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Maharashtra: A Tourist's Guide to Matheran
Temperature: Summers: 30 degrees Celsius
Winters: 15 degrees Celsius
Average rainfall: 5242 mm per year.
Season: 1st October to 15th January and 15th April to 15th June.
Best time to visit: October- May.
The nearest hillock of Mumbai, Matheran, atop the Western Ghats range, is located at a distance of 108 km from Mumbai. Matheran, spread across 7.35 square km of lush green manor, means “on top of the jungle” in Maratha language.
For getting maximum pleasure out of your journey to Matheran, avail a narrow gauge train from Neral, the nearest railway station of Matheran. The voyage through the pebbly mountain slopes on a train would be a class-apart experience for all the nature lovers. Opaque woods around 281 sharp bends would enthrall you and give you an opportunity to enjoy the green façade of beguiling cosmos. The sharpest railway bend of the world can be seen on this way. Ambling denizens would warmly welcome you all to their very own paradise. Towering Western Ghats (Paschimghat) and well-drawn-out strawberry valley at both the sides of the railway track would be there alongside on your journey. It would be a romantic experience. The blue rail, however, is closed in monsoon.
Trekking lovers would love to trek to Matheran from Neral through a rocky 11.3 km long road.
Once known as “Mother Forest”, the opaque and virgin forest of Matheran was one of the most favorite destinations of British. British Collector, Hugh Poyntz Maket, is the discoverer of the forest. The unique and singular One Tree Hill, located towards the southern side of Matheran, is spread around one big tree. The tough and steep way to the one tree hill from Matheran would be a trekking lovers’ delight. The grand and primeval tree here revivifies and refreshes the old memories of the British era.
Stretched around the railway station, the hill retreat is a well organized and pretty city. The quiet ambience and cool breeze of the valley are the blessings of nature to the city dwellers. Three roads at three different sides connect various corners of the hillock through green and astonishing forests. The salubrious climate of Matheran pulls crowds to Matheran as well.
The city premise has been expanded from the panorama point, at the right hand side of the railway station to the one tree point, at the left hand side of the railway station. It’s truly a heavenly paradise on earth and a must visit destination for them who love to stay close to the nature. Soaring trees and compelling greeneries are the enticements of the well decorated tiny town. Inhabitants here spend their busy days under the cool and dim shades of towering green foliage. Presence of plenty of medicinal plants makes it a sought after destination for many as well.
The best way to access every possible town corners is to hire a pulling-rickshaw or a horse. Besides the popular view points, such as, panorama, park you, Manki, Khandala, Luisa, Aleksandra and coronation point (a commemorative of Edword king VII), 33 other viewpoints give tourists an opportunity to gaze at the excellent vista around.
Porcupine point or Luisa, about 3.2 km away towards the north- western side of Matheran, is a wonderful place where from the garlands of lights of Mumbai are clearly visible. The pretty natural locale and the array of trees look lovely in the deepening twilight. Enjoy the color of nature during the riveting sunset from the Porcupine point.
About 5 km towards the northern side of Matheran, the Panorama view point, is the most attractive and appealing spot among all the view points of Matheran. You should not miss the opportunity of Climbing up the Porcupine or Luisa or the Cathedral rocks to watch the Neral railway station.
The hilly Matheran also is a religious haven. It houses holy temple, consecrated mosque and divine church. Anglican St. Church, Roman Catholic Church, Persian Last Resting Place- the tower of silence, Race Course and Lake are the impressive and coveted destinations of Matheran.
The Charlotte Lake, atop the crest of the hill, promises serenity and solitude. The rippling water stream of the lake crosses the road and washes off the dirt of the road. Touch the water stream and cross it to reach the Eco Point.
For any question or enquiry you can contact the tourist office, situated at the opposite side of the railway station on the MG Marg. For purchasing trademark items of Matheran, you along with your family members have to flock to the MG Marg. Purchase honey, cane and items of leathers and carry them back home to recall the memories of the trip for a long time. The red soil of Matheran would stick on your attires and would also help you to recollect the old reminiscences of Matheran.
About 15 km away from Neral, Karjat, is located on the outskirts of Mumbai. Many of the wealthy families of Mumbai have set up their farm houses and poultry farms here in Karjat. Flower mushrooms are also being produced in Karjat.
Positioned at the end of the plains of the Konkan valley, Karjat, is entirely surrounded by hills. Marvelous natural environs of Karjat are worth watching. Be in touch with nature at Karjat for some time.
Few noteworthy hotels where tourists can stay at are Karjat Village R, Varalaxmi R and Dr Modi’s Health R. Many more resorts have also come up there on the heavenly premise of Karjat.
Tourists who want to visit this small and attractive spot called Karjat have to avail a train from Neral.
How to reach Matheran: Get down at Neral railway station on the railway track of Mumbai- Pune. Trains from Neral travel to Matheran through the Narrow gauge railway track. Minibuses also ply to Matheran from Neral. If you want to reach Matheran comfortably, then the best way is to hire a taxi from Neral. Neral is accessible directly by bus from Mumbai CST. Diesel and petrol cars are not allowed to travel to Matheran though.
Where to stay at Matheran: Lords Central Hotel, Giri Vihar Hotel, The Byke Retreat, Richie Rich Resorts, Hotel Rangoli, Khan’s Hotel, Alankar Hotel, Royal Hotel, Laxmi Hotel, Janata Happy Home, Bright Lands Resorts, Premdip Lodge, Silvan Hotel and Hotel panorama.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.