The city of Mumbai gets a lot of credit for its bustling nature, its rains, and Bollywood, but people often sleep on the many wonderful things and places that exist around this City of Dreams that can offer you your dream escape and Matheran is one such place. If you are a fan of mountains, clear air, and are looking for a place to escape the chaos of city life, Matheran might just be the one for you because it checks all these boxes and many more. Matheran is a hill station that is located in the state of Maharashtra and is just 83 kilometers away from the city of Mumbai.
Matheran literally means ‘forest on the forehead’ and you will experience something along those lines on your journey to Matheran. It is often a go-to weekend destination for Mumbaikars to get a slice of fresh air because let’s be honest, Mumbai traffic doesn't provide you with very many opportunities to do that. Whether you are a Mumbaikar planning an escape or someone who has never heard of Matheran and is just intrigued to experience its beauty, just hop on because this ride will be taking you through some of the best places to visit in Matheran for a memorable experience.
Matheran is one of the smallest hill stations in the country but it is big when it comes to jaw-dropping attractions. One Tree Hill Point is one such popular trekking spot among tourists and locals alike. As the name suggests, One Tree Hill Point is an adventurer's trek that leads to the famous site of a lone tree on a mountaintop. If you decide to trek, know that the top point is approximately 2,600 feet in height.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of the place, we would suggest you go with a guide which would cost you approximately INR 750. Don’t forget to keep your trekking shoes, water bottles, and snacks ready. If you are in Matheran, One Tree Hill Point is a nice 2-3 kilometer-long walk through the Matheran forest but if trekking or walking intimidates you, you can choose to go on horseback too! Once you reach the top of One Tree Hill Point, you are going to be spoiled with dramatic, sweeping views of the range.
Also read: Mahabaleshwar Travel Guide.
Who doesn't love to savor a good sunrise from the mountaintop? This view is only bound to get prettier when the path to the sight is as gorgeous as the Panorama Point. Panorama Point is located outside the main entry point to Matheran, so you will need to walk towards the parking lot and follow the path from there. There are many stunning trekking points in the small town of Matheran but what makes Panorama Point stand out is the fact that it is the farthest viewpoint in Matheran and is almost 7.5 kilometers away from the marketplace which makes for an interesting trek.
If trekking isn't your cup of tea, do not worry because there is another splendid option where you can take a toy train from the marketplace to the next station. Keep in mind that in spite of this little journey, you will be required to walk at least 2 kilometers but, here too, horse-riding can come to your rescue. Once you manage to reach the top, you will experience a 360-degree panoramic view of the Western Ghats and the verdant plains dotted with villages as far as the eye can see. Just remember that the path will not be the smoothest as you are traveling amidst mountains so make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
The toy train is one of the biggest and most popular attractions in the town which will certainly transport you to the good old childhood days. The Neral-Matheran toy train is not just any old toy train, rather it is a century-old heritage railway that will take you on an upward journey while the gorgeous scenery on the way will wipe away every last one of your worries. Interestingly, the railway station was founded by an Indian entrepreneur named Adamjee Peerbhoy in the Early 20th century. There is a tunnel called the One-Kiss Tunnel that the toy train rides between Neral and Matheran. The overall train journey is approximately 21 kilometers long which will take you 2.5-3 hours but the memory of the stunning views will certainly stay with you for a really long time.
Sadly, you can't book the toy train ride in advance because there is no advance booking system. There are various sections in the toy train so for a first-class ticket, it will cost you INR 300 for adults and INR 180 for children. For a second-class ticket, it will cost INR 75 for adults and INR 45 for children. The shuttle service is the cheapest and will cost INR 45 for adults and INR 30 for children. Do confirm with the locals if the train is running before you make the trip to the station as it is not always reliable. For a nominal sum, your weekend getaway is about to change forever!
Also read: 8 Things To Do In Mahabaleshwar.
One of the quieter tourist places, Morbe Dam is a gravity dam on the Dharavi river near Khalapur. The Morbe lake is the main water source for the city of Navi Mumbai and was built by the Water Supply and Sanitation Department of the Government of Maharashtra. The dam is about 30 kilometers from Matheran. It is around 194 feet above sea level and is built across the Dharavi River. Morbe Dam spreads over a surface of 9,780 sq km.
If you are a fan of Bollywood movies and have an inclination to visit the spots where your favorite movies were shot, you certainly should visit Morbe Dam to experience your own Bollywood moment. If you love a good picnic and a picturesque view to go with it, Morbe Dam can be your ideal spot. It is perfect to visit during and after the monsoon season and offers one of the most otherworldly views of the sunset.
If you are a fan of adventure and waterfalls, Dhodani Waterfall is going to be your dream spot because Dhodani - also known as Dodhani - is basically a comparatively large village that lies at the base of the Matheran mountain range and the waterfall gets its name from this village. Dhodani is by far the most beautiful waterfall in the Panvel region and is one of the most loved places among tourists, especially nature lovers and photographers.
If you visit it during the tourist season, you are most likely to come across people of various age groups, especially young trekking enthusiasts. One interesting thing about the area is that the local villagers are extremely friendly and warm to tourists so you might be able to make some friends on the way who might even offer you some refreshments. Dhodhani Waterfalls are very accessible so you can reach there easily and if you’re feeling adventurous on the way, do not forget to check out the various water activities that you can take part in while in the region.
We’ve saved the best for the last and it is the mesmerizing Charlotte Lake. If there is one place we would recommend you the most, it is Charlotte Lake because it is surreal. Lakes and mountains together create the most magical of sights and Charlotte Lake offers you exactly that. The lake is the main source of water for the folks of Matheran and can be the main attraction of your trip too if you plan to spend some peaceful and reflective hours away from the madding crowd of the city.
What makes Charlotte Lake an absolute head-turner is the fact that it offers you nature at its finest and is located amidst the densely forested areas that sprawl out with a dam at one end and the Pisharnath Temple at the other. Sounds too good to be true, right? It doesn't end there. From the lake, you will also be able to see the various vantage points of Matheran - Echo Point and Louisa Point. If you visit during the monsoon, you might get to do some birdwatching, which is a popular activity, especially during the sunrise and sunset hours.
One of the best things about gorgeous Matheran is its year-round pleasant weather so if you have time and means for it, you can visit this gemstone any time of the year unless it's at the peak of monsoon. We would suggest you visit Matheran in the months of October to May because you will be able to escape the mundaneness of your respective city while being able to enjoy the enigmatic views and agreeable weather of Matheran. The best time to go to Matheran is post-monsoon as it’s truly spectacular at this time of the year with lush greenery, waterfalls, and a lake full of crystal-clear water.
Apart from the beauty and greatness of Matheran, do you know what our personal favorite part of it is? It's the fact that the hill station of Matheran is Asia’s only automobile-free hill station so you will need to go around Matheran on foot. If you’re lucky, you could also go horse-riding here. This ensures that no dark polluted side of the modern world hampers your mental space and lungs here. Getting to Matheran isn't that difficult and here are some of the ways you can reach this little hill station:
The closest airport to Matheran is the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai. If you want to reach Matheran by flight, you can board a flight to Mumbai from anywhere, be it domestic or international. There are plenty of cab services available for you from the airport so traveling to your desired location should not be an issue.
The closest railhead to Matheran is in Neral, after which you will have to go to Matheran by road, which is a 30-minute journey. Many local trains on the Mumbai-Karjat route also stop at Neral.
Matheran is close to the city of Mumbai, hence the road to reach the town isn't too inaccessible. You can take the local buses from the city of Mumbai but the buses stop around 2.5 kilometers from the main town, after which you will need to either trek or take a horse or rickshaw to cover the rest of the journey. If you have the budget, you can also hire direct cabs or taxis from Mumbai and Pune by taking the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Matheran is going to be the most suitable place for you if you want to just let go of the chaos and breathlessness of regular life and come back pumped and reenergized. It can be good for your mental and physical health because there is nothing more rejuvenating than clean air and beautiful sights - both of which you will get in bulk in Matheran. Just try to disconnect from the noise of everyday life and be in the moment while you are in Matheran and we promise that you will heal in ways you didn't know you needed.
What Should I Wear To Matheran?
Since it is a hill station, we would suggest you pack some woolens along with your cute outfits. You should also make sure to pack an umbrella and raincoat just in case of unexpected rains. Always pack comfortable clothes so that you can enjoy yourself while living in the moment.
Can We Go To Matheran In The Rainy Season?
You can but we would advise you against it. Unless you are a fan of the cold and rain and prefer it that way, we would suggest you visit Matheran in the summers. Matheran receives approximately 150 inches of rainfall every year so it can get difficult to navigate the hill station in the monsoon. During summers, you will be able to enjoy pleasant weather and successfully escape the city heat for a while too.
Is There Any Entry Fee For Matheran?
Yes, there is an entry fee for you to visit Matheran, which is INR 50 for an adult visitor and INR 25 for children. If you get into Matheran without paying the entrance fee, you are most likely to get in legal trouble so it's best to avoid that.
Which Is The Best Time To Visit Matheran?
Being a hill station, Matheran has good climate throughout the year. However, the place blooms during the months of May to October, and this is the perfect time to visit Matheran. The period between the end of monsoon and the beginning of full-blown winter is when the climates become extremely salubrious and ideal for outdoor exploration. You could also visit Matheran during the winter months if you’re a fan of the cold!
What Is Special In Matheran?
Matheran is primarily visited for the natural surroundings and pleasant climates. If you want a break away from the chaos of the Mumbai city, you could take a little weekend detour to Matheran and explore among the many adventure sports that you could do here, including hiking, trekking, rafting, rock climbing and rappelling.
Which Point Is Best In Matheran?
Louisa Point, Charlotte Lake, Neral-Matheran Toy Train, Porcupine Point, Panorama Point, and Irshalgad Fort are a few best points in Matheran.
How Many Spots Are There In Matheran?
Matheran is a hill station known for its pleasant views, cool climate, and lush green trees. The hill station offers 36 spots in total for sightseeing.
Who Is The Owner Of Matheran?
The owner of Matheran is Mrityunjay Bose.