Matheran is a small hill station situated in
Sahyadri hills at an altitude of 2600 feet above the sea level. This place is
just 100 km away from Mumbai and it is one of the most visited places for a
short weekend trip. The literal meaning of Matheran is “overhead forest” and is
one of the smallest hill stations in the country. The scenic beauty of the town
attracts tourists from all over the world.
An interesting fact about Matheran is that you
will not find any automobiles plying around the town. Once you reach the place,
you will be transported to a peaceful world free of traffic and chaos and
packed with lush greenery and red soiled pathways. The cool and pollution-free
breeze will soothe your senses.
Like other hill stations, Matheran is also
famous for awesome vistas. There are around 36 viewpoints that offer
breathtaking panoramic view of mystical Sahyadri mountain range. Few of the
popular viewpoints in and around the town are Panorama Point, Echo Point,
Porcupine Point and Alexander Louisa Point. A small trek is involved in order
to reach these points; however, the effort is worth the sweeping view of the
mountains that you are greeted with at the top. These regions are also known
for mesmerizing sunset and sunrise view. You can also visit Charlotte Lake
which is situated close to Echo Point. It is a famous picnic and recreational
spot where you can spend quality time with your family and friends.
More on Matheran
Places to visit in
Matheran is filled with interesting places. If
you are an adventure enthusiast then you ought to visit Chanderi Caves. Carry
out a trek up to these caves to get a thrilling experience. In addition to
this, you can also camp here for the night. For those who are interested in
archaeology and history, a trek to Prabal Fort should be a part of to-do list
while visiting Matheran. Apart from its historical significance, the fort is
known for its pleasant ambience and surroundings.
Despite a slow pacing life, there are many
adventurous and thrilling activities to partake in while at Matheran. Ziplining
through the valley connecting Honeymoon Point and Louisa Point is a must-do
activity that will pump up the adrenaline level in your body.
If you want to take a stroll, unwind and spend
quality time with your family and friends chit-chatting then you should visit
the Paymaster Park situated in the centre of the city. The serene atmosphere,
clean environment coupled with lush greenery and variety of flora makes this
place a perfect picnic spot.
For those who love shopping, visit the local
markets in Matheran. There are many street shops and boutiques that sell
fashionable clothes and footwear made of leather. You can also purchase a few
handicrafts and souvenirs from the stores around. The region is also famous for
Chikki which is a sweet candy made from jaggery and nuts. The restaurants
around the town serve the traditional Maharashtrian cuisines such as Pav Bhaji
and Vada Pav.
India’s smallest hill station
You will be intrigued to know that Matheran is
the smallest hill station in India, situated at an elevation of about 800 m
above the sea level. In addition to rich natural heritage, the township has
strict regulation to preserve the environment. For this reason, the authority
does not allow the usage of any type of automobile in the town. The fresh air
and clean environment are refreshing for the visitors and hence, serves as a
perfect weekend escapade for the residents of neighbouring cities.
The region is also a popular destination for
trekking and camping. The trek to various viewpoints is a memorable experience.
It is recommended to explore the places around on foot in order to get the real
essence of the serenity and beauty of the hill town.
Toy Train Ride in Matheran
Toy train in Matheran, locally known as ‘Phul
Rani’, is the major attraction in the city. It was built during the British
rule and is operational to date. The 2
feet narrow gauge track connects Matheran to Neral. The ride on the toy train
is an unforgettable experience as the route meanders uphill through dense
forest and sharp turns. You just need to sit back and relax while the train
passes through various spots offering a spectacular view of hills. The short
journey is completed in half an hour.
In order to book the tickets, you need to
contact the dealer at Aman Lodge in Dasturi Park. The booking can be made 45
minutes before the journey begins. Seven trains run in a day at a gap of about
1 to 1.5 hours and the first train starts at 9:30. The last train is at 3:30 pm
from Aman Lodge. As per your budget, you can make bookings the different
coaches. The first-class tickets cost INR 300 for adults and INR180 for kids.
Similarly, the second class tickets are priced at INR 45 and INR 30 for adults
and children respectively.
Trekking in Matheran
Matheran is known for trek to various
viewpoints. The popular trek route in this region is the one the starts from
Bhivpuri Village and ends at the Garbett Point. The trek route is easy to
navigate and can be carried out by an amateur. However, the trail is long which
might be exhausting for most of the trekkers. Do not forget to carry sun
protection gear and enough water during the summer season. Furthermore, you
might spot snakes during the monsoon season, therefore it is advised to be
cautious while trekking.
If you are an adventure and nature lover then
you ought to trek in the mystical hills around Matheran. You will be enchanted
by the hypnotizing view of the surroundings and the cool weather during the
months between May and October makes it an ideal time to visit this place.
Restaurants and Local Food in Matheran
The eateries in Matheran will surprise you
with a wide range of cuisines including Maharashtrian, Gujarati, Mughlai,
Chinese and Punjabi. Few of the popular delicacies are Kebabs, Vada Paav, Pav
Bhaji, etc. You should also try some refreshing drinks like Kokum Sharbat. You
are fond of liquor then you can purchase it from stores located in the main
Day 1- Start
your first day at Matheran by taking a morning walk at the Charlotte Lake.
After breakfast, you can head to Pisarnath Temple. Later in the day, you can
explore various viewpoints situated in close proximity of the city.
Day 2- Wake
up early to enjoy the sunrise from Panorama Point. Make your day an adventurous
by indulging in activities such as zip-lining, paragliding, etc.