Ever heard of a hill station where no vehicles are allowed? Yes, Matheran is a hill station near Mumbai which is a no- vehicle zone. Wondering how would you roam around? Well, you would have to walk and when you get tired you can ride a horse :). Matheran is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. This very fact makes this place more clean and beautiful.
Matheran is a perfect weekend getaway after a busy sprint at the office. If you are in Maharashtra then this weekend break is a must for you. Just about 90 km’s from Mumbai, this smallest hill station of India offers a lot to woo you. Nature at its explicable best, the air so fresh and the surroundings so green that you will fall in love with the place.
Just when you reach the boundaries of Matheran which is the last limit for your vehicle, you will see plenty of horses around ( You can also take the toy train which runs from Neral but it has its fixed timings, mentioned under Fast Facts tab). I would suggest you to take a horse till you find a hotel as per your taste and then walk around.
Though rainy season is considered to be the off- season but if you are looking for some adventure that is the time when you should go. I happened to be there during the rains and my experience was truly memorable.
Horse Riding : Once you reach the Matheran premises you would be required to walk or take a horse. I would suggest you to take a horse till the hotel as it would be more convenient and would give the much required thrill 🙂 Horse riding in the forests of Matheran is an adventure activity as some of the horses there have run the derby at Mahalakshmi. With the little drizzling it makes up for a very romantic ride with your loved one 😉
Walk till the Charlotte Lake: In the evening pull on your raincoat, hold your camera safe and set out on a walk till the Charlotte lake. As you advance on the silent and meandering paths in the Matheran forest, remember to keep track of the way. I had the most thrilling experience at this place. Me and my friend reached the lake to see it covered with fog and once the fog lifted we saw a beautiful lake and waterfall from a dam. We got so lost in clicking pictures to capture the mesmerizing view that we did not notice people leaving. We were now standing at the dam with fog all around and no human existence. It was getting darker and we had to find our way back in the forest which appeared denser and scarier at night. This was by far the most thrilling experience I have had. Every path seemed identical and the sounds of the insects and animals in the forest made it all the more confusing. Icing on the cake was the rain. Somehow we managed to find our way to the resort, entered from the backside but we were there finally.
Louisa Point: The next morning we pulled over our raincoats and set out on a walk till the Louisa Point. Its more or less a straight path with plenty of horses on the way. Horse riding is extremely enjoyable in Matheran. Walking in the rains, jumping in the puddles and singing songs all the way to reach that little ‘chai ki dukaan’ on the way to Louisa Point was an overwhelming experience. That is a time when you set yourself free, forget all the stress and just enjoy nature. Louisa point offers a breathtaking view of the valleys from both sides and a waterfall. The clouds cover the mountains and slowly lift up revealing the beautiful sight which makes it enchanting. You must sit there and ‘chillax’ for sometime. There is a small maggi corner at Louisa Point where you can enjoy a quick tea and maggi and also play with their dogs. Climb down the stairs from the hill to see a more panoramic view of the valley.
There are many other small points on the way but this more or less sums up your stay in Matheran and makes it worthwhile.
- Air: The Mumbai Airport located at a distance of 100km. from Matheran is the nearest Airport having connectivity to all the major cities in India.
- Train: Neral railway station is the nearest railway station from Matheran. Trains at regular frequency from CSTM are available to reach Neral. From Neral toy train can be boarded that takes you uphill to Matheran.
- Road: The best way is to travel by road from Mumbai/ Pune to Matheran. From Mumbai via Karjat and Panvel it takes 2 hours to reach Matheran which is 108 km. Cab service is easily available to drop you at Matheran.
- State: Maharashtra
- District: Raigad
- Famous for/as: Hillstation/ weekend getaway
- Languages: Marathi, Hindi, English
- Best time to visit: September to February
- Weather: Summers 25 to 30°C, Winter 12 to 15°C
- Pincode: 410102