Matheran is the only hill-station in Asia which is automobile free. It is a hill-station in the Raigad District in Maharashtra at a height of about 2625 feet in the Western Ghats Range.
Matheran means ‘Forest on the forehead’ and is a weekend getaway for residents in Mumbai and Pune.
It is a eco-sensitive region and there are 38 view points to visit in Matheran. Some paths are muddy, some through narrow paths long the woods and some paths are on red laterite earth. Some places cannot be visited during the monsoons owing to the slush and heavy rains.
One has to spend around 1-5 days in Matheran to explore almost all the viewpoints and the nearby places. There are hotels, home-stays in Matheran itself and is a lovely place to stay in the midst of the mountains.
Matheran was identified by Hugh Palet, the then district collector of Mumbai. Later the British developed it as a hill resort to beat the summer heat! It also has a railway line running from Neral station.
Matheran is also home to Langurs, Macaques, Wild Boar, Deer, Mongoose, Fox and may be Leopards. One can see only the Langurs and Macaques and the rest don’t turn up where humans are present.
Forests and Mountains-
Matheran is covered with evergreen forests and there are many varieties of trees, ferns, shrubs which grow and is a haven for any botanist. It happens to have rich diversity of flora owing to the porous soil, heavy rains and fog.
There are many small Trekking trails to the view points in Matheran. And also there are numerous trekking routes from other places to Matheran.
Well, getting around Matheran can be done in 3 ways:
- By foot – One can explore as many places as possible by walking or hiking. The walk through the woody paths of the forests or the through the muddy paths is something to experience.
- On horseback- If you have very little time and want to explore many places then the horses can be your guide.
- Manually pulled Rickshaws- There are Rickshaws as well where one can visit nearby places.
The best part of exploring Matheran is hiking through the vivid landscapes and the beauty of Matheran. The fog around the view points, the walk when it is drizzling, paths leading to forests, the tranquility of the mountains would give one a beautiful experience!
My Experience at Matheran-
I remember the day I explored Matheran, it was raining. We were a bunch of friends who had made it to Matheran and we all decided to explore the viewpoints close by at our own pace. I wanted to check out each view point but considering the time and the distance between the view points it was not possible!
Matheran is a haven for any Writer, if I had a diary or a book with me I would have stayed for quite some days. It is a serene hangout in the mountains away from the city and the nights are pretty chill and also a bit spooky.
But with a market around along with some eateries, restaurants and shopping places, it is quite a place to have a vacation at.
Though I had just been to Matheran for a day, I felt I should have stayed for more days or probably I should in the coming future!
- Elevation: 2625 feet (800 m)
- Best seasons to Trek: Jul-Oct; Some places can be visited all year around
- Duration: 1-5 Days Hike around Matheran
- Accommodation: Hotels, Home-stays in Matheran
- Best seasons to Trek: Oct – April;
- Location: Matheran, Raigad District, Maharashtra, India
- Nearest Train station: Neral Railway station (21 kms away)
- Nearest Airport: Mumbai Airport (100 kms away)
- By Road:
- Mumbai->Matheran (90 kms from Mumbai)
- Pune-> Matheran (120 kms from Mumbai)
Things to pack /carry:
- Sturdy Backpack preferable with wider shoulder straps as it should sit comfortably on your shoulder
- Hiking Shoes and socks
- Water bottle / Water pack
- Comfortable trekking pants and tees
- Light rain jacket /poncho depending on the season
- Sweater depending on the season
- Small first aid box
- Regular medication if any
- Head torch
- A small notepad and pen
- Essentials: Wallet, ID card
- Mobile phone, chargers, powerbank
- Cameras and Batteries
Are you ready to get lost in the scenic woods? Or Do you want to spend some time all by yourself in the mountains away from the city life?
Well, here is your chance!