The first thing that you can and should do in Matheran is breathing! Before you throw tomatoes at us for suggesting such an exercise, let us tell you that Matheran is Asia’s only automobile-free hill station, which means you can breathe in zero pollution! The only way to travel around Matheran is on foot, on horses, or by its famous toy train. Time to leave your vehicle behind and start exploring.
Though Matheran is spread over just 7 square kilometers, there are 38 viewpoints, so it won’t be wrong to say that you can see gorgeous views from every angle in this hill station. Matheran cuts you from the sights and sounds of vehicles, making you feel completely united with nature. Since Matheran is close to Mumbai, many Mumbaikars escape the urban jungle to spend a weekend in Matheran. Let us take you on a ride through the things to do in Matheran:
Trek Between Spectacular Views
Ride The Toy Train Of Matheran Amid Tall Trees
Witness Breathtaking Sunsets From Different Look-Out Points
Go On A Photo Walk Around Matheran
Lick Your Fingers Off Some Delicious Food
Matheran, with its many hills, offers plenty of trek routes inviting you to explore them. Trek to Mount Berry, this point is at a high altitude and treats you to uninterrupted views of the town of Neral in the valley below. You can see the bustling town but not hear its chaos, all you can hear is the wind in your ears, a calming experience in itself. It’s 2 hours from the Matheran Market, so remember to carry water and food as there are no shops up there.
Trek in between the Chanderi mountain ranges sitting at a height of 800 meters. You can touch the rock formations and see the Lord Shiva idol inside the Chanderi Caves. The rocks-cut steps here are similar to the ones en route to Kalavantin Durg, another scenic trek near Matheran. The Kalavantin Durg Trek can be tricky because of the steep slope, but you can see the entire Sahyadri Ranges from the Kalavantin Peak.
You can even trek up to the One Tree Hill Point, it’s named so because it has a sole jamun tree standing at the top, making an interesting frame for photography. If you’re short on time, you can consider trekking to Garbett Point, as it is a one-way trek and you can find taxis 15 minutes away from the point.
Also Read: Places To Visit In Matheran For A Memorable Vacation
Trekking and sunsets aren’t the only things mountains offer, ask the adventure enthusiasts and they’ll tell you. With rivers come rafting, with lakes come kayaking, and with mountains come, you guessed it already, rock climbing! Places like Louisa Point, Alexander Point, Prabal Fort, and Shivaji Ladder let you experience rock climbing between the views of the Western Ghats. Going beyond the sport of rock climbing, the mountains of Matheran offer you the unique opportunity to go water rappelling.
For water rappelling, head over to Dodhani Waterfalls near Matheran. What can be a better way to experience a waterfall than rappelling right between its gushing water from a height of 115 feet? Before the thought scares the daylights out of you, worry not because they use high-quality safety equipment and ropes to make your experience carefree and safe! This adventure doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, as the fees are just about INR 1,500 and lower if you go during the off-season. Just remember to carry an extra set of clothes because you’ll be all drenched by the end of it.
Just like the toy train in Darjeeling or the toy train in Ooty, this hill station in Maharashtra too has its very own toy train. This toy train was once used to start its journey from the town of Neral down below in the valley, but now operates between the stations of Aman Lodge and Matheran Railway Station. The curvy tracks take you through some of the greenest bits of the hill station. At one point, out of the clearing of trees, you can see the Sahyadri Ranges, golden when the sun falls on their slopes.
Along the short 20-minute ride, you can see houses of the locals of Matheran, a parallel road taken by pedestrians and horses, and trees inhabited by monkeys. If you want some privacy, you can even book a personal deluxe coach on the toy train. The train is a visual treat from the outside; bystanders awe at the steam locomotive cutting through the trees. But the best view of the train is from the top of Mount Berry, from where you can lay your eyes on the aerial view of the toy train.
For a grand sunset view in Matheran, rush to the Rambagh Point before dusk. At the time of sunset, warm shades light up the landscape of Khandala, Garbett Point, and Karjat, a sight that is sure to make your trip to Matheran memorable. The Porcupine Point is another mountain cliff that lets you witness a beautiful sunset. If you look carefully, you can see the Prabalgad Fort from up here.
Check out Hart Point if you’re visiting Matheran in the monsoon; fog covers the trees here and you can see the sun setting between the clouds in the rainy season. Once darkness envelopes Hart Point, you can see the city lights from Neral and the towns around it. Careful about the monkeys here though!
If your appetite for sunsets is filled, visit Louisa Point and let the panoramic view of the waterfalls, Charlotte Lake, and Prabalgad Fort enchant you. Did panoramic views cast a spell over you? No problem, Matheran has more spots to fulfill your newfound attraction, head over to Alexander Point and Echo Point.
Also Read: Discover The Most Offbeat Sunrise And Sunset Spots In Mumbai
Every lane in Matheran is out of a picture book; there’s no concrete on any roads nor any ugly sights of vehicles parked on the sides of roads. The brown roads, lined with tall trees make for some great frames if you have an eye for photography. Step out of your resort early in the morning and start walking, you’ll be met with many interesting sights since Matheran sits between a dense evergreen forest.
You can try clicking pictures of the bonnet macaques and Hanuman langurs present in the forests of Matheran. There are Malabar giant squirrels, mongooses, and barking deer present in the forest. Venture out on a photo walk early at dawn to capture these animals since they don’t show themselves when there are humans around. A better way to photograph the wildlife will be going on a trek since treks are the only way you can be in the middle of dense forests.
Carry your camera along while visiting points like King George Point, Lord Point, Belvedere Point, and Little Chowk Point. Zoom in your lens from the Little Chowk Point and try capturing a distant view of the Matheran Chowk from here. We recommend going to Charlotte Lake, witnessing the quiet water, lush greenery in its backdrop, and the presence of birds around it is a peaceful experience. You’ll find yourself keeping your camera aside to just marvel at the view with your eyes.
Also Read: 7 Hill Stations In India Where You Can Beat The October Heat
No trip is complete without finger-licking food, and Matheran doesn’t disappoint. Though the food of Matheran isn’t so popular that people visit Matheran just to eat a specialty, it surely makes a mark when you do visit. The first dish we would suggest is chicken biryani at Shabbir Bhai Biryaniwala, don’t leave this place without trying the kebabs and tandoori served here. If you’re a vegetarian, try the Gujarati delicacies like ghatiyas, puris, sev, khaman at the Regal Hotel.
For some savory snacks, try Pooja Pav Bhaji, it will remind you of the lip-smacking pav bhaji at the Mumbai Chowpatty. Apart from the restaurants, every nook and corner of Matheran offers hot Maggi, we don’t have to tell you where to find it, your nose will guide you to your destination! Oh, the joys of eating steaming hot Maggi in the foggy winters of Matheran. Try it once, and you’ll be visiting this hill station again and again.
You should check out the honey, fudge, and chikki (a traditional Indian sweet made from jaggery and nuts) at Nariman Chikki Mart, do shop for honey since honey is produced locally in Matheran.
Any time you feel like escaping the city chaos and the Mumbai heat, you can rely on Matheran for a refreshing weekend. Stay in a scenic resort in Matheran and wake up to the sound of birds chirping, not a single vehicle horn to be heard. This hill station is definitely going to charge up your batteries, making you ready to face another work week.
How Many Days Are Enough To Visit Matheran?
Anywhere between 2 days to 5 days is enough to visit Matheran. You can check out all the spots in 2 days if you book a horseback ride, but it will take longer if you plan to visit all attractions on foot. If you want to add trekking to your Matheran sightseeing plan, then visit for a longer duration of 4-5 days.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Matheran?
The months between October and April are the best to visit Matheran, it will be greener and more pleasant after the monsoon season. Trekkers can have a better experience since the Western Ghats are more picturesque after the monsoon.
How To Reach Matheran?
If you are going by car, Matheran is 85 km from Mumbai, be careful while driving the last lap towards Matheran, it’s a curvy steep ghat road that can be challenging for novice drivers. You must park your car before entering Mathern and walk from here on. If you’re going by local train, hop on a Central Railway train that takes you to Neral. You can find taxis outside Neral Railway Station that take you to Matheran.
Are Adventure Sports In Matheran Safe?
Yes, adventure sports in Matheran are completely safe. The service providers here use safety equipment and tested ropes for every activity.
Is Matheran Expensive?
No, visiting Matheran falls well in the budget since there are local trains connecting Mumbai to Neral. There are shared cabs from Neral Railway Station that take you to Matheran for INR 150 or less. Once in Matheran, you don’t spend on private vehicles or cabs for sightseeing so you save the money. There are many budget hotels in Matheran, so your Matheran trip won’t be very expensive.
How Do You Travel Inside Matheran?
As Matheran is an automobile-free hill station you can only drive up to a certain point in Matheran, after which you'll have to park your car at one of the car parking. From there on you can either travel on horseback, by a hand-pulled rickshaw or by the toy train.
Which Is Better Mahabaleshwar Or Matheran?
On one hand, you can easily visit all viewpoints and attractions in Mahabaleshwar due to quick accessibility but on the other hand, Matheran offers a wide range of adventure activities to indulge in.
Is Matheran Safe In Monsoon?
Matheran turns into a beautiful refreshing place in the monsoons. Just make sure to carry go rain shoes and rain coats as the roads can be muddy.