In the lap of the Western Ghats,
wrapped by sprawling greenery and surrounded by unpolluted air, lies the
renowned hill station of Maharashtra, Matheran. Matheran is situated at
an altitude of 800 meters (average height of 2500 feet above sea level).
It is 110 km. away from Mumbai on Mumbai-Pune rail route. A visit to Matheran
can be exhilarating, what with a two-hour toy train journey from Neral,
90 kilometers from Mumbai! The green enthusiasts will go gaga over Matheran’s
practice of not allowing motor vehicles. Away from the loud honking and
polluted fumes of the city life, the only mode of transport in Matheran,
are ponies and hand pulled rickshaws.
Matheran, “forest on top”, boasts of steep slopes, offering
breathtaking points, overlooking the Western Ghats and scattered villages.
Famous for its leather products and popular food item, chikki, the architecture
of Matheran has the influence of British and Parsi styles, giving it a
combination of global and local charm. Glocal, one may say.
Mr. Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then Collector of Thane, discovered Matheran
in May 1850. Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Mumbai laid foundations
of the future development of Matheran as a hill station. The Matheran
Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy.
|Places to visit:
Lookout Points :
Famous for the view of sunrise, this point overlooks the spectacular panoramic
beauty of Sahyadri ranges.
As the name suggests, this point is famous for echo of one’s voice.
You can hear and feel the reverberations of your voice, even as the clouds
pass over your head.
|King George point:
One of the most frequently visited points during the monsoon, it presents
a beautiful view of the waterfall, overflowing from Charlotte Lake.
This point is famous the view of sunset.
Situated on a plateau, it offers the magnificient views of the ruined
forts Prabal and Vishalgarh. Other points include Monkey Point, Alexander
Point, Hart Point, Coronation Point, Chowk Point, etc.
|Other places to visit:
It is the main source of drinking water in the hill station. It is famous
for the view of dam at one end of the lake. It is also famous for the main
Hindu temple, the Pisarnath Mandir.
It is one of the spots with highest altitude, offering a breathtaking view
of the ghats and villages. It is close to the Governor’s hill.
The markets in Matheran are famous for cheap leather products, like bags,
shoes and belts. The streets of this hill station have stalls selling cheap
kolhapuri chappals, walking sticks, etc. Matheran is also famous for honey
and chikki (soft peanut brittle)
Nearest airport is Mumbai, 100 kms from Matheran.
Since motor vehicles are not allowed into Matheran, a toy train from Neral,
21 kilometers from Matheran, carries the tourists into Matheran . Mumbai
is 90 kms from Neral.
State Transport buses ply from Mumbai and Pune to Neral.
|Best time to visit:
Season : October to May