If you wish to explore any place closely travel to countryside areas. In a quest to explore the astonishing landscape of western ghats we decided to go for a trek. It was going to be my first official trekking. We joined Mumbai rangers group and trekking to Matheran via dodhani village was finalised. I was very excited for this event as I will be witnessing beautiful landscapes, cloud covered hills, waterfalls, jungle trail.
The day arrived, as decided we need to reach Panvel station by 7:00AM. We caught the local train from CST at 5:30AM. From Panvel it further took around 30min to reach dodhani village(base village of Matheran). Journey from Panvel to dodhani village was also mesmerising as we passed through lush green ghats with steep gradients, silky paddy fields and numerous water streams. We could see the dark dense clouds covering the hills and we were chasing those clouds. There was magic all around in the environment and I was falling in love for it.Believe me I have never enjoyed the monsoon so much in my life until I came across Western Ghats.
Dodhani village itself is a perfect hinterland and wilderness was now riding on our mind. Perfect scenery that we painted in our childhood. Small village surrounded by lush green hills, clouds covering the hills, flowing river and waterfalls at backdrop . This whole picturesque view charged us with energy and we were all ready for trek.
As we climbed uphill the view of dodhani village was getting more and more captivating. After sometime there was feeling breathlessness and the muscles of legs also started crying. However the view of landscape and environment was so captivating and hypnotic that we forgot every pain and sweat.
Initially we crossed small paddy fields and climbed the fluorescent green meadows. What we admired here most was, that flora has different shades of green from fluorescent green algae to dark green trees all at one place .Then came across dark jungle trail. Climbing in jungle was thrilling, the chirping and whistling of birds filled environment with music. We climbed the slippery muddy narrow paths carefully as deep valley on our right was making it very riskier. There were points were we crawled over slippery rocks. The trek was getting arduous with every passing minute so we took few halts in between to recharge ourself. Touch of cool pure breeze and drizzle was acting as power bank for us. As we were approaching towards pinnacle the far looking clouds were now moving along with us. It took us around 3hrs to reach the sunset point, we were on the top of the world and there was a sense of accomplishment. We enjoyed our lunch, clicked beautiful pictures of nature.
It was time to move towards Matheran as we were not descending from same route. We were getting back by Neral station. Matheran was further 45min by walk.As vehicles are not allowed in Matheran we had no other option but to drag ourself. Matheran was covered with dense forests and land was covered with dark red soil which made this small hill station stunning. We reached Dasturi Naka (4-5km from Matheran)from here we took cab to reach Neral railway station to catch our trains back home. I wish time could stay here or stop time and keep admiring this beautiful landscape.
Note:It is advisable to hire local person from village for guiding the way if you are coming alone. Keep sufficient water and something to eat.
How to reach : Reach Panvel by Mumbai local train, regular trains from CST. From Panvel take auto to reach dodhani village.