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Our first visit to Matheran was in summer 2005...this is our 2nd trip there..but this time in monsoon...It is indeed one of the most romantic places we've been to...U feel you are in
the clouds...surrounded by forests, deep valleys & heavy fog...with spells of rainfall...and the best thing about Matheran is that there is absolutely no vehicle(cars, bikes or even cycles)...It's a pollution free place...and one where U get lots of exercise...since you either travel by horse, or u walk...and we chose to do the all those of you who enjoy trekking, this is the place for U!!!

More information on Matheran, those who really does not know about it...[Taken from wikipedia, please click here to read more]

Matheran (Marathi: माथेरान is a small town 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 18.59°N 73.18°E, around 90 km from Mumbai, 120 km from Pune, which makes it a popular weekend getaway for urban residents. The name Matheran means either "forest on top" or "mother forest".  It is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, 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. [Click here to read more]

        [My son Dyuman in middle along with Janvi & Aditya]
Matheran is very popular for its beautiful scenic view from different angles...It has lots of points from where you can have amazing views of the valleys down below.  Few of the point are: Khandala Point, Alexandre Point, Louisa Point, Sunset Point, Charlotte Lake, Echo Point among others...
But at this time of the year, when you visit Matheran, you should not expect to see these views...during this rainy season, Matheran offers another kind of magic...that which many have only seen in movies...From far below, while driving up, you can only make out that the entire hill-top is hidden within the clouds.  But once you drive up the dangerously steep and curvy roads which present a challenge even to the best of drivers,a nd reach the top, you find yourself within the magical empire of Matheran.  The visibility point was not more than 5 metres, and the smoky environment makes it the best of places for honeymooners and couples of all ages to spend some much needed time together without any disturbance.  We had been planning for a trip for quite some time, and this proved to be the perfect getaway  for us.  Even my son Dyuman and his 2 friends Jahnvi and Aditya (Jahnvi, Dyuman & Aditya as seen in the picture) had fun walking through the rough paths through the forests, listening to birds songs, or watching with fascination the highly intelligent monkeys.  When you are leaving that place, you feel a twinge in your heart for leaving such a heavenly place to go back to the rush of daily life...

Photography :

Photography, for me comes on top priority on every trip...but this time, since I was with my family, and friend's family, 
I could not spend an era on my passion...But still I managed to click one for myself, which I tagged as 'Photo of the Trip' ...This pic was taken during our stop at  the famous 'Tony Da Dhaba' located on  Mumbai - Pune Old Highway (NH 4). Avinash & Myself were sharing a little drink inside the car, and it was raining outside...then it struck me...I rushed to get my camera, and got this one...It is of the  front left window, taken from the driving seat (RHD car).   The background is made of few super-blurred leaves. 

Click on the photo to view bigger size or visit my flickr photo stream here

Getting there:
If you are driving form Pune, you need to get onto the Pune Mumbai Expressway at Pune and take the Khopoli exit after passing Lonavala/ Khandala and get onto the old Poona Bombay road. Approximately 18 km later, you turn right at a place called Chowk where a big green sign over the road asks you to turn right for Matheran. From then on there are regular road signs to guide you. From Chowk to Karjat rail crossing is 9 km, then 12 km to Neral at the tip of the hill. After that the last stretch of the road (About 7 km) is on the ghat which leads you to Dasturi Naka (Last point to which cars are allowed, where there is a car park) at the tip of Matheran.

Very Important: 
Last few kms are real stiff climb at approx 45° angle with at least 15-20° uphill. Please be very cautious and drive only if you are expert and have experience on uphill/downhill (which we call as 'ghat' in India) experience. Manual gear shifting makes this worse. I really had a tough time to take it into the top (the last 6 kms). If you have any doubt on this,  keep your car down(near Neral) and take van drop to top. Anyways, you can not take the car to Matheran and you have to park it at top and walk around 3 kms to reach there (although there are horses you can rent).

Your comments please...

Jul 20, 2010 6:25 AM