Matheran, Hill Station- Perfect Weekend Getaway

8:16:00 AM

Tired of a busy city life? Fed up with all this noise and pollution? Need a break from this hectic schedule?

Take a short weekend getaway break and travel to Matheran, a hill station located a few kms from Mumbai.

How to get there?

From Mumbai there are two options to get to Matheran.
By Car- One is that you can book a private vehicle all the way to the entrance. In this case, you will have to pay for parking and then enter Matheran.
By Train - The other option is to travel by train. For this, catch a train from the central line to a station Neral. It’s not Nerul, Nerul is in Navi-Mumbai which is also nearby, however where you want to go is Neral.

And then, from Neral station catch a toy train all the way to Matheran market or you could catch a sharing Cab (Rs. 80) which will take you to the entrance of the hill station.
There is an entry fee of Rs 50 for adult visitors and Rs.25 for children. Since no vehicles are allowed within Matheran, the cab will drop you at this entrance and then you need to walk for around 45 min to 1 hr to reach the Matheran market. You will be walking along the toy train tracks and you will have a lot to see and take in. Don’t worry about the sun, the entire route is pretty much covered by trees, except for a few stretches near and far. There is an option of horse riding(Rs. 200-250) for those who don't like walking, and for those who don't like either of the options Matheran isn't for you buddy. :P

The toy train is always a best option and it takes around 1 hour 30 mins to reach. It will be a journey as it will take you all the way from the base of the hill station to the top with thrilling zigzag turns and along the way you will see villages, bridges, a good look at the flora and fauna. As the train climbs higher you will get to see one complete side of Matheran. The view will be breathtaking and the journey unforgettable. The toy train takes you all the way to Matheran market and so you will not be tired as well.

We caught the 8.06 train from Dadar to Neral station (CST to Karjat train), so that we could reach early and catch the toy train, but unfortunately the toy train was under maintenance. Our bad luck!! We took the cab to the entrance on the hill station and then went in walking.



Matheran Entrance

Entry Fair
From the cab

From the cab

Looks like some haunted entrance :D
Walk on the tracks!
And that's what you get to see while you walk!

Note:

1. Toy trains do not operate in the monsoons.(This time the maintenance took long)
2. Beware of monkeys do not carry any food in your hand, pack it in your bag. (or you could even feed the monkeys.)
3. The journey might take some time, carry water.
4. Try to wear something comfortable, there will be a lot to walk.
5. There is a lot of walking, so travel light.
6. Carry a torch if in case your phone battery drains.
7. If you get your private vehicle, be ready to drive up the Ghats, if you are not prepared then better not drive.
Monkey's everywhere

Where to stay?

There is a wide range of hotels available here. A decent non A/C room for as cheap as Rs. 500 and if you want to throw a big party there are villas, swimming pools, and DJ are available too. I have not heard of any crime incidents taking place over here, tourism being the main source of income. Rooms can be booked online through any websites are also available or even on arrival booking.

We had booked our villa through AirBnB to be on a safer side. The villa was good enough and the host was helpful too.

Note:

1. Check the reviews and distance of the room you book from the market as you will have to walk to the market to get to a restaurant.
2. If you are booking on arrival do visit the place yourself and then pay for the booking.

Where to eat?

There are many restaurants in the market, just step in and start hogging. The house host was ready to serve us food on request, but we decided to eat at a restaurant. We had lunch at a place called 'Amantran' which had satisfactory food, not that delicious though.

On our way back from the sunset point we decided to have dinner at 'Khan Hotel' which was a really bad idea. The food here was overbearingly spicy and stomach upsetting.

We stepped into 'Hotel Masemari' for breakfast which had really good breakfast and a perfect cup of coffee.

What to see there? (Points of Interest):

There are many points to see here, but walking to all of these in a day or two is very tiring.

Guide to all the points

1. Toy Train Ride:

A toy train ride from Neral to Matheran is very astonishing as it takes many thrilling zigzag turns over the ghats treating the tourists with a breathtaking view of  this Hill station.

Since it was under maintenance we could not take advantage of it, but the cab ride was thrilling too.

Pic from a previous trip

2.Hiking in the woods:

Hiking in the woods gets fun and exciting when you're with friends talking about supernatural activities and have fun along the way.

Easy directions in the woods to reach the sunset point

3. Sunset point(My Fav):

It is also called as Porcupine point and it is the most famous point in Matheran. It takes around 20-30 minutes from the market to reach here. You have to reach here on time and cannot be late, else you'll miss the beautiful sunset. The view here is breathtaking with the sunset over the valleys.



4. Co-Located points

Most of the points are just besides each other having almost the same view, regardless if you have time you will be tempted to move from one point to the next as they are just minutes away and it is just fun to do so. There are game stalls at all the points.


A game spot 
5. Horse Ride:

When your feet are tired getting on a horse is what comes to your head. Horse ride was a good experience here with the forest set up and the uneven roads.

Riding back home. 
The expenditure would be around Rs. 2,000 per person, so not that much spending after all.

The saying fits perfect-

               "At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling."

To sum it all, it was one heck of a trip. Well, I would not want to go back, but it was worth visiting once. 

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