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Hair pin at Ghat road, Matheran
Matheran
Matheran
Location of Matheran
in Maharashtra district = Raigarh
Coordinates 18°59′N 73°16′E / 18.98°N 73.27°E / 18.98; 73.27
Country  India
State Maharashtra

district = Raigarh

Nearest city Karjat
Population
Density
5,139 (2001)
734 /km2 (1,901 /sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area
Elevation
7 km2 (3 sq mi)
800 m (2,625 ft)

Matheran (Marathi: Marathi: माथेरान is a city and a Hill Station municipal council in Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a hill station in Karjat Tahsil and is also the smallest hill station in India. It is located on the Western Ghats range at an elevation of around 800 m (2,625 feet) above sea level. It is located at 18°35′N 73°11′E / 18.59°N 73.18°E / 18.59; 73.18, around 90 km from Mumbai, 120 from Pune and about 320 km from Surat. Matheran's proximity to the three Metros makes it a popular weekend getaway for urban residents. The name Matheran means either "forest on top" or "mother forest".

Matheran is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. It is one of the few places in the world where vehicles are not allowed, which makes the place different from others. Matheran takes you over a hundred years back in time when there were no vehicles.

Because of vehicles being banned in Matheran, the place is quite peaceful despite the thousands of visitors coming to visit throughout the year.

There are lots of lookout points that provide spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Matheran has a reasonably dense forest cover.

There are around 38 designated look-out points in Matheran, including the Panorma Point that provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town. From this point, the view of sunset and sunrise is breathtaking. The Louisa Point offers crystal clear view of the Prabal Fort. The other points are the One Tree Hill Point, Hart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, Rambgh Point, and more.

Contents

History

Matheran was discovered by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then district collector of Thane district in May 1850. Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Bombay laid the foundations of the development as a future hill station. The British developed Matheran as a popular resort to beat the summer heat in the region.

Dasturi Naka

Matheran is connected to the town of Neral which lies at the base of the hills. A tar road connects Neral to Dasturi Naka which is 9 km (5.8 miles) from Matheran. In order to maintain Matheran's uniqueness, no vehicles are allowed beyond this point. The other mode of transport is a 2 ft  (610 mm) gauge narrow gauge railway, which links the town to Neral. Neral also has a broad gauge station which is on the busy Mumbai-Pune route. Neral is well connected by railway line with Karjat being the nearest Junction. The Matheran Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and covers a distance of 20 km (12.4 miles), over large swathes of forest territory. The Matheran hill railway had been inspected by UNESCO world heritage site officials in the last week of October 2009. The official declaration of its status as UNESCO world heritage site like other hill railways of India like Kalka-Shimla, Darjeeling hill railway & Nilgiri mountain railway will be declared by July 2010. The railway officials are very hopeful of getting the UNESCO world heritage status from the views expressed by the inspecting officials. The heritage status will boost the tourist activities in the area.

In the floods of July 2005, around 70% of the railway lines were damaged and did not reopen until April 2007 after repairs at a cost of Rs 2-2.5 crore[1].

Toy train in Matheran

Matheran has been declared an ecosensitive region by the Union Environment Ministry and can be called a Health Sanatorium in itself. The only form of automobile allowed in Matheran is an ambulance operated by the Municipality. No private automobiles are allowed. Within Matheran transport facilities available are horses and hand-pulled rickshaws.

Matheran is one of the popular getaway for people from Mumbai and Pune, it is a quiet hill station located on the Sahyadri range. Matheran, Meaning 'forest on top', was discovered in 1850, by a district collector of Thane, Hugh Poyntz Malet, and the foundations for its development was laid down by Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Mumbai. Matheran has been listed by the Union Environment Ministry as an eco-sensitive region and is connected to the closest town of Neral by a narrow gauge railway, operating since 1907. As no vehicles are allowed in Matheran, one has to drive up to Dasturi Point, 11 km ahead of Matheran, from where you could reach the main bazaar either by foot or on pony.


Matheran lies in an elevated region, enjoys a cooler and less humid climate which makes it popular during the summer months. Temperatures range from 32 °C (90 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F). Matheran has a huge number of medicinal plants and herbs. The town also has a large monkey population, including Bonnet Macaques and Hanuman Langurs. The nearby Lake Charlotte is the main source of Matheran's drinking water.

Languages spoken include Marathi, Hindi, and English. There are a lot of Parsi bungalows. Beautiful old British-style architecture is preserved in Matheran. The roads are not metalled and are made of red laterite earth. There are many "points" (viewpoints) in Matheran which give a panoramic view of the plains below. On clear nights, the lights of Mumbai are claimed to be visible.

Geography

Matheran is located at 18°59′N 73°16′E / 18.98°N 73.27°E / 18.98; 73.27[2]. It has an average elevation of 800 metres (2224 feet).

Matheran
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
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29
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850
 
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475
 
31
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250
 
34
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0
 
29
13
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: Matheran climate and weather

Getting to Matheran

Matheran is located about 100 km from Mumbai, 120 km from Pune. and 320 km from Surat. It lies on the busy Mumbai-Pune rail link and the nearest train station is at Neral, approximately 11 km from Matheran. From Neral, one can either rent a taxi (50 rupees for a shared cab, 250 for the whole car) to the entrance of Matheran. From the taxi stop at Matheran, one can walk to the city center or rent a horse (150-200 rupees per horse).

Since October 11, 2008 a bus service has been started till Dasturi Park from Neral and Karjat. For the same reason the cab drivers conducted a one day strike as a mark of protest.

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Travel Information

The nearest airport is in Mumbai that is located around 100 km away from Matheran. Reaching here, one can hire a direct taxi to Matheran. The nearest railhead is in Neral that is connected with Matheran by a toy train. Neral Junction is well connected by local trains coming from CST along the CST-Karjat route. Matheran is also very well connected by road with Mumbai and Pune. Matheran can be reached from Mumbai via Navi Mumbai and Panvel. Dastiru Naka is the last stop up to which the vehicles are allowed.

From Surat

Set off on the Surat-Mumbai road (NH-8) through Udhana-Sachin-Palsana (approximately 30 km)

Get on the Surat-Mumbai Highway at Palsana junction and continue till Manor in Maharastra. Stop at Manor from there take left and move towards Bhiwandi. From Bhiwandi to Kalyan to Ambarnath to Badlapur and continue till Neral there you see one road for Matheran and second towards Karjat/ Khopoli. Go straight on Matheran Ghat Road after a very steep ascent you will reach Matheran's Dasturi naka- a parking place for cars and other vehicles. No vehicles are allowed beyond this point as Matheran is an Eco-sensitive region declared by state government of Maharastra. Buy tickets on Municipal counter and move to Matheran (2.5 km away) by Walking or by riding on a Horse or Hand-pull Rickshaw taking about (150-200 rupees per person). Reaching at Matheran bazarpeth will take about 1/hr approx.

From Mumbai

Set off on the old Mumbai-Pune road (NH-4) through Dadar, Chembur, Navi Mumbai

Get on to the Mumbai Pune Expressway at Panvel (Near McDonalds). Get onto the expressway to avoid the congested road through Panvel.

Take the first exit (Shedung/Khopoli Exit)that comes less than 5 minutes after you get onto the expressway at McDonalds. (Here you will need to Pay a Toll at the toll-booth for using the expressway).

This exit gets you back onto the Old Mumbai-Pune Road. Follow directions to proceed towards Pune. Once again you will have to pay a toll for using the old Bombay Pune Road. (Toll in both places is about Rs.25 each).

Follow the old Mumbai-Pune road for approximately 10 km. This will bring you to a crossing where a big green sign asks you to turn left for Karjat/Matheran. (Do not miss this crossing as otherwise you will end up in Khopoli. There is a large statue of Hindu god Shiva on right side of the old Mumbai-Pune Highway which can be seen from a long distance. The left turn about 50 metres before the statue).

9 km After turning left you reach another crossing called Charphata Karjat where you need to turn left towards Neral.

A board of warning on Matheran road

11 km After turning left, you will reach the bottom of the Matheran Hill ghat road.

Turn left here and climb 7 km to the Matheran Dasturi Car park.

Matheran Ghat

It is a steep and narrow road but well surfaced for the most part. When you reach the car park find a parking space in the designated area and park your car. The parking entrance fees and daily parking fees need to be paid here.

Matheran Entrance

No vehicles are allowed beyond this point. Matheran center is a 40-minute walk from Dasturi Car Park. Before you enter the limits of Matheran, Matheran Municipal council charges a fees of Rs 25 per adult and Rs 10 for children.

Once you enter, red dusty pathways welcome you to the nature. Porters are available to carry luggage. You can enjoy the walks through the red pathways or ride on horse. Manual 'rikshaws' are also available, each riskhaw is 'driven' by a couple of operators.

From Pune

Set off towards Mumbai on the Pune-Mumbai expressway. Get off the Pune-Mumbai Expressway at the Khopoli exit after passing Lonavla/Khandala and get onto the old Pune-Mumbai road. Approximately 18 km later, you turn right as per a big green sign, in Chouk town. Follow the signs from then on.

One can also exit Pune-Mumbai NH4 at Haal Phata near Khopoli to enter SH 35 which will take you straight to the bottom of Matheran Ghat Road.

Instructions on how to get from Neral to Matheran can be found on the corresponding Mumbai-Matheran section.

By Train

Matheran is connected by toy train to the mainline rail route at Neral Junction. Neral Junction is well connected by local trains from CST along the CST-Karjat route. Click to get the Subarban rail mapand timetable. Those coming by long distance trains should alight at Karjat Junction. Many trains on Pune-Mumbai route can serve the tourists coming from Pune side.

The journey is a visual delight for the tourists with a range of scenes to enjoy. The ascent begins a little after the Hardar Hills and reaches the Jamnapatti station, where it appears that road and rail have almost come together. They part here, though to meet again a little further beyond the steep slope of Bhekra Kund. The Horseshoe embarkment near the Mount Barry is a captivating scene to look at. The route runs another mile before it enters into the lone tunnel on the way. Emerging from the tunnel, the line zig zags sharply backwards and forward twice. Thereafter, the train crosses the Panorama Point and the Simpson Tank to reach straight to the Matheran Bazaar.

The journey on a 2 feet gauge commences from Neral at 08.40 hrs, 11.00 hrs and 17.00 hrs. The journey from the other direction begins at 17.45 hrs, 13.10 hrs and 14.35 hrs. The train covers a maximum of 12 miles in an hour thereby allowing the passengers ample time to soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

It is advisable to have your bookings done earlier through internet or by other means as getting tickets for the toy train becomes difficult in peak tourist seasons.

Route covered

Neral - Hardal Hill - Jammapatti Station - Bhekra Station - Mount Barry- Panorama Point - Simpson Point - Matheran Bazaar.

By foot

A road inside the Matheran Town

Matheran is popular among trekkers. Dasturi gate (Mathern car park) is approximately 8 km from Neral junction and a beautiful landscape can be seen from Neral itself. Streams cut through the farms. One can follow the road or walk through the countryside along the stream and take the trail used by localites. There aren't direction signs along the trail, so you'll have to take directions from localites or trek keeping the road in sight.

The trail crosses farms, streams, railway track at several places to add to the stunning landscape. Trekkers can rest and enjoy a snack midway at Janmapatti rail station where the road and track meet. There are a few eateries run by localites. Second leg of the trek is difficult than the first as the path gets steeper. Following the road should get you to Dasturi gate after which one has to take the unpaved trail till Matheran Bazaar. All trails in Matheran are well marked and getting around shouldn't be difficult.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census[3], Matheran had a population of 5139. Males constitute 58% of the population and females 42%. Matheran has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 75%, and female literacy is 66%. In Matheran, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Other Attractions

Mount Berry: Mount Berry is a popular tourist destination that is located 5+ km from Matheran. It offers a bird’s eye view of Neral. The major attraction is the slow train that chugs up the hill in the midst of pristine natural beauty.

Charlotte Lake: Also called the Sharlott Lake, Charlotte Lake is one of the most picturesque spots in Matheran. On the right side of the lake, there is the ancient Pisarnath Temple. The two picnic spots Louisa point and Echo point are located on the left side of the lake.

King George Point:

King George Point is on the major tourist attractions in Matheran. Best season to visit this place is monsoon. Tourist can experience the scenic view of waterfalls.

Lookout points: There are around 38 different lookout points in Matheran, from where tourists can view the amazing beautiful valley. The spectacular view of the valley remains in the memory of the tourists for a long time.

Places of interest

Mountain peak near Lord's Point
Beautiful Lake in Matheran

There are altogether 28 points, 2 lakes, 2 parks, 4 major worship places and a racecourse to visit inside Matheran. If you want to see all of them then you may need 2–3 days on your feet. One can move around on foot or horseback, but it is recommended moving on feet to take the best glimpse of nature. If you are on Horse back you may not be able to spend your desired time on the points. All the points’ gives a unique view and you can’t miss them.

Points to see;

  • Alexander Pt.
  • Rambag Pt
  • Little Chowk Pt
  • Chowk Pt
  • One Tree Hill Pt
  • Belvedere Pt
  • Olympia Race Course
  • Lords Pt
  • Charlotte Lake
  • Cecil Pt (Actually a water fall mouth)
  • Echo Pt.
  • Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt)
  • Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt)
  • Khandala Pt
  • Madhavji Garden & Point
  • Matheran Railway Station
  • Louisa Point
  • Mayor Pt

References

External links

Image gallery


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Matheran is the closest hill station to Mumbai in the Sahyadri hill range in Raigad district of Maharashtra State.

Understand

Matheran is situated at a height of 803 m above sea level. Since 1907, a narrow gauge railway line connects Matheran to Neral in the plains. Motor vehicles are completely banned in Matheran (Venice, the prince's islands of Istanbul and Matheran, Texel Netherlands are probably the only places in the world where motor cars are banned), making it quite peaceful despite the thousands of visitors that come here, mostly from Mumbai. There are a number of lookout points that provide spectacular views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Matheran is a plateau with a reasonably dense forest cover. Being a hill station it is pleasant almost throughout the year. In winter, the nights can get a bit chilly though. The best time to go to Matheran is post-monsoon. It is truly spectacular at this time of the year with lush greenery, waterfalls and the lake full with water.

Get in

There is a entry fee (of Rs 25 for adult visitors and Rs.10 for children)to Matheran. The proceeds from this is used for the upkeep of the place considering its fragile ecosystem.

By train

You can catch either

  • a Karjat bound local train
  • the 07.10 Deccan Express (arrives at 08.38 in time for the 08.50)

from CST (a.k.a. VT Mumbai, India) on the Central Railway to Neral Station.

From Neral Station , there is a toy train which runs to Matheran about 4 times in a day. This toy train is not operational when railway route is under maintenance or when there is a perceived hazard e.g. the monsoons. Unfortunately, the only way to find this out is at the Neral Station.

Neral to Matheran tickets as of Novermber 2009 costs are 1st Class 210Rs, 2nd Class Reserved 35Rs, 2nd class unreserved 20Rs. Tickets can be booked from 3 to 1 day in advance, and then on the day of travel from 45 minutes before the train.

The train is often full, so turn up in good time to ensure you get a ticket. You can also book the ticket online through IRCTC[1]. If there's a queue of unmoving people at the ticket window with a salesman who's reading the paper, then all the 2nd class tickets are sold out. Jump the queue to the window and ask for 1st class as the're usually available.

The toy train times (as of Nov '09) are:

Neral -> Matheran:

  • depart 0730, arrive 0930
  • depart 0850, arrive 1110
  • depart 1015, arrive 1210
  • depart 1215, arrive 1405
  • depart 1705, arrive 1900

Matheran -> Neral:

  • depart 0700, arrive 0840
  • depart 0945, arrive 1125
  • depart 1340, arrive 1520
  • depart 1445, arrive 1625
  • depart 1625, arrive 1810

Here is a list of local train timings from Neral back to CST: 0246,0356,0425,0517,0532,0607,0654,0716,0734,0808,0837,0718,0954,1109,1232,1331,1416,1440,1553,1631,1705,1729,1837,1854,1954,2056,2141,2223,2256,0222.

Alternately, there are many share-a-cabs which take you to Matheran from Neral. The distance from Neral to Dasturi Point(last point to which vehicles are allowed in Matheran)is 11 km. The drivers that ply through the roads have immaculate driving skills, so a real advice here is not to keep eyeing the blind turns and foot-to-brake co-ordination, but to just enjoy the breath-taking views as you climb up towards the Dasturi point. (Charges are INR 50.00 per person as of July '09. Also make sure you take the rearmost seats as it will provide a relatively more comfortable travel) Once you have left the taxi, you can take a horse ride or get the help of porters to carry luggage up to the town.

There is sadly no convenient express train to get back to CST in the evening. You can get a local train from Neral to Karjat (away from Mumbai), and then an express train back from Karjat into Mumbai. But this will take longer than just getting a local train from Neral back into town.

By car

Cars are not allowed within Matheran. However you can drive up and park your car at Dasturi car point, or take the newly introduced mini bus shuttle from Karjat or Neral railway stations upto Dasturi. From Dasturi you must take a 40 minute horseback or man-pulled rickshaw ride to Matheran along a mud track.

Alternately you can walk from Dasturi along the rail line & make your way up to Matheran - 20minutes to half an hour. The rail track route is slightly shorter, more scenic and very much more comfortable than than the rubbly, dusty main road route. Coolies or porters are available at Dasturi to carry your luggage. Remember to negotiate rates in advance. you can also go with group bookig

On Foot

There are several walking trails which ascend the Matheran Plateau. These are used by local people commuting to the hill station as well as the occasional intrepid holiday-maker.

From the Eastern side, trekkers start at Neral (see above).

You can also approach from the Western side, which has the distinct advantage that you can be in the shade for most of the ascent if you start early in the morning. One route recommended during monsoon starts from the village of Dudhoni and brings you to Sunset Point in Matheran. It is suitable for beginners, and the ascent only takes 2 hours or so. There is apparently a side trip to a waterfall, but I have not done this. Dudhoni can be reached by autorickshaw from Panvel (accessible by bus or central line train). The trail is obvious in most places; when in doubt, ask a local.

Map of Matheran
Map of Matheran

As motor vehicles are banned, there are two ways of getting around in Matheran.

  • Walking. All the trails have signboards marking the way and the locals are quite helpful.
  • On horseback
  • Man-pulled Rickshaw

See

The truth is that almost all the points offer pretty good sunrise, sunset, mountain and valley views, so walk or horse ride or take a rickshaw to whichever you prefer. Remember that the more popular points will be crowded, especially at sunset. Watch out for the aggressive Matheran macaque monkeys who will not hesitate to snatch your belongings especially anything remotely resembling food!

Some of the popular sights include: Lake Charlotte - a spectacular waterfall overflows from the lake during and shortly after the monsoons. At other times, it is peaceful surrounded by dense evergreen forests, bird song and pretty butterflies.

  • Panorama point - This point is a very beautiful one, for you can see a panoramic view of the hills on the left and a beautiful Ulhas River to the right. This point is quite far from Matheran station / market, but you can negotiate a good price for your travel if you do not feel like walking. This point is perfect for Sunrise and is also called "Sunrise Point."
  • Heart Point - Here one can see a beautiful scene of the valley and this point looks like heart, so it is named so.
  • Monkey Point - Here you can see the monkeys in large numbers and their mischief life-sized.
  • Malang Point
  • Luisa Point - The view from here to the waterfall (run off from Charlotte Lake) during the monsoon is spectacular.
  • Honeymoon Hill
  • Echo Point
  • Charlotte Lake
  • Lords Point
  • One tree Hill
  • Olympia
  • Paymasters Park
  • Mount Barry
  • Artist Point
  • Khandala Point
  • Alexandar Point
  • Rambaug Point
  • Little Chowk Point
  • Chowk Point
  • Sunset(Porcupine) Point
  • Garbut point

Do

Due to the prohibition of cars, Matheran is a relatively peaceful place. So walking is an activity that will be richly rewarding, especially for nature lovers, and more so just after the monsoons when wildflowers are in full bloom with their attendant butterflies. When the mass blooming of Karvy or Strobilanthes Callosa takes place, it is a spectacular sight.

It is not uncommon to sight Golden Langurs, snakes and the Matheran Giant Squirrels [Ratufa indica elphinstonii]. Apart from the ubiquitous bonnet macaque or aggressive Matheran Monkeys !

There are numerous points all over Matheran, many of which provide some fantastic views of the valley below. While the central area and marked vistas are crowded, it is quite easy to find yourself all alone if you step off the beaten track. There are numerous forested trails leading to most of the Points. Wear thick soled footwear and carry a walking stick for greater comfort as some of the trails are very rubbly, nothing more than dry river beds.

Horse riding is also quite popular way of getting around in Matheran. Finding a horse is not very difficult, as there are many of them around. It is a great way to travel for people who prefer not to walk, but rates must be negotiated in advance.

One must do adventure in Matheran is VALLEY CROSSING . Its from Honeymoon point to near Louisa Point.Its basically a U- shaped mountain and you have to go from one side to other side ( approx 900 feet) hanging on rope with 1000 feet valley below(!) It works worth 3 ropes,pulleys and Gravity. So its one way. So coming back is by walking or you can ask your Horse-Man to come to that point to pick you up. Mind you - Its definitely not for weak-hearted. But you get a bird's eye view of the valley. And its definitely a once in life-time experience.

Eat

There are all kinds of restaurants in Matheran serving various cuisines. Most hotels offer packages including all meals. Try the Gujarati Thali, or the Maharashtrian style Vada-Pav (Indian Burger)which is available at the various points. Also, try the chikki which is available in different flavors in the main market. Meat is available in some restaurants, notably in the popular and modern Khan's, which does very good Kebabs. Diwadkars opposite the station does very tasty non veg and veg thalis, kababs, etc at a reasonable price, they also serve alcohol. Shabbir's Biryani house is very famous for it's meat preparations, but it is not a very neat place and if you are looking for a proper restaurant with people waiting on you then Shabbir's might not be the place. A plate of mutton biryani at Shabbir's costs Rs.75 (As on 19th April 2009).

Drink

There are all kinds of restaurants in Matheran serving various drinks, try the unique Kokam Sherbat there. Liquor is available only in certain hotels and restaurants. Another place to find alcohol is "Pramod Bar". Their rates are as follows:

  • Beer Rs.100
  • Old Monk Rum Rs.5 (30ml)
  • Bacardi White Rum Rs.5 (30ml)
  • Signature Whisky Rs.5 (30ml)
  • Smirnoff Vodka Rs.5 (30ml)
  • Fuel Vodka Rs.5 (30ml)
  • Shark Tooth Vodka Rs.5(30ml)
  • White Mischief Vodka Rs.5 (30ml)
  • Rivera Wine Rs.30(180 ml)
  • red rum Rs.5 (60ml)

Sleep

During the peak season, when it is very busy, prices are often as high as four times the off-season (winter) price. As it is a popular weekend trip from Mumbai, mid week is less full so you should be able to negotiate better prices. While there are many hotels in the centre of town, there are more secluded hotels down the paths away from the central buildings. Given most hotels can offer food, it needn't be an inconvenience being out of the town centre. Due to the space in Matheran, hotels often have extra facilities from ping-pong tables and swings to swimming pools.

  • A good place to stay is the R. B. Curumsey Damjee Arogya Bhuvan, +91 22 22070548 (). [2]. A health sanatorium in Matheran run by a public charitable trust. All the proceeds from this sanatorium are used in maintenance of the property and for other charitable purposes only. Situated near Monkey point it is equidistant from Dasturi (Car park) and the Market away from the crowd where there is just you and nature. Two old heritage bungalows have been taken over and remodeled and two more bungalows have been added. All bungalows face a lush green forest. Each bungalow is divided into 2 or 3 units. The place is vegetarian and alcohol is prohibited. The trust's rules apply. *Lord's Central, [3].Is of the expensive options May not be the most luxurious around, but it's a charming place whose owners bend over backwards to make you feel at home. It has a well placed pool, small library, bar, dining room and a giant chess board. The place charges Rs. 1600 -Rs. 2300 per head depending on the room. The charges include three meals. * Very (Barr House), Barr House, Matheran-410102, District Raigarh, Maharashtra, +91 2148 230296 (, fax: +91 2148 230811), [4]. This heritage bungalow has been converted into a first-rate guest house by the Neemrana group. A favourite with expats and the well-heeled Mumbai crowd, it is generally full on weekends. Well away from the crowded centre of Matheran town, and not far from where the road turns from wide dusty horse-path to quite footpaths. Walk just a hundred meters or so down one of these trails and you will be on your own exploring the views and relics of colonial bungalows.  edit  edit
  • Byke One of the oldest resorts; definitely the oldest 3 star resort in Matheran. Its well away from the crowds and has been around for 20 years. Mainly consists of several colonial style cottages and has managed to preserve some of the old world charm & character. Has a mid sized swimming pool for adults and a baby pool for kids, rain dance area, restaurant, tennis & badminton courts, a small hall like discotheque with a stage, health club, games room, several swings that you can relax on. Its nice & green and the food is decent as well. Definitely worth checking out.

Another good budget option for the families is Woodlands Hotel. Situated in the forest as the name suggests but just 10 mins walk from the Station/Market. Homely atmosphere with good food and service. Animal lovers will be happy to know that pets are more than welcome here.

There are plenty of hotels to suit all budgets. Maharashtra Tourism's site MTDC has a list of home stays as well. Most Matheran hotels and resorts advertise in the local Mid Day travel classifieds so it is easy to compare prices.

Most of the above mentioned websites do not mention the following small hotels which allow you lodging and boarding:

  • Hotel Preeti. This is a clean and neat place with considerable space for people to sit outside their rooms on swings and sofas. The rooms are clean and the beds look warm. The price is Rs.300 for one person a day without food. With food, which includes breakfast tea and two meals it is Rs.600 for one person. (Rates on a summer Saturday)
  • Krishna Villa. This place is not the best place to be if you are going with your family, but if you are with your friends and don't care too much about the rooms being slightly small this place can give you a good deal at Rs.240 per head without the food. (Rates on a summer Saturday)
  • Meghdoot. This is slightly better than Krishna Villa but not as good as Hotel Preeti. The asked for a sum of Rs.700 for five people per day.
  • There are several locals who have turned their houses in the villages into tourist cottages. These are very cheap and clean but don't expect too much service. You will find these near the "Pramod Bar".
  • Hotel Panorama [5] - It's at just two minutes walk from Matheran railway station & bazaar, situated in peaceful location surrounded by natural greenery. Our location is ideal for tourist who prefer to stay in clean cottage type rooms with 4 star amenities.
  • Carry a good pair of comfortable walking shoes. Matheran is quite dusty & there is red dirt everywhere.
  • The roads can be rough with many small stones in them but they are not sharp craggy rocks so wear a good pair of shoes with thick soles and you should be fine. Obviously, if you don't intend walking much then this doesn't really matter too much.
  • The weather is truly excellent as you can walk around even in summer without feeling too uncomfortable.
  • Avoid carrying too much baggage with you. You can't take it up by car & need someone to carry it for you. Some of these porters are women and you may not feel right about a woman carrying your heavy bag. Anyway, it's quite easy to find a male porter (also called "coolie" in India). They may charge around Rs. 200 - 250 (US$ 5 - 6) for carrying your bags to your hotel depending on where your hotel is. Also they are reliable and you can safely hand over your bags to them and take any route you want. They will be at your hotel before you.
  • There is a government fixed rate for renting the horses which in (May 2008) is Rs. 160 or around US$ 4 per hour.
  • there are monkeys around, please do not feed them or play with them..it could be Dangerous
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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