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How To Reach Matheran
The hill station of Matheran is in the Raigad district of Maharashtra and belongs to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. At about 2,625 ft above msl, Matheran is the smallest hill station that sits on the Sahyadri hill ranges. The spectacular view points that Matheran offers along with its salubrious climate and its proximity to significant metro cities like Mumbai and Pune, makes Matheran an ideal weekend and holiday tourist getaway.
The best option to reach Matheran would be to travel by train to Mumbai and take a cab or a local train to Matheran. Matheran is a no vehicle zone and has some exceptional means of travel. Read on to know what they could be.
The airport closest to Matheran is Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport located at Mumbai. Mumbai has domestic flights to most Indian cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Bhopal, Thiruvananthapuram and Kolkata and international flights to Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, Kuala Lampur and Hong Kong.
From the airport you can hire a cab that will drop you off at Dasturi Point, that’s the closest point that cars and buses can get to, near Matheran. Local trains from Mumbai to Pune could drop you off at Neral Railway Station from where you can get a cab to Matheran.
The nearest major railway station is Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). Mumbai serves long distance trains to most cities across the country. From the railway station you can book a cab to Matheran.
The nearest railway station is Neral and you could also board a local Mumbai to Pune train or long distance express trains like Deccan Express and Sahyadri Express from Mumbai to Neral. From Neral rail station you could get a taxi to Matheran.
Matheran Light Railway offers limited toy train and narrow gauge train services from Neral to Matheran (21 km) but that depends on seat availability and cancellations during monsoons. But a trip on a toy train to Matheran is an exhilarating experience, chugging past winding hilly slopes and rugged terrains!
There are several state run and private deluxe and regular buses that will take you to Matheran from Panvel, Mumbai and Pune. The bus would stop at Dasturi Point and thenceforth you would continue your journey uphill for about 2.5 km by foot, pony back or hand pulled rickshaws.
If you are travelling by car, you have the option of parking your car at a parking lot near Dasturi Point before hailing a pony or rickshaw. There is another adventurous option of travelling by bus from Panvel to a place called Dodhani and a trek, albeit a four to six hour walk through lush forests, to Matheran.
Matheran is the only vehicle free hill station in Asia and you wouldn’t find any cars, buses or vans up on the hill. Matheran is a small hill town, with a luxurious dense forested region and a wholesome climate that you could just as easily get around on foot.
All modes of vehicular transport stop at Dasturi Point, but there are hand pulled rickshaws and ponies to be ridden upon, so you would have an exceptional kind of travelling mode around the quaint hill station, minus a concrete jungle of roads ridden upon by noisy vehicles. Matheran thus, has no fumes or fuel and it's all fun!