Getting to Matheran
Places to See
The Market place
Serene Landscapes

Matheran, Queen of Hill Stations!
This is Bombay's nearest hill station, which is an oasis of tranquillity with healthy & salubrious climate, unpolluted air, beautiful surroundings, charming shady walks, magnificent panoramic views.

This popular holiday resort, is best visited during the season from October to May. Many visitors come to this lovely hill station to get a new lease of life charmed by its refreshing atmosphere.

Its dense forests, cool climate and the lines of hills scattered on all four sides, has a healthy and therapeutic effect.

Matheran, Maharashtra, India.
The name of this hill station refers to the dense growth of jungle as its head. Matheran means a place topped by a jungle.

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  Getting to Matheran

The nearest airport is Bombay (Mumbai), around 100 km away. Mumbai to Neral is around 90 km, while Neral to Matheran is 21 km.

Express trains leaving from Bombay and Pune should be booked for travelling up to Neral enroute to Matheran. This facility is only available for Deccan Express and Koyna Express from Bombay. Local trains also available from Bombay with no prior booking required. From the local station only take either Karjat or khopoli trains and get down at Neral station. From Neral a mini train takes the visitor up to Matheran a distance of 21 Km in about two hours. The journey is very picturesque.

A taxi service also operates between Neral and Matheran 24 hours at the rate of Rs.70/- per head. This is the quickest mode of transport taking only twenty minutes. Passengers alighting at the taxi stand are advised to take a coolie ( approx Rs.250/- ) and proceed to the hotel via the railway line.

Many enthusiastic hikers climb the hill from Neral on foot. It is a fairly stiff climb and takes at least two to three hours. Once one arrives at Matheran walking becomes a pleasure and must.

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  Places to see

" Matheran is dotted with about 33 lookout points -- many of them with quaint names -- from where you get spectacular views of the plains below or across the Western Ghats. You can hike your way to these through the woodlands. "

Karsondas Mulji Library: founded in 1897 at the far end of Mahatma Gandhi Road. A sign on the wall reads, "No one ever really paid the price of a book, only the price of printing it.

Panorama Point: 5 kms north of the post office, has the most spectacular views. Below lies Neral, to the west Mumbai and to the north are the Ghats. It's a popular place to watch the sun rise.

Monkey Point: which look down over the plains.

Porcupine Point: further to the southwest, is the popular sunset view.

Louisa Point: 3 kms west of the post office, is on a plateau with views of the ruined forts Prabal and Vishalgarh. One of the nearby rocks is called Lion's Head because of its supposed resemblance to one.

Echo Point: really does have an echo.

Chowk Point: 4 kms from the post office, is at the extreme southern end of Matheran.

Rambagh: lies 2 kms away looking towards Khandala and Karjat.

Alexander Point: one km to the north, one can see Garbut Point, the Chowk valley and the Ulhas River.

Mount Barry: is one of the highest spots in Matheran, with splendid views. Between Mount Barry and Panorama Point is Governor's Hill, another viewpoint.The Panthers' Caves and the Paymaster Park are other attractions, especially for children.

Charlotte Lake: is the main source of drinking water for the town. The lake looks splendid in the monsoon, with swirling coffee brown water, but dries up in the summer. Near the dam are some food stalls and the main Hindu temple, the Pisarnath Mandir.

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  The Market place

The main Mahatma Gandhi Road is the bazaar, a small marketplace, not a commercial shopping complex. It runs the length of one street, and contains shops and stalls that sell the produce of Matheran. You can see workmen hunching over strips of leather, fashioning the Kolhapuri chappal that Matheran is famous for. Leather bags, leather belts, leather shoes& the workmanship is exclusive and the prices reasonable. There are also glass birds and dried wild flowers for sale that have a quaint appeal.

One other thing that dominates the market is chikki, a confection made of gram flour, jaggery and cashew nut. You could buy chikki in kilos to carry home; it is a universally popular sweetmeat.

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  Serene Landscapes

It takes only a few minutes to realize why Matheran has this untouched, pristine quality about it. Automobiles and vehicles of any sort are not allowed into Matheran. This little hill paradise has been left largely undisturbed, since the time an Englishman, Hugh Mallet, Collector of Thane, discovered it in 1850 and declared it a fine place for shady walks.

The inhabitants used to fish and keep goats; they still do, though today the tourist trade takes precedence over everything else.

The roads are still kutcha, there has been no attempt to prune the hedges or smarten up the vegetation, or introduce any kind of uniformity into its environment. Yet, nature herself maintains a mild discipline. The heavy branches of trees are not so thickly interwoven that you cannot see through them; the shrubs do not spill over indiscriminately on to the roads.

Monkeys are your companions wherever you go. As you jog along in your buggy, monkeys dangle themselves strategically, one paw hanging free to grab your packet of chips.

The variety of trees and shrubs, the lake, the bharang leaves that are used to treat snake bite, the most spectacular viewpoints. You can stand atop these peaks and survey the wild ravishing landscape, and the reddish brown mountain ranges.

The red soil is everywhere. Matheran is a continuous poem of shady, thickly wooded paths of red mud and velvet moss, stretching endlessly.

But in Matheran it is possible to forget that cities exist, it is possible to believe that you are ensnared in a time web from which release is not desirable. Such is the balmy calm of the place, the quiet and the green of the woods that seem to transform the most strident noises into gentler sounds.

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