Matheran is one of the coolest and famous hill stations in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is also the smallest hill stations in the whole of India. The word Matheran implies ‘a forest on top’ and is actually a unique hill place that is bestowed with the purest forms of Nature. The place is pollution free and very serene. Matheran can be rightly termed as Nature’s paradise and the beauty of the place will make you come here very often.
Location : State/District
Matheran is located in the Raigad district in the state of Maharashtra in India.The latitude and longitude of Matheran corresponds to 18.9866⁰ N and 73.2679⁰ E respectively.
Matheran is a wonderful hill station in the state of Maharashtra. It is a very popular destination and an integral part of Maharashtra tourism.
Family holiday Destination & Weekend getaway
Matheran is a perfect weekend getaway for the people living in Pune and Maharashtra. The beautiful surroundings and panoramic views of the place will make you forget all the troubles and stress of life. This charming hill station is ideal to spend holidays with families. The serenity of the place also makes it a great holiday destination for honeymooners. The healthy atmosphere rejuvenates and relaxes your mind and body.
Being a cool hill station, Matheran experiences less humid climate all round the year. It is an all-season destination. Summers from March-May are the best time to visit Matheran and you just need to carry cotton clothes. Winters are absolutely cold here and are you wish you travel between December-February; make sure to carry layers of woollen clothes to keep you warm.
There is no travelling formality required for citizens of India when they plan to visit Matheran. On the other hand foreign tourists require a visa for travelling to this paradise on Earth. They must also keep their passport updated till six months from the date of arrival to Matheran.
Places to Visit
The reason why Matheran is unpolluted and pristine is because there are no vehicles and automobiles allowed in this place. So when you plan your trip to Matheran, stay convinced to walk long distances. Begin your journey of this splendid hill station by hopping onto the toy train. The train starts from Neral and is a 2-hour journey. The picturesque views of the cliffs and surrounding beauty will keep you spellbound.
Matheran is a place that has several points for sightseeing. These points offer a fabulous view of the Western Ghats and the villages below. There are altogether 36 points in Matheran of which the most popular ones are the Panorama Point, Porcupine Point, Monkey Point, Rambagh Point, Louisa Point, Alexander point, Echo Point and Chowk Point.
Besides these sightseeing points, you must also visit the Charlotte Lake that is also a favourite picnic spot for tourists. This place offers the most magnificent view of the surroundings and is also a great spot for children.
Matheran is not a great shopping destination, but the local bazaar is surely not to be missed. Matheran is famous for its leather goods. The streets lined up display a wide range of leather bags, shoes and belts. You must also checkout the famous Kolhapuri chappal that is so much in fashion. If you have sweet teeth do not miss the delicious ‘chikkis’. Made from jaggery, gram flour and cashew nut, the taste lingers in your mouth for a while.
Matheran has numerous outdoor activities for avid adventure lovers. Trekking, rock climbing, horse riding or taking a walk in the nature are some of the popular activities that are thoroughly enjoyed by the tourists.
There are several beautiful destinations that you can visit from Matheran.
Karnala is a wonderful place located at 63 kms from Matheran. The place is famous for its bird sanctuary and Karnala Fort. A must-visit place for nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts.
Visit the renowned Elephanta Caves that is declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated at 71 kms from Matheran and the caves display the rare and intricate beauty of rock-art in India.
The twin hill stations of Maharashtra, Lonavala and Khandala can also be visited from Matheran. These hill stations are very popular due to beautiful lakes and impressive dams. It is also a sought after trekking site.
Food & Accommodation
Matheran offers the best of food in terms of taste and quality to its tourists. Vegetarian food is preferred more in this place and there are several restaurants that offer delicious vegetarian delicacies. You must also try the authentic mix of Gujarati and Maharashtrian cuisine. The local Vada Pav, Usal, Misal and Jalebi are simply mouth-watering. Hotel Regal hotel Laxmi and Hotel Gujarat Bhavan serve traditional Gujarati food. Non-vegetarian lovers must try the Khan’s and Shabbir’s Biryani House for yummy non-vegetarian dishes.
Matheran is equipped with a range of accommodation options. You can choose from luxurious hotels and MTDC bungalows to guesthouses and simple lodges. The few luxury options here are the Hotel Usha Ascot, West End, Verandah, Hotel Woodlands and Riviera Hotel. If you are tight on your pocket, checkout the Regal Hotels, Horseland Hotel & Mountain Spa, Point View Hotel and Rangoli Retreat. These hotels provide you the best service and basic amenities that will be in your budget.
Safety and Security
Monkeys are a common sight at Matheran. Most of the time these monkeys are harmless and do not molest the tourists passing by. However when you walk on the Matheran roads, be careful and avoid carrying food items with you. The locals here advice tourists to carry a ‘Pandhari Stick’ for their personal safety.