Matheran is probably the smallest hill station in India. Located just 90 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune, Matheran is one of the popular weekend getaways amongst those looking for a respite from maddening routines of the daily lives in concrete jungles.

Matheran is a plateau perched atop a hill at a height of about 2625 feet above sea level. It’s cool breezy environs, pristine and serene surroundings, lush greenery, blue lakes and delightful waterfalls, lure hundreds of tourists every weekend.

For nature lovers, this is a place to be in! Bird watchers will have a terrific time sighting some rare birds like Malabar Whistling Thrush, Pied Hornbills, Malabar Trogon, parakeets etc. Leopards are not so unusual to come across and monkeys and langurs are so commonly seen!

Matheran is the only hill station in Asia where automobiles are absolutely banned. This makes this pretty little hill station absolutely pollution free and stunningly peaceful adding to its beauty and making it a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. The roads here are not tarred but are made of red laterite earth. The local transportation needs are met by horse rides and hand-pulled rickshaws.

This little hill-station was discovered by the British who developed it as a summer resort to beat the heat of the sultry plains. Matheran has retained the old world charm in form of architecture. Also there are a few Parsi bungalows which act as add-ons. The main bazaar offers an array of items to choose from.

Matheran was discovered by a British, Mr Hugh Malet, in 1850 who was the then District Collector of Thane. Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Mumbai, laid the foundation for the area to be developed as a hill station.

Matheran has been declared as eco-sensitive region by Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.


Entry Fee: Entering Matheran comes at a cost of INR 50 per adult and INR 25 per child.



Places to Visit in Matheran

Matheran offers spectacular views! There are 38 designated view points, all of which offer magnificent views of surroundings. Panorama Point offers actually panoramic views of the area around and amazing sunrise and sunset view, from Monkey point one can see scores of monkeys jumping and playing around and Charlotte point offers clear view of Lake Charlotte. There are many others like Echo point, Alexander Point etc.

Besides the lookout points, Matheran has a couple of lakes which serve as perfect picnic spots, temples, and a Toy Train as an additional attraction.

Not very far is Ambarnath Temple, an age old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built in 1060, Ambarnath Temple is one of the popular shrines in the region.

One can also check out Prabal Fort. The Fort was captured by Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji from the Mughals. The Fort is one of the oldest monuments in the region and is in ruins today.

Another one of the major tourist attractions near Matheran is Morbe Dam. The dam is built across Dharavi River and manages water supply in the area.


Matheran Toy Train

Matheran Toy Train is not just a tourist attraction but also an important means of transport from this quaint little hill station to the plains of Neral which is connected further to Mumbai through broad gauge.

The Toy Train does several rounds up and down from Neral which are reduced to one round a day during the monsoons.

Matheran Hill Railway or Matheran Light Railway was established in 1907 and has been up and running eversince. Matheran Hill Railway was considered by UNESCO World Heritage Site officials but unfortunately failed to make it to the list of the World Heritage Sites unlike its counterparts Darjeeling Toy Train in West Bengal and Kalka-Shimla Toy Train in Himachal Pradesh.


How to Reach Matheran

By Air

Nearest Airport: Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport at Mumbai (100 Km). Further ahead, one can opt a train, bus or cab.


By Train

Matheran has a railway station for the narrow gauge Toy Train.

Nearest Railway station is Neral (20Km) which is well connected with CST.

From Mumbai, one can catch a local train bound for Karjat and get off at Neral station from where one can catch Toy Train uptil Matheran. The 20Km uphill ride from Neral to Matheran is completed in two hours, offering beautiful scenic views making it worthwhile.

From Pune, one can catch a Mumbai bound train and get off at Karjat. From Karjat catch a CST bound train and get down at Neral to take the Toy Train to Matheran.


By Car

If one wants to travel by car to Matheran, the car has to be left behind at Dasturi Naaka (3Km short of Matheran). To reach Matheran one has to choose between a horse-ride, walking up which takes about 20-30 minutes and hiring a porter for luggage.


Tip: If hiring a horse or a porter, negotiate before proceeding.


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