Matheran Hill Station

Why To Go

Situated in the Raigad district on the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra, Matheran stands at an elevation of 2600 feet above the sea level. An ‘eco-sensitive ‘region, as declared by the Government of India, Matheran means ‘forest on the forehead’ is one of the smallest hill stations of India.

Matheran is a place where no vehicle is allowed (auto-free zone), making it a pollution free zone and with lush green hills, cool breeze, this cozy little hill town is thronged by visitors all round the year.

As you sit surrounded by foggy hills on all sides, a quaint little toy train makes its way through the fog, its engine puffing slowly. Welcome to Matheran Hill Station…

Matheran’s proximity too many metropolitan cities make it a popular weekend gateway for urban residents. It is just 100 km from Mumbai and around 120 km from Pune. The roads are not metalled and are of red laterite soil giving it an earthy touch to the place.

Matheran is known for its picturesque landscapes, the beautiful waterfalls, and the winding roads that are curved out of the mountain.

With a total of 36 viewpoints such as Echo Point, Alexander Louisa Point, Panorama Point and Porcupine Point among others, these views let you enjoy captivating scenic beauties. The cool climate also refreshes your souls.

Travel Tips

The best time to visit Matheran is just after the monsoons in the month of October to May. The entire surrounding is covered in lush green then. Another good time to make a trip to this hill town is during summer that is from March-June, as Matheran turns into a charming and picturesque place. Also, remember to carry comfortable walking shoes as you will have to walk a lot.

Things To Do

If you are planning a trip to Matheran, you are sure to have a wonderful time. The hill station at Matheran provides for the tourists some of the most beautiful views that they can hope to see. The place still exudes the old world charm with British and Parsee architecture dotting the terrain. Amongst of the popular tourist spots in the region is the Panorama Point. It is the best place to see sunrise. You will also get a superb view of the surrounding region, with the hills on one side and the Ulhas River on the other. Heart Point is another of the popular points in Matheran and offers a scenic view of the valley down below. Charlotte Lake is one of the lakes in the region that can be best viewed from King George Point. The lake is surrounded by trees and its clear water reflecting the surrounding hills is one of the best sights you can get in Matheran. The lake also gives rise to a waterfall, which can be seen best from the Luisa Point. Reach to Echo Point, a very close by spot gives you a picturesque view. While Matheran is known for its beauty, do not be surprised if you catch a glimpse of golden langurs, Matheran giant squirrels, or snakes. Horse riding is one of the popular activities while visiting Matheran. Valley Crossing is one of the adventure sports in Matheran. You have to cross around 900 feet while hanging from ropes, with the valley 1000 ft. below you. Savour your taste buds with Vaada Paw, authentic kebabs, Chikki (a special type of sweet in this region) and do not forget to sip in some refreshing Kokum sherbet.

Getting Around

As cars are not allowed in Matheran, you have to explore the region on foot. Cycles can also be hired. The other option available to you is to hire the horses from the locals and use them to get around the place.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

If you prefer to travel by plane, the nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji airport at Mumbai. Flights from major towns are well connected to this airport. From there, you can either take a taxi or a bus to cover the remaining portion of the journey. Cars for hire are easily available just outside the airport. The airport is 44 km from Matheran. You can also go to Matheran from the Pune Airport, which is app. 81 km from the town.

TRAIN

The nearest important railway station is at Neral, which is 8 km away from Matheran via toy train. The rail station at Neral is connected to the stations in Mumbai and Pune, and via them to the other stations across the state. A train journey from Mumbai to Neral takes roughly one and a half hours. Another way to reach Matheran is through Karjat Junction via a local train, which is around 20 km away.

ROAD

You are not allowed to take a car to Matheran. However, you can take one to Neral. When you are quite close to the hill station and then cover the remaining distance on horseback, or foot. There are direct bus routes between Mumbai and Neral. You can get up on a bus from any of the important towns or cities and take a bus which will take you directly to the hill station here. Alternately, you can also rent a taxi or a car for the trip. Buses run by the state government as well as private buses make regular trips to Matheran. The distance between Neral and Mumbai is around 108 km.

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Surrounding Attractions

Neral-Matheran Toy train is one the major tourist attractions at Matheran. The service runs from Neral to Matheran. Another popular site for tourists is the Paymaster Park. Prabal Fort is of historical importance and the ruins are noted for their architecture. You can also make a visit to Neral, Panvel or Lonavala, Ambarnath etc. from this hilly town.
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