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Matheran is an undulating hilltop cloaked in shady trees, that sprawls languidly at an altitude of 800 m. The journey involves an adventurous two-hour ascent in a toy train, with food and drink vendors and monkeys jumping on and off as the valley glides by sedately. Alternatively, a tough 11 km hike through thick and shady forests or a winding car drive can get you there just as well. Matheran's cliffs, with incredibely steep drops to the plains below,create stunning viewing points. These panoramic vistas, by day or by night, leave you feeling light headed. On a clear night you can even see the lights of Mumbai from Hart Point. In fact, all of Matheran is a series of such quixotically named points that are popular if isolated site for picnics and fireside revelry at night. Charlotte Lake, the Panther's Caves and Paymaster Park are Leisure, especially for children.

One gets to breath fresh air over here, as vehicles of any kind are not permitted in the town, which makes it a very quiet, serene place. This ban on vehicles makes the journey to Matheran an adventurous journey. The journey involves an adventurous two-hour ascent in a toy train. With food and drink vendors and monkeys jumping on and off, as the valley glides by sedately. Hikers can opt for a tough 11-km hike through thick and shady forests.

Lake Charlotte: The main source of drinking water for the town, Lake Charlotte sports a dam at one end and temple at the other. A popular picnic spot, it looks splendid in the monsoon, but dries up in the summer. Near the dam is the main Hindu temple, the Pisarnath Mandir.

Mount Barry: One of the highest spots in Matheran, this has splendid views. Governor's Hill, another viewpoint, is between Mount Barry and Panorama Point.

Khandala Point: It is on the M.G. Road, km away from Post Office. One can see Garbut Point in front of it and at the right side of it, Khandala Hills, Bhivpuri Power House and Karjat town.

Alexander Point: It is on the Madhavji Road and about 1 km. from the Post Office. From this point one can see Garbut Point, Towers of Bhivpuri Power House, Karjat Palasdari Lake, Borgaon Village, Rambaug Point and Chowk Point.

Echo Point: It is about 2 kms from the Post Office. On the right one can experience Echoes reverberating in a low tone from this place. During September-October, good view of waterfall can be seen, to the delight of your eyes.

Panorama Point: It is about 6 kms from the Post Office. The view from here is magnificent. This place is most suitable for picnic. This point commands one of the widest view of the hill, both of Matheran and other side of it. Peb Fort, Chanderi, Jagged peaks of Mhas-Mal, Navara-Navari can be seen from here. On the west side of it with Prabal fort as background is a fine view of wooded ravines and bare cliff of Hart, Monkeys and Porcupine Point. Sunrise can also be seen from this Point.


BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to May.

By Air: Nearest airport is Mumbai, 100 kms.

By Rail: Mumbai-Neral, 90 kms. Neral-Matheran, 21 kms, Pune-Neral, 120 kms. (Neral-Matheran mountain train) The rail journey to Matheran is half the fun of your trip. Neral, the nearest railhead (21 km), is connected to Mumbai, Pune and other parts of Maharashtra. From here, a special, narrow gauge "toy train" gets you up, puffing and wheezing all the way. Except during the monsoon season (June-September), there are several trains a day on the mountain railway. These take 2 hours to cover the climb to their destination. Stations on the way have names like Water pipe and there is also the famous One Kiss Tunnel. During the monsoon, the service is restricted to one train a day and during heavy rains even this can be cancelled due to landslides.

By Road: Mumbai-Neral-Matheran, 108 kms. State Transport buses regularly ply from Mumbai and Pune. A taxi from Neral to Matheran takes about half hour to reach. Taxis stop about 2.5 km from the centre of the hill station. The more energetic trek it from Neral.

State Transport buses ply from Mumbai and Pune to Neral.

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