Monday, July 28, 2014

Matheran - No honking hill station

What can be a better escape on a rainy weekend from Mumbai than Matheran ? Matheran is the only hill station, where vehicles are banned and you can clearly listen the sound of breeze rustling leaves and the sound of the horse shoes.
Yes, you can commute and explore the hills either on your own feet or on a horseback. This is a perfect place for Digital detoxification enjoy on the lap of mother nature.

How to reach : Matheran can be reached by road from Mumbai or Pune via Road or Train with ease.

We decided to take the railways + roadways - You can take a karjat bound train from from CST and get down at Neral. Then either go for toy train ( narrow gauge ) from Neral to Matheran. The toy train is not fully functional during Monsoon season ( from July to September) due to heavy rains. After having some light snacks (vadapav is a must have) at Divdekar food stall at Neral station. Board a shared taxi available at Rs.70/- per person, which shall take you uphill to Dasturi car parking (it is the last point for the vehicles). 

Where To Stay: You can stay in Hotel Cecil, which is a very calm place and fits in budget. Cecil is a heritage building and is about 100 years old.

The rooms are spacious, the toilets are not very well maintained and the food is 9/10. Although they do not serve nov-veg food and alcohol. The rent on a weekend for 1 night was 3000/- for a double occupancy room, which includes all meals.

We booked it through

What to see : Matheran has about 22 points for tourists listed below. All developed by Britishers.
Important points are Alexander Pt., Rambag Pt, Little Chowk Pt, Big Chowk Pt, One Tree Hill Pt, Belvedere Pt, Olympia Race Course, Lords Pt, Charlotte Lake,Celia Pt (a water fall mouth), Echo Pt., Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt), Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt), Khandala Pt, Madhavji Garden & Point, Matheran Railway Station, Louisa Point, Mayra Point, Pisarnath Temple.

It takes about 3 days to cover all the points and having time constraint we decided to visit only.
Charlotte lake , Echo point and Monkey point. So that we have enough time to click some of the best shots.

Breath taking view from Echo Point

If you want to experience adrenaline rush, you can also try Valley crossing from echo point.
And trust me nothing beats hot maggie and corn ( bhutta) at on the mountains, which is a must have thing.

Its advisable to reach back your resort before it gets dark as the hill terrain is not equipped with street lights.
So to catch up with time, we decided to hire horses, with funny names as hawa hawai and champion, which took us to Hotel Cecil before dusk.

After reaching hotel, nothing can beat hot masala Irani chai with bread butter.

After sound sleep during the night and delicious Morning breakfast and tea we left for Mumbai. Took a Toy train (15 mins journey) from Matheran to Aman Lodge, then shared taxi to Neral and then Local train to Thane and finally back home after experiencing a much needed Digital Detoxification.