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Reaching Matheran from Neral - My Journey to the Hill Station

As an avid traveller, I enjoy discovering new places and having my own little adventures. Recently, I decided to explore Matheran - the cute little hill station near Mumbai. Getting there was an experience in itself.

Reaching Matheran from Neral

Why I Chose Matheran

I had heard rave reviews about Matheran from friends. They talked about the peaceful hillside views, toy train rides and pure serenity. It seemed like the perfect weekend trip to take a break from the Mumbai chaos.

However, what really drew me in was that Matheran has been declared an eco-sensitive zone and does not allow automobiles. Something about exploring a hill station on foot or horseback thrilled me.

Travelling from Mumbai to Neral

I began my journey from Mumbai, taking a local train to Neral Junction. This took around 1.5 hours to 2 hours depending on the train I caught. But the journey was quite comfortable. I played some music, read a book and watched the views as the train snaked through the Western Ghats.

The Neral Stopover

Once I reached Neral, I took an auto-rickshaw and asked to be dropped off near Neral Station bus stop. This is basically the starting point to get further transport towards Matheran. I easily found shared taxis here that go all the way uphill to Dasturi car park in Matheran. Make sure to fix the pricing before you get into the taxi to avoid any confusion later.

The Ghat Road

This uphill ghat road from Neral to Matheran is where the real adventure began! It took around 30-40 minutes to reach Dasturi but the views alongside made up for it. We passed through dense forests and breathtaking valley points like Monkey Point and Lion’s Point. I would highly recommend getting a window seat to enjoy glancing at waterfalls and cliffs without having to get out of the car.

All Aboard the Toy Train

You also have the option of taking the famous Neral-Matheran Toy Train instead of the car. While it takes longer (about 2 hours), the toy train ride is scenic and memorable. You’ll pass through some dark tunnels and trudge uphill at a leisurely pace, soaking in the journey just as much as the destination. Give it a try if you have time in hand.

At Dasturi Car Park

We were dropped off at Dasturi car park, as this is where vehicles are banned beyond. From here, you need to walk 30-40 minutes to Matheran town or take a horseback ride. I preferred taking in the sights on my own two feet but rides are easily available.

Along the way, there were plenty of local stalls selling yummy snacks, chikkis (peanut brittle) and fresh berries that grow in the hills. It made for the perfect way to fuel up!

Finally, the Town Awaited!

The pathway ended right at Matheran town, full of colourful shops and people milling about. Despite people saying it was smaller than expected, I found the place charming.

It has a nice bazaar area to explore with souvenirs and eateries. You’ll also spot the train station and the famous Lord’s Central hotel here. This iconic red heritage building is one of the oldest in Matheran so do take in the views from its porch.

My Complete Matheran Experience

Over the next two days, I discovered forest paths and vantage points on foot to enjoy the valleys and lakes around Matheran. Such knockout hill views so close to the chaos of Mumbai were unbelievable. The weather was amazingly pleasant and the local food quite scrumptious too.

From the moment I left to the time I returned, Matheran offered me relaxing vibes and happy memories. Reaching there from Neral was an easy, fuss-free journey with the right guidance. I highly recommend visiting this eco-sensitive gem and taking the same route as I did from Neral railway station onwards.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


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