Matheran, a quaint eco-friendly hill station in Maharashtra on the outskirts of Mumbai, sits at an elevation of 2,625 feet above sea level. This hilly town, characterized by its red mud, offers a nostalgic retreat to childhood, inviting you to relish the outdoors, traverse the hills on horseback, encounter welcoming monkeys, and immerse yourself in the lush green jungle and waterfalls. Even as you embrace adulthood, Matheran provides an escape not too far from the hustle and bustle of city life.
A Happy Me Enjoying the Beautiful Nature
Despite warnings from my mom about ruining shoes in the red mud, I disregarded the caution, recognizing that the best things in life, particularly those free from pollution and noise, often come at a small price.
Venturing to Matheran with a group of friends for a day trek during the rainy season was a transformative experience. The landscape transformed into various shades of green, with waterfalls cascading down the mountains and mischievous monkeys anticipating the opportunity to snatch treats from visitors.
Here are some noteworthy aspects of Matheran:
1. Matheran is recognized as an eco-sensitive hill station by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. Supporting such places is not only beneficial for the environment but also provides an opportunity to surround ourselves with pristine locations. Additionally, you don't have to venture too far from the city to relish the beauty of the rains.
2. Matheran offers a respite from the city's hustle and bustle, air pollution, and noise, yet it remains easily accessible for a day trip.
3. As Asia's only eco-friendly hill station, Matheran has prohibited the entry of automobiles within its boundaries to preserve the environment.
4. The preferred modes of transportation are walking, hiking, horseback riding, or cycling—an aspect often overlooked by city dwellers.
5. Matheran enforces strict cleanliness measures with a "garbage police" imposing a fine of Rs.1000 for littering the streets.
How to Reach Matheran:
Take a train from Mumbai (Dadar Station) to Neral. Trains are less crowded on weekends. From Neral station, hire a cab to Aman Lodge at the foothills of Matheran. The town unfolds away from urban chaos, promising serenity and freedom from noise and air pollution. For Pune residents, the Sahyadri Express is a convenient option.
We were waiting for some hot roasted corn as the vendor was sprinkling some chat masala on it! Oh the fun of having hot roasted corn in the rains!
The rivers and the waterfalls are gushing in the rainy season! Can you spot the river right in the centre of the mountains?
You can walk around the hill station or go on a horseback ride. When we reached it was raining heavily, and we had to go horseback riding till we reached the mountains.
Hot chai and the rains is a perfect combination. You will find local chai sellers everywhere in Matheran. Because that's the whole mood!
As we were exploring Matheran once it stopped raining, we found ourselves not surrounded by the crowd but by nature. And that's why it's a perfect getaway for everyone residing in Mumbai.
I was eagerly waiting for the rain as the clouds surrounded the area, in a way asking us to get ready.
The lush green mountains as seen from Louisa Point during the rains.
Gushing waterfalls as it was going to pour down!
This is the toy train that leaves from Neral Station to Matheran Station. The train takes you through the scenic Matheran mountains and beautiful waterfalls.
Explore Matheran by opting for the toy train from Aman Lodge, horseback riding, or hiking. Ensure you leave the town by 5:30 pm at the latest to avoid navigating in the dark, which can be perilous on your way down. Be prepared with trek essentials, including a flashlight, water bottle, snacks, raincoats (if visiting during the rains), and sturdy, non-slip hiking shoes.
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