Monday, 13 March 2017

Horses, Monkeys and Hand drawn carts only at Matheran

Matheran the ecofriendly hill station

Matheran is the only hill station that opposes two and four wheelers and hence earns the ecofriendly hill station tag. An hour and 30mins from Bombay (Dadar Central) by train is all it takes to get here.

Neral is the closest rail head and once you alight from the train, take the sharing cab service @80/- a seat to get to Matheran.
The toy train which takes one from Neral is Matheran is a preferred ride for many and offers picturesque sights of the surrounding hills.  It is now non-operational but the Railway Minster, Suresh Prabhu hopes the Central Railway will get it up and running soon. Once you arrive pay an entry fee of INR 50 for adults and INR 25 for children from age 2 -12.

You can then either walk for an hour along the toy train tracks or get unto a horse and ride along. The other option is travel in British Raj style in a hand drawn cart, pulled and tugged by three men. You can bargain for both these (horse ride would be around 250/- pp and the hand drawn cart around 300/-pp. Both will drop you to the main market junction.

The best time to visit is throughout the year but avoid the monsoons due to possible mud slides.  Usually packed during the holiday Season time may and Oct (school holidays) but otherwise you can visit anytime of the year

What to do and where to stay:

1. Buy shoes at a good bargain:  There are many shoe shops all over offering mainly Indian Kolhapuri type of chappals and other footwear. Also buy for keep sake, finger size type of chappals/ mostly bought for memory sake and has been sold here for around a century.

2. Kids play area at Chhatrrapati Shivaji Maharaj Udyan: Where there are around four - five slides and a number of other kids activities

3. Ride on horseback and visit 5, 7 or 12 points: The set of points in the same location usually 5-30 mins from each other. The view is great from all so nothing special about covering all the points unless you must do it as per your checklist. Bargain and get yourself a good deal. Do keep in mind the view is much the same form all points only the location changes.

4. Booze: Is available only at Pramod bar but at a premium so do carry your quota along. Located in the main market area and is easy to identify. Everything sold is at a premium from soap to oil to coke.

5. Hotels, Resorts and home stays you will find many all around. At the very beginning is MTDC 

6. Time to relax:  There is also a massage centre, Adoma just besides Hotel Kumar Plaza

What I like: 

1. Eco friendly hill station where Polythene bags are banned. Also no vehicles, two or four wheelers. (even cycles are not allowed)

2. Paver blocks for travellers to walk on align the mud road while a center mud and stone pathway for horses

3. The place is clean and no plastic bags or litter around.

4. And most of all not too far from Bombay 😊 

Good to know:

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