Matheran is a lovely hill station at the Western Ghats and is favourite choice among hikers, trekkers, honeymooners and weekenders.
It is a renowned summer destination for weekenders from Gujarat and Maharashtra and tourists across the country.
It is perhaps the only hill station in India that still does not allow motored vehicles and tourists even today take a horseback ride or hand rickshaw ride - like they used to do in 1930s.
The name Matheran (which means 'forest on top') refers to the surrounding dense evergreen Jambol forests. Matheran is known for its biodiversity as the place consists of rare species of flora and fauna.
Matheran is also famous for its 33 lookout points, which provides panoramic view of the peaks of Western Ghats
Matheran offers view points, walking trails, heritage train, beautiful lake, some charming bungalows and old world charm - where you find that you have travelled back in time.
Best time to visit - September to June
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By Road/Self Drive
There are many buses that go from Mumbai and Pune to Matheran.
Since Matheran is a vehicle-free zone, all petrol and diesel vehicles are stopped 2.5 kilometres away from the city. You will have to cover this last stretch on a horseback, a rickshaw or if you’re fit enough, on foot.
If you plan to go by your vehicle, there is a parking space at Dasturi Peak just outside Matheran.
The closest railhead to Matheran is in Neral (21 kilometres).
From Neral you will have to go to Matheran by road, which is a 30-minute journey. Or by Toy Train that departs from Neral.
The toy train journey from Neral to Matheran is very beautiful and scenic; but it takes about 2 hours to reach the destination.
The nearest airports to Matheran are in Mumbai (100 kilometres) and Pune (120 kilometres).