonely. Although Matheran is safe, but still avoid roaming in jungles during nights.
One of the best points to visit is Sunset point. Try to reach it before setting of sun. It gives a wonderful view of red sun setting down between two distant mountain peaks.
Also, visit the charlotte lake (which will come en-route), there are many food stalls, and temple situated beside the lake, and the water is very clean there, and provides a marvellous view.
Next day, you can climb upto one of the highest point of Matheran i.e. Panorama Point. Try to start your journey by Max 7 AM. Then come back to Bazaar and can go along Garbut point, it is situated on the other hill, and the jungle there is much more livid, less people went that way. It felt more spookey even in the daytime. Then you can easily finish your visit by 4-430 PM on the 2nd day, and can get a taxi and linked locals/trains towards respective destinations (Mumbai/Pune). Follow the same path as you came. It is one beautiful place on earth and in India, which everybody should visit once in lifetime, and the only hill station where no type of vehicles are allowed. Try toy train atleast one-way, since it goes through mountaineous twists and turns, and make your journey more pleasurable.
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