Matheran - The Eco-Sensitive Zone !

16th Aug 2014
Photo of Matheran - The Eco-Sensitive Zone ! 1/2 by Poorvaja Sundar
View from Khandala Point
Photo of Matheran - The Eco-Sensitive Zone ! 2/2 by Poorvaja Sundar
View from Charlotte Lake

Spontaneous trips are the best plans. 

All of us had a long weekend and had decided to go on a trekking trip and a lot of us had heard about Matheran being one of the favourites, being only 100km away from Mumbai. We travelled by car, which was a pleasant ride, till we reached the foot of the hill, wherein we were stopped by the Police, saying there was heavy traffic and advised us to take a taxi. All of us could smell something funny, and just took a shortcut around, and found out later on that it was just a ploy by them to earn some extra income. Disappointed by this but still with a hopeful heart, we carried on.

Matheran is an eco-sensitive zone, which basically means that no vehicles are allowed inside the beautiful town. You need to purchase an entry ticket, and as soon as you do that, you are bombarded by shady looking teenagers, asking you to go by horse or hand cart and trying to sell you their service at inexorable prices, Do not take that up, its an amazing trek upward and will only take you about an hour. If you don't wish to trek, you can also take the train from Aman Lodge to Matheran and save a lot of money. 

We were boarded in a guest house we had booked earlier. It is extremely important to research about various hotels and guest rooms, because many are not actually like what they seem to showcase online. So, once all this was sorted, we went for a trek to the Charlotte lake, which is around 4km, wear proper shoes and carry your camera, because once you reach that lake, there is a narrow pathway, which takes you to the edge of the hill and makes you feel like you are at the end of the earth and makes you think and introspect about life and its musings.

The environment in Matheran is very calm and soothing, except for the smell of horses and their excrements. I wouldn't recommend it as a NEED TO GO place, but if you have a free weekend and just want to have a peaceful time with a short trek, this is the place for you. Also, you may suffer in terms of food, as they don't really have a very wide menu, but i am sure you can survive with Cutting Chai and Butta, just like i did, because after all, you only live once.