Hello beautiful blogs readers, today I am Matheran where we are going to explore every corner and every inch of this place now lets begin with Top places to visit in MATHERAN.
Matheran is a hill station and a municipal council in Karjat Tahsil in the Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Matheran is part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Matheran is one of the smallest hill stations 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 about 90 km from Mumbai, and 120 km from Pune. Matheran’s proximity to many metropolitan cities makes it a weekend getaway for urban residents. Matheran, which means “forest on the forehead” (of the mountains) is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. It is Asia’s only automobile-free hill station.
There are around 38 designated look-out “points” (viewpoints) in Matheran, including the Panorama Point that provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town. Louisa Point has views of Prabal Fort. Other viewpoints include One Tree Hill Point, Heart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, and Rambagh Point.
There are many hotels and Parsi bungalows in the area. Old British-style architecture is preserved in Matheran. The roads are not metalled and are made of red laterite earth.
HISTORY from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Matheran was identified 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 resort to beat the summer heat in the region. Matheran is the birthplace of freedom fighter Veer Bhai Kotwal. He was born on 1 December 1912 in a Barber family.
The state government has built a monument in his memory. The Matheran Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and covers a distance of 20 km (12 mi), over large swathes of forest territory. The Matheran hill railway, also known as Matheran Light Railway (MLR), was inspected by UNESCO world heritage site officials but failed to make it to the list as a World Heritage Site. India’s other Hill Railways like the Darjeeling Railway, the Kangra.
Valley Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway are already on the list.
WILDLIFE from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
The town also has a large monkey population, including bonnet macaques and Hanuman langurs. Domesticated horses for riding are also in large numbers and are one of the symbols of Matheran.
Inside the forest animals like barking deer, Malabar giant squirrel, fox, wild boar, mongoose may be found. But these animals are rare in numbers compared to monkeys and usually do not venture where humans are present. So most likely one does not come across them. There have been reports of leopard sightings in Matheran few times in last decade.
Leopards are not known to dwell in Matheran. But due to dense forests in valleys surrounding Matheran leopards who are on the roam may climb Matheran.
Nowadays leopard sightings by locals are extremely rare due to dwindling leopard population in general all over the country. There has been no known incidence of leopard attacks in Matheran.
TRANSPORT from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Matheran is well connected to Mumbai (100 km) & Pune (120 km) by rail and road, while Neral is the nearest rail station. The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai that is located around 100 km away from Matheran.
Railway– Matheran has a narrow-gauge railway station in the town centre. The old Matheran Hill Railway offers several daily trains to Neral. The toy train connected to the mainline rail route at Neral Junction. Neral Junction is well connected by local trains from CST along the CST-Karjat route.
The train covers a distance of 12 miles in an hour.
Any Pune bound train from CST (Mumbai) reaches Neral in approximately two hours. To get there you have to take train from Mumbai to Neral junction; from Neral to Matheran by narrow gauge trains that depart at 8:40 AM, 11:00 AM, 5:00 PM. The Matheran Light Railway (MLR) offers limited seats for each trip. You can even hire a local van to travel till the Dhindi Point.
From Dhindi Point you have to walk for about 30 minutes along the railway track to reach Matheran. People who cannot walk are suggested to contact the Neral railway officials to check whether the toy train is operating or not.
The Toy train was shut down for most part 2016–2017. But it is now operational since January 26, 2018 and was e-inaugurated by the Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis. Only 1 Ride from Neral to Matheran and it leaves Neral at 6:40 AM and reaches Matheran around 9:40 AM. Thereafter it operates shuttle rides between Aman Lodge and Matheran Station on hourly basis and at 3:30 PM it returns to Neral from Matheran. It takes 2 hours to Travel for return journey
There is regular bus service from Neral railway station and Karjat railway station up to Aman Lodge. The buses and cars are allowed only up to Aman Lodge. The only form of automobile allowed in Matheran is an ambulance operated by the Municipality. No private automobiles are allowed in Matheran.
Within Matheran transport facilities available are horses and hand-pulled rickshaws. In Matheran horses are the cheap and best mode of transport. Because of landslides during the rain fall, the toy train services may be terminated temporarily.
The centre has also given moot for e-rickshaws in Matheran
FOREST AND VEGITATION from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
The forest type of Matheran is semi evergreen forests. The trees are evergreen, making the plateau forests very dense and even congested in places.
The laterite, porous soil along with very heavy rainfall mixed with dense fog for 4-5 has resulted in unique flora rich in diversity on the plateau. The forests show vegetation in top, middle and ground storey. The trees form a cover over large variety of shade loving herbs, climbers, ferns and mosses.
The forests of Matheran have attracted many botanists who have studied the flora of Matheran: Smyth J.Y.(1871), Birdwood H.M. (1886) and (1896), Cooke T. (1887–1901), Woodrow G.M. (1897-1901), Irani N.A.(1962), Satyanarayana & Mudliar (1959), Vartak, V.D.(1966), Kothari & Moorthy (1993). A good collection of the dried plants is deposited in Blatter Herbarium, St. Xavier’s College, Bombay, Mumbai.
Matheran has a huge number of medicinal plants and herbs. Matheran was declared an Eco-Sensitive zone (ESZ) by the Union Environment Ministry on 4 February 2003 and can be called a health sanatorium in itself. The declaration as ESZ has led to the stoppage of developmental activities and construction of hazardous industries.
Conservation from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
The vegetation of the area depends on the type and depth of the soil. Due to poor soil depth, the vegetation on the edges of the plateaus is poor. Due to heavy rainfall, dissected hilly terrain and excessive leaching of the soil, the exposed areas become less fertile and become less moisture retentive, resulting in shallow rooted vegetation. It is required to plant trees to protect the soil cover from losing its valuable humidity and fertility.
The winds are very strong and blow from west or southwest during monsoon and also dry winds blow during the three months from January to March. These winds tend to shear and bend the plant parts and absorb the moisture from the plants.
Matheran is a gorgeous hill station that has an absolutely unpolluted atmosphere all around the place. The lush green forests and the placid lakes of this splendid place is like a soothing tonic for tired eyes. Visiting Matheran during the summers is indeed a good idea because the temperature of this place always remains moderated. However, to have the best idea regarding the best time for you to visit, lets discuss the general weather of Matheran in details:
Summer (March to May) from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Summers are quite pleasant in the hill station. The mercury levels do not cross 35 degree Celsius and is ideal for outings and sightseeing. So, summers can be considered to be a nice time to reach Matheran. The best thing about this season is that you won’t feel lazy just to cuddle inside your blanket, like you would in winters. You can roam around the beautiful and pristine places in a sunny mood in the summers.
Winter (December to February) from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Winters can get quite chilly in this pristine hill town. The cold with temperature lies above 11 degree Celsius in the winter days. It is good for all tourist activities like horse riding, paragliding and valley crossing. But do make sure to pack your bags with warm clothes on your trip to Matheran.
Monsoon (June to September) from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Monsoons are better avoided for visiting Matheran. Heavy downpours tend to occur in these months and the trails get slippery between July to August. However, the greenery of the region gets washed up in the showers making the milieu yet more pristine. So, what if it’s raining, take an umbrella and enjoy the little droplets washing down the dust from earth in sheer bliss!!
So, all in all we can say that it is alright to visit the hill station in any time of the year but to enjoy to the fullest you can land up at the place between October and May
CULRURE OF MATHERAN from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Marathi culture is prominently found in the lifestyle of the residents of Matheran. The people of the hill town arefriendly, hospitable and generous. They give a warm welcome to the tourists and are always supportive. A majority of hill town population belongs to Hindu and Muslim culture.
WHAT IS THE SPECIALITY OF MATHERAN? from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
It is Asia’s only automobile-free hill station. There are around 38 designated look-out “points” (viewpoints) in Matheran, including the Panorama Point that provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town. Louisa Point has views of Prabal Fort.
WHICH FOOD IS FAMOUS IN MATHERAN?
- Chikki. If there is one thing that Matheran is famous for- it has to be Chikkis. …
- Vada Pav. Ah! …
- Pav Bhaji. …
- Solkadhi. …
- Bharli Vangi. …
- Puran Poli.
SHOPPING from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
- Chikkis. A traditional Indian sweet made of nutritious ingredients like jaggery, gram flour, etc., chikkis are sold extensively in the local markets of this majestic hill station. …
- Leather Goods. …
- Dried Wildflowers. …
- Cane Items. …
- Kolhapuri Chappals. …
- Local Honey.
Top PLACES TO VISIT from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Shivaji’s ladder, Matheran Overview from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Downhill from One tree hill viewpoint in Matheran, Shivaji’s Ladder is a pathway with the steps in the shape of a ladder. Surrounded by lush green woods, it is one of the most popular trekking points in Matheran. It is said that Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji used this pathway for his hunting trip in Matheran.
One tree hill point from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
One Tree Hill point in Matheran is one of the most scenic viewpoints in Maharashtra. It is named so because it has just one tree growing on top of the hill. The one tree hill viewpoint affords a panoramic and unobstructed view of the deep valleys and stretching forests that surround the hill station of Matheran. It is also famous for trekking.
A gentle trek up to the hilltop offers a mesmerising view of the surrounding tourist spots of Tent Hill and Chowk Village. Shivaji’s Ladder Road marks the way downhill from this site, and you can enjoy the scenic beauty on the way down as well. This place is a quaint destination to relax and unwind in the midst of nature.
Echo point, Matheran Overview from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
Echo Point is a popular viewpoint in Matheran. It is famous for the reverberations and echoes it generates. In addition to this phenomenon, this destination is also famous for its natural virgin beauty. The hilltop also gives a bird’s eye view of the entire region. Carpeted with a blanket of green grass, the mountains of Sahyadri are a sight to behold.
Located on top of a steep cliff, Echo Point is also known for adventure activities like rope climbing and zip lining. Echo Point is also a food lover’s delight, as various stall and small shops provide delicious local Maharashtrian delicacies at reasonable prices.
Ambarnath Temple, Matheran Overview
Ambarnath Temple is a historic Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located at Ambarnath near Mumbai, it was built in 1060. The temple complex has a stark resemblance to the Dilwara Temples located in Mount Abu. The stunning architecture of the temple complex is a treat to the eyes. The annual festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the temple.
City Shopping, Matheran Overview
While in Matheran, shop for leather items, Kolhapuri footwear, Chikki, honey and simple handicraft items here. One can head to the Mall road for their shopping spree.
King George Point, Matheran Overview from the pages of Top places to visit in MATHERAN
King George Point is a view point in Matheran to see the rolling hills covered in lush green natural vegetation, the valleys, the enchanting waterfalls and the mesmerising Charlotte Lake. It is a perfect attraction to escape the polluted city air and replenish the body, mind and soul.
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