Matheran is a scenic hill station located amidst the gigantic Western Ghats in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is located about 83 km away from its district headquarters. It is also the smallest hill station of India. During monsoons, people flock here in large numbers to experience the calm and serene atmosphere. It’s a great weekend escape for the people residing in Pune and Mumbai.
Matheran means, “Forest on the Forehead of the Mountains”. It is Asia’s only automobile free hill station. It’s also an eco-sensitive zone, declared by the Department of Environment and Forest, Government of India. The only acceptable vehicles allowed in Matheran are the ambulances operated by the town. As no vehicles are allowed in Matheran, one has to drive up to Dasturi Point, which is about 3 km away from the main town; you can either walk by foot or can take a horse ride to reach the town from there. Hands pulled Rickshaws are also available from Dasturi Point to Matheran Railway Station.
Matheran has a huge number of medicinal plants, therefore also known as Health Sanatorium. The town also boasts large number of monkey population.
It was in the year 1850; Matheran was discovered by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then district collector of Thane district. The foundation was laid by Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Bombay to make this place, a picturesque future hill station. With continue efforts, British transformed Matheran as a popular hill resort to beat the summer heat in the region. The Matheran Hill Railway, also known as Matheran Light Railway (MLR) was constructed in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy. It covers a distance of nearly 21 km, over the large strip of forest territory from Neral to Matheran in about 2 hours. It’s undoubtedly, once in a lifetime journey as one can catch the glimpse of beautiful Sahayadri ranges, stunning landscapes and lush green forests. MLR was also inspected by UNESCO World Heritage Site officials during 2009-10 but failed to make it to the list as a World Heritage Site.
Matheran is an abode for the adventure lovers and enthusiasts. There are, in overall, 38 peak points to look out. The major tourist attraction of Matheran is the Panorama Point, which offers 360⁰ view of the surrounding locations including Chanderi, Peb Fort, Mhas-Mal, Navara-Navari, and also the Neral town. One can witness the scintillating view of the sunrise from this point. Hart Point is another scenic point, which offers awe-inspiring views of Mumbai city during the calm and cold nights. The other major attractions are:
One Tree Hill Point
Taluka: Karjat District: Raigad
State: Maharashtra Languages: Marathi, Hindi, English
Best Time to Visit: September-April Weather: 12°C to 35°C (Max.)
STD Code: 02148 Pin Code: 410102
Mumbai Airport is the nearest one, 89 km away and is well connected to major cities of India and abroad.
The nearest railway station is at Karjat, which is just 24 km away. It lies on the Mumbai- Pune rail route and is well connected to all the major cities of India. From Neral, you can board a small Toy train (Narrow Gauge) to Matheran.
MSRTC and various private travels operate regular buses that ply to Neral and Karjat from the major cities of state. From there, you can take a taxi to Dasturi Point. The best way to reach in less time is by your own means of transportation like car or private taxis.
Mumbai – 83 km
Pune – 119 km
Nashik– 176 km
Ratnagiri – 316 km