Matheran – The smallest hill station in the world

Hill station, a place where the climate is intense, pleasant & cheerful. Maharashtra has around 15 hill stations, among which Matheran is one of the most popular. Matheran is a part of Sahyadri mountain range (Western Ghats). It is world’s smallest hill station. You can spend a good time at the top with dense forest, red soil & cold breeze.

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What to do at Matheran?

  1. Horse riding: Good bargaining always recommended as they charge Rs 800 per person for a horse-ride. The guide will take you to almost all popular points of Matheran. (Every sight is same from any corner of Matheran :P)
  2. Photo with a horse: Just want to have a click with a horse? They charge only Rs 10 to click awesome photos with the horse.
  3. Walk: Matheran is a beautiful & exciting place for a walk. Surrounded by trees & greenery, an amazing breeze always flows around which encourages you to walk a bit more.
  4. Valley Crossing: Breath-taking valley crossing is something adventure & exciting at Matheran. Approx. 40 seconds of valley crossing through two giant mountains is a great thing for a memory.
  5. River Crossing: Scared of heights? Try river crossing at Matheran Dam. This is faster, longer & better than valley crossing!
  6. Observe flora fauna: Matheran is fully covered with the natural resources. One can spot Giant Squirrel which is also known as Shekaru. The Snakes, monkeys, donkeys & horses can be spot easily. The plants, trees & flowers are also attractive one.

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Crazy / Interesting / Unknown facts about Matheran

  1. Every horse has a name at Matheran such as Dhoni, Whatsapp, Google, etc.
  2. If you love your shoes, forget Matheran. Because Matheran has red soil which will make your chappal, shoes dirty.
  3. Visit any point at Matheran, everything looks same.
  4. Matheran is a good destination to purchase Chikki’s (Hard candy) & syrups.
  5. Matheran prohibited vehicle & plastic bags.
  6. Strangely, but Matheran receives rainfall at any time of the year. Be it a summer or a winter! You may experience rainfall at any time.
  7. Natives of Matheran uses donkeys to carry cylinders & other heavy materials.

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Toy-train 

  1. Matheran toy train is listed in UNESCO World Heritage sites. It comes under – Mountain trains of India.
  2. This train is operated by Central Railway.
  3. It takes 2 hours to reach top / down, hence it is little boring to catch a train. Better to catch a train for a single journey.
  4. The train is the only medium to reach exactly at Matheran. You will have to park your vehicle at Amar lodge station (It’s on top of the mountain). No vehicles are permitted beyond this point. It’s a 1.5 km walk from Amar lodge till Matheran station. You can take toy train from Amar lodge till Matheran also.
  5. I remember I had sighted a peacock in the valley while traveling by Toy train.
  6. There are around 2 small stations in between Neral & Matheran. Jummapati has a good waterfall.
  7. Matheran Toy train still uses an old signal system. This train also has first class & luggage compartment.

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What to eat?

There are plenty restaurants at Matheran. Matheran is not so popular for any kind of food, however, you may try Maggi in chilling climate.

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How to reach Matheran?

Neral is the closest railway station to catch Toy train for Matheran. Check the official timetable before proceeding . Toy train has a different platform at Neral station as it is a narrow gauge track.

If you want to visit Matheran quickly, then get down at Neral station & take sharing taxi from the base. They charge around 70 Rs per person per way. you will reach Matheran within 20 minutes by taxi.

If you have a private vehicle, first of all, drive carefully as the road is full of turns & curves & little risky. Drive till Neral village. En-route to Karjat, take a right & you will see a sign board. Then it’s a ghat route. After reaching the top, park your vehicle at Amar lodge station. Then after, you may catch toy train till Matheran or a 1.5 km walk.

Tickets & Prices

Parking charges: Rs 10

Entry ticket to Matheran: Rs 50

Toy Train: Rs 65 from Neral till Matheran (Via Versa)

Rs 60 from Amar lodge till Matheran station (Via Versa)

Sharing Taxi: Rs 70-80 one way

Horse-riding: Approx. Rs 500

Valley / River crossing: Rs 200 (Depends on season)

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Ratings

Cleanliness: 9/10

Budget: 4/10

Suitable for: All

Food: 5/10

Shopping: 4/10

Overall: 7/10

Do explore Matheran & share your views, photos & videos! Matheran is very close from Mumbai & a good option for a weekend getaway!

Keep travelling!

Sameer.

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