Matheran one day trip was planned suddenly at Friday night and next day we drove to this nearest hill station early morning. I have been to Matheran hill station many times before. Bullet ride to Matheran was one of my past favorite trips.
Beautiful hairpin sharp turns makes amazing drive till Dasturi Naka which is the entry gate of Matheran. Till this entry gate, one can reach by vehicle (4 wheeler & bikes only, no buses). There is plenty of parking space available. Four wheeler Parking charges INR 110 for 24 Hrs.
Do you know that Matheran is the only hill station in India where vehicles are not allowed. Pollution free air is what promises this hill station to all its visitors. Matheran literally means “forest on head”. Ran means Forest and Mathe means Head, thus forest on head i.e. top plateau. There is a toy train of Matheran which is only machine that enter just for tourism purpose.
As you enter you will come to know how dense it is. How old it is. In 2019, Matheran received more rain than Cherapunji ( receives highest rainfall in India and one of the wettest places in world).
Matheran entry ticket charges
Matheran entry ticket charges are INR 50 per person. Ticket counter is at entry gate i.e. Dasturi Naka.
How to reach Matheran?
Mumbai to Matheran
one can easily reach Dasturi by road with the help of GPS location. Otherwise, catch any Karjat local train and get down at Naral station. Neral to Matheran taxis are always available and will charge INR 80 Per person.
Pune to Matheran
One can easily reach Matheran by road. One has to take old Pune Mumbai highway till Khopoli then Karjat – Neral – Dasturi Naka route. Otherwise, one can opt for any Mumbai express which halts at Karjat. From Karjat, catch CST train and get down at Neral station which is second station from Karjat. By shared taxi, reach Dasturi.
Toy train of Matheran
Toy train of Matheran is the cheapest way to reach Matheran station. But, the twist is that, it takes more than 2 hours from Neral to reach Matheran station whereas taxi takes 20 minutes till Dasturi. Also, Matheran toy train is not functional. Just for info, train tickets are available at IRCTC website when it’s functional. However, one should experience the journey by toy train at least once.
Horse ride of Matheran
After reaching Dasturi Naka, one can either opt for walk or horse ride. There are charges for horse ride and vary according to your destination hotel. Generally, they charge INR 300-350 per person till Matheran market if you negotiate the quoted INR 500. Apart from horse ride, there is also an option of hand pull cart.
Best time to Visit Matheran
Matheran is the nearest hill station to Mumbai and thus the best weekend getaway. Matheran weather in all season is favourable. Every season has its own charm. Rainy season mostly attracts one day Matheran trekking crowd. Winter is the season of camping and party whereas summer is the season where tourist visit from all over the world.
Matheran trekking options
There are many amazing and beautiful trekking routes to climb up the Matheran hill. Prabalgad, Kalavantin, Irshalgad, Chanderi fort are easily visible from different points of Matheran. Following are famous trekking trails of Matheran Hill Station.
- Dodhani Matheran trek
- One tree hill trek
- Garbett plateau trek
- Peb fort trek
Places to see in Matheran
There are many points or places to visit in Matheran. Following are the most famous
- Alexander Sunrise point
- Sunset Point
- One tree hill point
- Charlotte Lake
- Matheran Market
- Loisa point
- Echo point
- Lord Point
My Matheran Trip Experience
I parked my vehicle at the last slot available at the parking area. Adjacent to that, there was a railway track of toy train and people were walking on it. With the help of these people, I came to know that this track will take me to the Aman lodge station directly skipping the entry gate and thus the charges. To my surprise, it saved time and money both. I kept following the track towards market and I entered Matheran like a thief.
Camping group Intro
Everyone met at Aman lodge which is 2 mins just after entering from Dasturi Matheran gate. I met the fellow campers and we started after brief round of instructions.
Neral station to Dasturi – 20 min by shared taxi
Dasturi Naka to Aman lodge – 2 mins by walk
Aman lodge to Matheran market/station – 45 min by walk
Market to Campsite – 10 mins by walk
Matheran photo walk
As we started from Aman lodge station, we preferred railway track as it was shortest and most scenic walk. Within minutes, we captured around 100 pictures as a group. It was indeed beautiful route covered with the dense forest trees. For few mates, it was more of a photo-shoot walk.
Also read : Dodhani Waterfall Visit
Cherries, cucumber, ber fruits, pears and unripe mangoes available at mini stalls of local vendors.
After sometime, we came across a valley view point. Deliberately, everyone took the halt and again clicked hundreds of pictures.
We explored Matheran market. There is a “I love Matheran” point just near to the station in Market area. This was more crowded due to weekend.
Forest Camping Site
After 10 mins, from Main market area we reached at our forest camping site. It was huge property covered with the dense forest trees. This was private property with few cottages and campground spread across 4 acres of land. Matheran hill station
Welcome Tea & Snacks
As soon as we reached, we got welcome drinks and snacks. Everyone was hungry after walking so much till campground.
Tent Set up
When we entered into our tents, it was already dark. The whole group freshened up quickly and started campfire & BBQ arrangements.
Though the campground serves only veg, it was mind boggling. In fact, non vegetarian were satisfied with the quality of served meal. On top of that, there was sweet dish which took second round as well.
Night Walk to Alexander point
Alexander point was very close to the campground and we preferred to digest what we had recently. At night, it was a bit scary initially but then you get used to the darkness. There was no one at Alexander point.
Night stay at Matheran Forest
It was getting darker and colder. While sharing travel stories, we got closer. Late night, we played Ludo, carrom and badminton till the last breath. Like a typical Indian, we wanted to enjoy each and every moment. Someone said that we have not come here to sleep, and we sleep everyday at home religiously. But, then everyone was tired by 3 AM.
After sometime, there was a sound of drops on tents. I was wondering how weird it is but then everyone was sleeping so I continued with my dream. Later, in the morning came to know that it was dew drops falling on the tents and making that weird sound. Phew!!
Matheran hill station is really pollution free and gives you pure oxygen. Morning was beautiful though it was bit late due to last night camping fun games and activities. It became more awesome with ginger tea and hot parathas.
After getting ready, we walked down to Alexander point for sunrise view. As usual, we were late but the view from the point was stunning. Another round of photo-shoot continued here as well.
Bye Matheran hill station
Return walk was supposed to be very quick. Shopping took another hour for ladies to come out. Eventually, we reached Dasturi Naka. Bid adieu to amazing peeps. It was indeed fun with the unknown folks which turn out to be great friends forever. Trip to Matheran hill station was most memorable.