Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our Weekend Trip to Matheran

Matheran was our weekend getaway recently. I simply love the place and have enlisted all details about this quaint little hill station close to Bombay here, my travel blog.

We set out from Vidya Vihar station (Central Railway) at 6:05 am for Neral where we arrived around 7:30 am. The local/suburban train timings are available at any book stall.
It was quite chilly as it was the midst of January, and wintery, foggy, misty mornings. We ventured out of Neral station towards the share taxi stand, paid up Rs 100 (for hubby and myself) and waited for another 3 people to make up the required no. of 5. Once that was done, we made our way up the winding hilly roads to Dasturi Naka, the last point and parking space for vehicles which took 20 mins. We then made our way to the entrance to the toll tax office where it is mandatory to pay Rs 25 per person and retain the ticket which the gate keeper marks.

The long, dusty, red soil begins here at the gate where the horses and man-pulled rickshaws are lined up for hire or one can walk up which takes about 40 mins. However, one doesn't tire easily as there is so much beauty around and the unique experience of walking through a forest accompanied by several passersby, some going up and some coming down.

We stopped around the beginning of the toy train platform to have our breakfast of sandwiches and tea which we carried in a thermos flask. Picnic style!

But beware of monkeys who are all over the town and place. Take care of all your possession, hand luggage, camera etc. but enjoy yourself :)

We arrived at Matheran and carried on to our hotel Hope Hall (run by Nancy/Maria and Joseph Vaz). Lodging is Rs 320/- with taxes for a double room with attached bath. She has larger rooms too. Unfortunately she doesn't provide meals. There are several restaurants to eat n the town – Gujarat Bhavan provides meals for non-residents for Rs 150 a thali(lunch and dinner). G.B also has lodging. Another place we discovered on this trip was the Ramkrishna Restaurant in the market which also provides meals and a wonderful thali which we had. There are many many hotels in Matheran. More information here .

Hope Hall provides breakfast however prepared by her mother, Nancy Vaz and it was a hearty spread I must say. This is paid for separately and is not included in the room charges.

Our evening tea was at a little tea shop opposite the Nariman chikki mart in the marketplace. Rs 6 for a glass of steaming, hot tea.

We have visited Matheran several times before and have taken walks through the forests to the various points like Charlotte Lake, Sunset point, Alexander point etc.
The photographs are posted here.

There is a lovely church at the end of the market road. The church is so peaceful and beautiful inside. All whitewashed and pristine pure.

The evenings were spent in the market shopping for chikki to take back home. Usually we shop from Janta Chikki, but this time we decided to try another shop and we bought an assortment of chikki in a single 250 gram box at Jolly. Also bought some anjeer fudge and mango fudge, all of which was very tasty.

We spent the entire Saturday and half of Sunday there at Matheran as we had to go to work on Monday. We had our lunch and started the downward walk to Dasturi Naka at around noon, took the share taxi (another Rs 100 for both of us) to Neral railway station and took the 1:30 pm fast local to Ghatkopar.

One has to visit this tiny hill station to experience the entire effect which one carried back home and we will certainly make a trip there very soon.


Shama Nagarajan said...

nice pic...thank u for visiting my blog...for templates go for free templates search in google...could find many with guidelines to use them........

Alka said...

Ohh i got nostalgic abt our school picnic to matheran.It was in year 1988 i guess,but the memories are so fresh.The beautiful lodge,the simple but fantastic food,the pohe and upmas were to die for,and the buttermilk..yummmm the lodge tht we were put in ,served all the meals,in dining area where long benches of wood and huge tables were set,and food was unlimited.Despite of no fans in room,it was so chilly tht we stayed awake whole night near bonfire,singing and dancing .The monkeys were ofcourse the show spoilers as they used to take away all the food and even snatch the bags away.But we loved walking(and we walked like hell towards every POINT).The lake was the best part of our visit and we came back with fond memories and sooooooooo many mosquito bites ;-)

Sunshinemom said...

Can you believe? 15yrs in Mumbai and I still haven't been to Matheran:) Good virtual trip:)

Vanamala said...

Looks like nice outing...never been to this matheran..

Anonymous said...

MEET POINT HOTEL - MATHERAN-750* PP, Unlimited Food, Lodging & Boarding,
Lonely Area. We Do Only Group Bookings.

MEET said...

MEET POINT HOTEL - MATHERAN-750* PP, Unlimited Food, Lodging & Boarding,
Lonely Area. We Do Only Group Bookings.

Sunita Chaudhar said...

hotels in Matheran is located just two minutes from the main market area of Matheran, making it easily accessible conveniently located.