Pollution Free, Colonial Charm-Matheran Beckons!

Matheran Train
Image source: The Better India

 

Come weekend, and it’s time to grab that bag and hit the roads to escape the scorching summer. As always, we at Pune365 have this all sorted and waiting for you right here:

Matheran, a plateau covered with dense forest has a pleasant temperature throughout the year. Literally translating to ‘forest on the forehead’, it is a popular weekend getaway, equidistant from Mumbai and Pune. Matheran’s rejuvenating and pollution free climate is what attracts visitors to this quiet, automobile free abode in the hills.

The place welcomes visitors from throughout the state, though a majority are from Pune and Mumbai.

Matheran, India
Matheran, India

The 120 Km distance from Pune to Matheran can be covered by rail or road. By rail, one can take a train to Karjat station and then from Karjat travel to Neral via a local train. Neral is the pit stop from where the journey to the smallest hill station in India starts.

One can either take a trip up hill on the heritage toy train that’s services re-started after it was discontinued for track repairs. Incidentally, this heritage narrow gauge train runs to Matheran about 4 times in a day right from Neral station. Alternatively, you can take a shared taxi to the last motorable point of the hill station, Dasturi point.

Either book your tickets in advance or be prepared to wait for nearly 30-60 mins before taking a ride on the train and enjoy the ride. It may be noted that these tickets are not available online through IRCTC.

If you are tired of travelling, it would be advisable to take a prepaid taxi or drive up to Dasturi point in your own vehicle which is considerably faster and can avoid the long toy train journey.

Scenic points to visit:

Panorama point (from where one can have a paranomic view of the hills to the left and Ulhas River to the right), Malang Point, Luisa Point, Honeymoon Hill, Heart Point (from where the valley resembles a heart), Charlotte Lake, Lords Point, Mount Barry, Artist Point, Monkey Point (named so for obvious reasons), Echo Point, Khandala Point, Rambaug Point, One tree Hill ( a hill with only one big tree), Olympia (with a horse race-course), Garbut Point, Sunset Point among others.

Once you have reached Dasturi Point which is approx. 11 KM from Neral station, you can either walk to the main market area (munching on raw mango, kulfi, nuts, star fruits along the way!) or enjoy a horseback ride or a hand rickshaw ride on the dusty red mud lanes.

There are porters available to carry luggage up to the town.

A horse-back ride in the smallest and only automobile-free hill station of India will instantly rejuvenate you from the hustle-bustle of life.

Stay clear of the monkeys though!

There are numerous sightseeing point and hill tops in the town, though most of the tourists come here to enjoy a peaceful, laid back time in the woods…

Apart from this, the adventure seeker can indulge in various sports here like parasailing, horse riding, valley crossing, trekking, paragliding and more.

Food is pretty decent here and there are a variety of options like Gujartai, Maharashtrian, Kebabs, Chinese, Moghlai, Punjabi and more. The streets are full of food stalls and stores selling everything from clothing to footwear and more. Several options for accommodation are available, ranging from modest hotels to resorts that have stood the test of time.

This serene and truly quiet hill station of India with its pleasant weather and colonial architecture is great for a quick weekend trip that will reek peace and quiet…

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#All distances, details are purely for reader information and it is advisable to check finer details at the location itself. 

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur

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