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HILLS  STATION>MAHARASTRA> MATHERAN
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The ever green hilly mountain of Matheran is located at an altitude of about 800 meters above mean sea level near Mumbai the capitol of the Maharashtra state. The local population of Matheran is about 10000, the only occupation of the people is tourism. Matheran is full of trees the name itself means wooded head or Jungle Topped. The most unique and beautiful thing about Matheran is that any form of motorized vehicular transportation is prohibited into the hillstation, the only mode of transport is riding on a horse back, using the human rickshaws and of course the cheapest and best mode of transport is to walk. The peak season in Matheran runs from November to January and from April to May when the rates are significantly higher, accommodations have to be booked well in advanced for convenience. During monsoon June to October Matheran virtually closes, only a few Hotels remain open and the rates are dropped significantly.   Matheran has real good collection of leather and jute made handicraft which make ideal souvenir's.

Getting There

From Mumbai (Bombay), only a few of the Pune express trains stop at Neral Junction, so make sure you take the one that halts at Neral Junction, alternatively you can take the local train operated in Mumbai refer to the local train time table for train schedule. The shortest route to Mumbai (100 km) is via Panvel by road and Pune is 140 km away. Once you reach Neral station you can then take the tiny narrow-gauge toy train up to Matheran the journey is a 21-km route to the hill station. It's a two-hour ascent as the train winds its way up the steep slopes and, at one point, passes through 'one kiss tunnel'. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or minibus from Neral to Matheran. However, as cars are prohibited in Matheran, you will then face a 40-minute walk into Matheran or you'll have to hire a horse or cycle-rickshaw. Only the toy train goes right into the center of the town. Entry to Matheran costs Rs 10 for an adult or Rs 4 for a child.

Dinning

Most of the lodges cater their own food. In addition Divadkar hotel on the railway station is decent and cheapest, also Shangrila and Stay aviary are pretty good, small snack shops are scattered all along MG Marg. Matheran is also famous for its Honey and chikki.

Site Seeing

There are about 23 points with spectacular view overlooking the beautiful mountainous terrain. From Panorama point you can witness a breathtaking sunrise early in the morning, if you are planning to go there by horse make arrangements with the horse owner the day before. The best point to see the sun setting is from the Louisa point, at Echo point hear your voice bounce back, at Charlotte Lake there is a beautiful Temple, Other points are Heart point, Monkey point, Honeymoon point, Alexander point. for a complete listing of all the points refer to the map of Matheran, you get these maps at any of the stores near the station for free. Matheran has real good collection of leather and jute made handicraft which make ideal souvenir's.


 
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