Situated at 803 meters above sea level, this is one of the two most favorite hill stations of Maharashtra (other is Mahabaleshwar). It’s Proximity to Mumbai and easy accessibility has made it more popular. In 1850, Mallet, the district Collector of Thane, first discovered this hill station. He first sited this mountain from the village 'Chowk'. He climbed the hill from “one tree point”. Britisher developed this hill station as their summer resort. This is the main reason why all the points of Matheran have english names.
Matheran is situated on a plateau which suddenly drops off into the gorgeous valleys of Sahyadri and one can have breath taking view of the surrounding. On a clear night, one can easily see the “lights of Mumbai” from Bombay point.
How to reach Matheran? On the central railway track from Mumbai one has to get down at Neral station. From the station a toy train takes you up to Matheran. This 21 km. railway track trends its way up the slopes and traveling by this train is an enchanting experience for 21 km distance. This mini train takes 2 hrs. It can be said that “getting there by this train is half the fun”. This train was started by Adamaji Peerbhay, a parasi gentleman in 1907. The train is completing 100 year this year and is viewing for a spot in a “Heritage Trains of the World”.
An enthusiastic trekker can trek up to Matheran from Neral, a 8 k.m. trek. One can also travel by car or taxi from Neral to Dasturi or Mount berry Point. Automobiles are not allowed in the Matheran. One has to park the cars at Dasturi and walk in to the Matheran. Available mode of transfer in Matheran is horse-ride.
Matheran is surrounded by dense forest with almost 150 varieties of plans in it. Many birds species have made this forest their home. Some of the major species are: Kingfisher, Robin, Dhanesh, Bulbul, Lank etc.
Though Matheran is basically a hill station and previously it was visited during summer, now with trekking enthusiasm on rise, this is very attractive point of trekking in the rains. With the advent of monsoons, Matheran looks enchanting. One can have a feel of “walk in the clouds” during the rains of Matheran.
Matheran is famous for walking sticks known as “Matheran sticks” and deer leather footwear. Honey and chikki from Matheran are also well famous.
Major points of attraction in Matheran:
- Charlotte Lake: 1 k.m. from the market place. This is the main source of water for Matheran.
- Panorama point: As the name suggests, this can be called as “king” of the points. Situated at Matheran end, it has valleys on east andwest side. On eastern side, one can see Neral down below while one can have a glimpse of Panvel and Gadeshwer Lake from west. Sunrise can also be seen from this point.
- Sunset Point(Porcupine point): The mountain “Prabalged” is just in front of this point.
- Louisa Point: Situated on west side of Matheran.
- Echo point: This is midway between charlotte & Louisa point.
- One Tree point: For Many years, there was only one tree at this point & hence the name. This was the point from where mallet first came to Matheran in 1850.
- Garbert point: A secluded and not much visited point. Valley on one side and dense forest on the other side. One can see beautiful sun rise from this points.
Gallery: Visit gallery here (comming soon).
Map: Visit Map here.
Matheran has all types of accommodation (budget wise) facilities here.
Airport: Mumbai, 100 kms away is the nearest airport.
By Rail: Neral station, 21 kms away is where you can catch the toy train.
By Road: Mumbai by road is about 108 kms from Matheran via Karjat and Neral.
Pune is 120 kms away.
All cars and buses stop at Dasturi just outside, from which you can walk, take a horse or a hand-pulled rickshaw into the town. State Transport buses ply from Mumbai, Pune to Neral.