Matheran, Maharashtra

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.

Sunrise point

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.

Forest on forehead

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.

camouflage snake on a tree

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.

filling lungs….

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.

thug baba..

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.

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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..

A local guide..

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.

Stay Safe!

Gavi Forest – Kerala

Kerala.. It’s always insufficient to describe its beauty. Especially there are some places in Kerala which may make you feel even better then heaven! One such place is ‘Gavi” forest.

Thekkadi is a beautiful place situated on borders of Kerala and Tamilnadu. It is situated near second dense forest of India spread over 777square km, popularly known as ‘PeriyarTiger Reserve.’ If time is sufficient you can spend days to visit it, however if you are running short with time, at least you can visit ‘Gavi’ for a day. As soon as we enter Gavi, there comes a check point. The entry fee here is 25Rs. Per person and 50Rs for vehicle. If you wind up with these formalities beforehand, it becomes easier to get in The roads here are obviously uneven and that makes jeep safari a prefect option.  Such jeeps are easily available from ‘Thekkadi.’

The earlier you start in morning, more pleasant it becomes as an experience, as animals like elephants, deers and few birds can easily be spotted during that time. Many species of animals and birds can be seen here. Even some tribal communities are residing inside this dense forest. .

drizzle on leaves

We visited Thekkadi in early June. Very dense forest, uneven forest roads, hills on one side and river Periyar on other side, sound of animals, birds and insects, an open jeep safari &drizzles… what a wonderful experience it was!

During your safari drive you can see spotted deers and if luck favors you can spot elephants too. It is like heaven for people fond of photography but yes, it isn’t advisable to get down the jeep without permission of local driver.

Wait! You just don’t have to come back after jeep safari. Tourism department offers fine facilities and they have developed a resort inside forest. You can select a package and stay there. If it isn’t feasible for you to stay overnight, you can choose one day package. We selected a package that started in morning and till afternoon. We could enjoy it. It included breakfast, lunch, tracking and boating. If select an overnight package a camp fire could also be enjoyed. You can also experience a ‘natural night’. 

After reaching above mentioned KFDC hotel you will definitely feel out of this world. Dense fog, cool weather, hot tea/coffee along with breakfast.. What else do you need?

Hey, wait.. Much more to come…

KFDC hotel view, lake behind tree is invisblin due to fog

while we visited, as soon as we finished breakfast, some guide in Khakee appeared and divided us in groups. Just then we get to know that there was a big pond in front of our eyes which was invisible due to dense fog! Now begins a track activity. To describe this experience we feel we really have no words. If you are a spiritual person then you will definitely feel some positivity around, and for such experience you will have to be there.

View during the track

After tracking, guide took us for boat ride. Cool breeze, drizzling around, the only voice you can hear is that of blades cutting water. This feeling becomes even more lovelier provided you are accompanied by choicest people. It’s not yet over… get ready for next surprise by ‘Gavi’.

We thought this might be just a boat ride in this beautiful lake, we have to take a round and come back to destination but soon we get to hear a voice of water fall, the place where the boat stopped was wonderful! Sorry we are speechless for this waterfall experience.

Like any good or bad time has a dead line, our time with ‘Gavi’ also ended. But indeed no one from us after this visit was in position to speak. Everyone were intoxicated by the dose given by Nature