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Exploring the Beauty of Matheran

As an avid traveler who loves nature, I recently visited Matheran and was captivated by its scenic beauty and charm. Nestled in the Western Ghats at an elevation of 800 m, Matheran is one of the few places in India that prohibits automobiles, making it an incredibly peaceful hill station.

If you're planning a trip here, this guide shares my top recommendations on making the most of your time through things to do and see in Matheran.

Take in Panoramic Views

One of the top attractions of Matheran is its breathtaking valley views. Walk along the cliffside paths and roads to be rewarded with stunning vistas of the Sahyadri mountains and plains below.

Some of the best viewpoints include Louisa Point, Porcupine Point, Monkey Point, Echo Point, Charlotte Lake, and more, each with its own charm. Go to as many as you can and watch the sunrise or sunset for a truly magical experience.

Explore Nature

Matheran is a nature lover's paradise with its unspoilt forests and rich biodiversity. Take scenic nature trails through the shady woods to spot some exotic birds and animals. Keep an eye out for the giant Indian squirrel or Langur monkeys jumping from tree to tree. The walk through the dense cover is rejuvenating.

Do carry a hat, some snacks, and a camera to capture the natural beauty around you.

what to do in matheran

Visit Historic Sites

There are a few historic Parsi mansions, towers, and British summer houses dotting the Matheran landscape. Visit these heritage buildings to get a glimpse into the hill station's past. Some notable sites are the Parsi and Christ Church buildings near MG Road, Charlotte Lake built in memory of Lord Hugh Malet's wife, and the old British summer house near Rustomjee Point.

Shop Local Delights

From chikkis (peanut brittle) to leather accessories, Matheran offers some great shopping. The main market is a mix of shops selling snacks, decorative items, Kolhapuri chappals, walking sticks, and more. It's a great place to buy souvenirs or try some traditional Maharashtrian sweets and fried snacks.

You can also stop at Nariman Chikki Mart for their wide range of chikkis in innovative flavors.

Ride the Toy Train

One of Matheran's top highlights is the narrow-gauge toy train ride. The journey from Neral railway station climbs up the Western Ghats giving you breathtaking views of the Sahyadris, waterfalls, plains, and villages below. It's an unmissable experience that makes getting to Matheran half the fun.

what to do in matheran - toy train

You can also explore the train station and see the manually operated turntable where the engine changes direction after each ride.

Stay in Heritage Hotels

To truly soak in Matheran's old-world charm, stay at one of the colonial-era hotels. From Lord's Central Hotel to Lalit Mahal Palace, these properties take you back in time with their heritage architecture, decor, local cuisines and courteous service. Waking up amidst misty forests followed by a cup of steaming tea is an experience to cherish at Matheran.

Dine on Local Cuisine

Matheran's cool climate gives you quite an appetite to indulge in the local food. You must try the signature Matheran red chilly chicken and spicy poralcooked in earthen pots here. For vegetarians, there's the flavoursome Kolhapuri misal, zunka bhakar, and sandhani gatte curry and rajmachi aloo sabzi with bhakris.

End your meals with a refreshing kokum sarbat cooling drink.

Bonus Tips

  • Carry a flashlight if staying late to see the bioluminescent forests at night

  • Wear good shoes and full covered clothes to stay comfortable in the woods

  • Try to avoid weekends or holidays as it gets very crowded

  • Carry some loose change for entry tickets and camera charges at viewpoints

  • Respect nature and carry back your trash to do your bit for the environment

With its laidback charm, magnificent landscapes and colonial nostalgia, Matheran makes for an unforgettable getaway. Follow this travel guide to plan your trip and make the most of your time exploring this incredible hill station.

Here's looking forward to more such memorable travels around our gorgeous country.


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