इतर ब्लॉगवर सर्व वाचकांचे स्वागत आहे
Oh! Don’t worry readers, I won’t write more Marathi than this, because I don’t know more than this 😉 This is the region we are going to visit today so we thought it would be better if there is a little feel at the beginning.
Yes, so let’s go back to Maharashtra today. Let’s visit Matheran, the only automobile free hill station in India as well as one of the smallest hill stations. In India, the Western Ghats, the Sahyadri range is about 1,200 km long. Sahyadri range covers wide region of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Matheran is a must visit place in Maharashtra, situated at an altitude of 6 feet above sea level on the Sahyadri range.
Named after the ‘Forest on the Forehead’, as already mentioned it is the only hill station with no vehicle entry. (the ambulance kept by the municipality is only vehicle there). So it can be a little uncomfortable to walk with a very young child or an adult with a knee problem. Of course whole Mathern can be seen through horse riding also.
Being a vehicle free hill station, it is no exaggeration to call it an oxygen tank. If we stay here for just two or three days, we can recharge our lungs for the whole year. The forest here is semi-evergreen, meaning it remains a green forest for almost all the months of the year. High mountains and tall trees are reason for a very good rain and foggy atmosphere.
Most of the thirty-eight view points here are the same as you visit at almost all the hill stations. Such as Sun Set Point, Sun Rise Point, Echo Point etc. however some of the points are must visit for all like Panorama Point, One Tree Hill Point, Louisa Point etc. Yes, Charlotte Lake, which supplies water to this hill station, is also a sight to behold. Small springs are formed in monsoon when this lake gets overflow.
As mentioned earlier, Matheran is a small hill station, so if you are a little fit and fond of walking then bus number eleven.. (Sorry, the word ‘bus’ cannot be used for walking here either 😉 ) is the best option to roam around Matheran. To visit whole matheran by horse riding is an another option who have visited this place with toddlers and elders. Those who have less time to visit whole points also can prefer this option. However horse riding option is very expensive here. There are no fixed rates of horse rides. So, if you prefer horse riding option then bargain for sure.
There is so much pure oxygen here that you never get tired of walking (yes, swamps can be annoying in the rainy season). Getting up early in the morning with the natural alarm of birds chirping and wandering all day also means getting an early night’s sleep. Sleep reminded me that the lives of the people here. Lives of the laborers are really full of hardships in Matheran. They literary have to fetch all daily consumptions items of visitors by hand cart or on horse back four to five Kms up the Hill. They always fall asleep as soon as they close their eyes.
Another big relief here is lack of mobile network in many places. No one can disturb you unless you want to get disturb by yourself. If we stay for three days and two nights, we can walk all over Matheran on foot. It is so small (with proper sleep at noon and night .. :)). just like every other hill station, the hotels here also have good tea and snacks (or wandering all day and having a real appetite makes every hill station snack feel good?) You’ll fall in love with the red clay here on foot. .
How to Reach:
Matheran can be easily reached from Mumbai (30 km) as well as Pune (150 km). Mumbai’s local train is also connected to Neral station, apart from that there are many trains to Mumbai and Pune. Matheran is located at a distance of 21 km from Neral. There is a toy train from Neral to Matheran, but it has been closed for maintenance for a long time so it is advisable to ask beore planning toy train ride. Also, keep in mind that toy train speeds can be very tiring during the summer. A private (shared) vehicle is available from Neral to Dasturi Point which drops to Dasturi Point 11 km from Neral. Dasturi Point is the last station, after which vehicle entry is prohibited. From here Matheran can be reached by horseback or by ferry. The entry fee of Matheran is Rs. 50 for adults and Rs. 25 for children (as per 2017 – tickets are available at check point of Dasturi Point). If the train is not operative and you want to reach Matheran by walk, you can reach from the train route also. This route is better than the normal route (equestrian route). Trekking enthusiasts can also reach by trekking which starts from the village of Dodha and exits from the sunset point of Matheran. Dodha is only fifteen km from Panvel.
So, to cleanse the lungs, to understand the importance of solitude, to take a break from social networking, to feel the jungle and give quality time to your loved ones माथेरानला भेटलेच पाहिजे..
In the end .. we found a free local guide in Matheran. It was a doggie, Yes a stray dog. Wherever we go, he walks ahead of us. He must have realized that if we don’t show them the correct way, they will get lost 🙂 With his help, we went all over Matheran “Bindas”. Have you ever been to Matheran? Have you ever experienced such a stray dog? Write in the comments. If you haven’t visited yet and want to visit after reading this then ask query at any time.