One of the most stunning hill stations in Maharashtra, Matheran is an idyllic place to bask in the lap of nature. It is located in Raigad district which is very close to Mumbai and Pune. Serving as a quick getaway for busy Mumbaikers, folks from Pune and other surrounding regions, this lesser known place in Maharashtra is about getting that much needed respite from the bustling city life. Besides, due to prohibition of motor vehicles in the region, the air quality in Matheran is superior and totally pollution free which is another unique feature of this beautiful escapade.
Dotted with many spectacular vantage points along misty hills, cascading waterfalls and forests with verdant foliage, Matheran is indeed among the best tourist places in Maharashtra where nature lovers, thrill seekers, honeymooners, holiday makers or any sort of traveller tribe can have an uninterrupted fun time. Offering a gamut of amazing experiences ranging from refreshing nature trails to unwinding waterfall rappelling, visiting the continent's sole automobile free hill station is totally worth your time.
Best Time To Visit Matheran
Perched at an altitude of 2624 ft, this gorgeous hill station lies in the western ghats which is the majorly responsible for its serene environ. You can visit here anytime of the year, however, the best time to travel Matheran is during the summer season that falls between April to May and then post monsoon season between October to January as these months of the year are typically perfect for sightseeing and indulging in various thrilling activities. The cool breeze during these months is mystifying, resplendent and unwinding for the travellers making their stay in the hill town even more comfortable and memorable.
Travel Tip: It is advisable to avoid travelling to Matheran between monsoon months of July to September as there are chances of landslides in the region and also there are very limited options of transportation which majorly hampers the commuting for travellers.
History of Matheran
Matheran is one of the most attractive hill stations in India that was first discovered in the 19th century by the district collector of Thane, Hugh Poyntz Malet. It was a summer retreat during the British era whose foundation was laid by Lord Ephinstone who was the Governor of Bombay during that time. He made many developments in the region during his governance including the very popular Toy Train that runs even today on a narrow gauge between Neral and Matheran. It is also the major source of connectivity as other motor vehicles are till date prohibited in the region.
10 Best Places to Visit in Matheran
Being an eco sensitive region, Matheran offers some of the most gorgeous sites and breathtaking vantage points that fascinate travellers a lot. Take a look at 10 best places to visit in Matheran on your trip to this heavenly place. Check out!
1. Charlotte Lake. One of the major attractions of Matheran, Charlotte Lake is known for its serenity. You can just simply sit along the bank and savour its captivating beauty. It is also the
largest source of water in the region so you will spot some people around to interact with.
2. Dodhani Waterfalls. This magnificent waterfall is a prime attraction of Matheran Tourism, India as it is known for its recreational activities like waterfall rappelling and scenic beauty of course. Your trip to Matheran would be incomplete without paying a visit to Dodhani Waterfalls which is a heaven for adventure enthusiasts.
3. Louisa Point, Porcupine Point, Rambagh Point, One Tree Hill Point, Monkey Point and whatnot. There are about 38 vantage points in Matheran out of which the above mentioned are unmissable for their most splendid panoramic vistas of sweeping Western Ghats. Grab the eye popping views of emerald landscapes and dramatic mountains flanked by the rocky terrains and charming colonial bungalows sitting gracefully in between.
4. Prabalgad Fort. The erstwhile home to Umaji Naik who was the famous freedom fighter, Prabalgad Fort is a major highlight on the trip to Matheran. Located on Panvel and Matheran belt, this historical marvel is perched on the top of the hill from where the view of lush green Matheran is extremely captivating.
5. Chanderi Caves. Trekking to Chanderi caves is one of the most popular and thrilling activities that you can do in Matheran. Located on the way to Karjat from Badlapur, Chanderi Caves lies between the sweeping mountain range that extends to a height of about 800 meters and therefore is perfect for trekking. Also, the view from the caves is also captivating for the trekkers.
6. Ambarnath Temple. Located at a distance of 37 km from Matheran, paying a visit to the ancient Ambarnath Temple is a ritual for many travellers. It is a famous religious spot in the region and holds a lot of significance for the natives. This revered shrine of Lord Shiva is located on the banks of river Waldhuni that adds more charm to the blissful environment.
7. Irshalgad Fort. Yet another historical site of Matheran, Irshalgad Fort is totally worth visiting to catch the glimpse of majestic architecture surrounded by the lush green landscape. Also, the picturesque beauty of this majestic fort draws many photographers and tourists alike.
8. Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Located at a distance of 64 km, Karnala Bird Sanctuary is one of the best places to visit near Matheran. Paradise for bird watchers, this sanctuary is ideal for taking pictures of some exotic bird species nesting in the western ghats which is one of the major biodiversity hotspots of India.
9. Lonavala. While visiting Matheran, you can always extend your trip to Lonavala as it is in close proximity of 60.3 km. Known for its spellbinding beauty and jaw dropping vistas, visiting Lonavala along with Matheran will be a cherry on the cake. You can cover both these popular weekend getaways of Maharashtra without wasting much time in commuting.
10. Imagica. Whilst holidaying in Matheran and Lonavala, visiting Imagica will only add a whole bunch of beautiful memories to your vacation. It is a perfect water resort with aquapark parks, thrilling activities, food courts and whatnot which is just 46.5 km away. So why miss the fun? Bucket list this destination near Matheran as well!
Top 5 Things To Do In Matheran | Matheran Tourism
Are you a nature lover, photographer, adventure junkie, backpacker, history buff or spiritual seeker? There are many fun and exciting things to do in Matheran for every kind of traveller. Go deep in the forests or trek through the enduring trails, here’s a complete list of best things to do in Matheran. Check out!
1. Waterfall Rappelling. This one is the most popular and exciting activity that is mandatory on your trip to Matheran. All you have to do is to head to Dodhani Waterfalls and rest will be taken care of by the team of experts who will guide you through this hair-raising adventure of waterfall rappelling.
2. Rock Climbing. Unleash an adventurer in you by taking up to the best rock climbing experience in Matheran. Owing to its rocky terrain, climbing is totally a fun affair in this scenic hill station of Maharashtra.
3. Trekking & Hiking. With so many trekking trails and hiking options, Matheran is a dream destination for many trekkers and hikers. You can check your endurance level by trekking to Prabalgad Fort, Chanderi Caves etc depending on the difficulty level set by the experts.
4. Toy Train Ride. There are very few toy train rides in India and one is the narrow gauge running between Neral and Matheran. It's a journey of a lifetime with splendid views on the way along with a memorable trip in Toy Train. Also, this is the main source of transportation as it's an eco-sensitive zone.
5. Nature Walks. While visiting the famous Prabalgad fort, you can take a short nature walk to nearby jungle trails and villages to experience the beauty of nature at its best. It is one of the best things to do in Matheran which will be both enriching and memorable for you.
How To Reach Matheran
Motor vehicles or automobiles are not allowed in this eco-friendly destination of Maharashtra hence travellers have to think of pollution free transportation options to reach Matheran. However, you can consider Mumbai as your base and travel by a cab or bus till Dasturi Naka which is barely 3 km away from the main hill town. You can also consider travelling by Toy Train that runs between Neral and Matheran.
Here are the best ways to reach Matheran without breaking the rules of this pollution free destination. Check out!
Nearest Major City. Mumbai
Nearest Airport. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM)
Nearest Railhead. Neral Railway Station via Toy Train
Distance from Mumbai. 83.2 km via Bengaluru - Mumbai Highway
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai is the nearest airport to Matheran which is well connected to all major cities of India through regular domestic and international flights. After deboarding, you can travel to Matheran by road or rail depending on the time and budget. You can also consider reaching Matheran Tourists via Pune which is relatively farther than Mumbai.
Distance from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM). 44 kms
Travelling to Matheran via train is a memorable experience as you get a chance to enjoy a memorable ride in the Toy Train. This train typically runs on a narrow gauge between Neral Junction and Matheran which is in close proximity to this fascinating hill station.
Distance from Neral Railway Station. 8 km
You can also consider reaching Matheran by taking a train to Karjat junction which is about 19 km away.
Matheran is connected to many major cities through the well maintained Mumbai-Pune Highway. There are regular state transport buses that run between Matheran and Mumbai, Pune and Panvel making it easy for travellers to commute. Since it's a non-pollution zone, buses ply only till Dasturi Naka which is just 3 km away. From there you have to consider options like walking down, taking horse-rides or man-pulled rickshaws.
Distance from Karjat. 19 km
Distance from Lonavala. 54.2 km via Karjat-Neral Road
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Matheran, Maharashtra
Q 1. What is the best time to visit Matheran?
A 1. The best time to visit Matheran is between April to May and then October to January.
Q 2. Is Matheran open now?
A 2. Yes, Matheran is open for tourists.
Q 3. What is special in Matheran?
A 3. Matheran is Asia’s only non-vehicle place that is famous for its serenity and virgin environment. Also, there are plenty of vantage points and natural wonders that make Matheran special for nature lovers and adventure junkies.
Q 4. What can you shop for in Matheran?
A 4. Matheran is a small hill station where there are limited choices for shopping. However, people buy leather items, Honey, Kolhapuri footwear, Chikki, and some local handicrafts from its iconic Mall road.
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