Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N |

Tripoto
16th Feb 2019

Travel info:

No of days: 1 day trek.

2 days are preferable to cover all points.You should leave as early in the morning as possible.

1st Mode of travel: Train

Time taken from Thane to Neral: 1 hour and little more.

Distance from Neral to Matheran: 7.6 km.

Note: The cheaper second class is a bit packed in this route but affordable.

2nd mode of travel: Van from Neral to Matheran entry gate.

Cost: 80/- INR per seat that dropped us in front of the entrance.

It came floating in the air that the toy train service from Neral to Matheran was no longer active.

We spotted the toy train while walking along the tracks from Lodge station, a little distance from the entrance.

The toy train ride must be a thrill! It traverses along the extreme corners of the hills and covers much of the route to Matheran station reducing the walking distance.

3rd mode of travel:

You can choose between walking the rest of the path and riding a horse for 300/- INR. 1 person is allowed per horse. No other mode of travel is allowed to the points. We chose to walk once while going.

Photo of Matheran, Maharashtra, India by Debapriya Banerjee

Personal experience:

What you will enjoy most in this season (the month of July witnesses heavy rainfall) is not the end-point but the journey!

We bought the entry tickets for 50/- INR. Next, we walked outside the entry gate, with the vehicles. Realizing that to be the parking space, we came back to the entry point.

There were either plastic or rubber hats on sale. A funny but useful thing spotted was transparent plastic sheets. They came with a hole to sneak the head through and were being sold in the name of raincoats.

We didn’t get ourselves any of these. The clouds seized this exact opportunity. The umbrella barely withstood the rains.

We stopped over for tea at a local shop. The shop owner told us to collect the map of Matheran from Nariman Chikki Mart.

Shop areas near Nariman Chikki Mart

Photo of Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N | by Debapriya Banerjee
Photo of Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N | by Debapriya Banerjee

When I said you will enjoy the journey more, it is because the clouds shielded the breathtaking view at the end-points!

We began our journey with the Madhavji Pt. which was a park. This gave us no landscape view thanks to the smog.

You can try your hands at the shooting games here. The hope of winning freebies makes it somewhat adventurous. We shelled around 30 bucks for 10 shots when playing to win.

Going with the human, rain and every other flow, we at first ended up missing the Khandala point. This point lies towards the left of the route through a narrow entrance. It can be easily ignored if you are not particularly looking for it. Anyway, there are plenty of hotels and the staff at one assisted us with the way.

We finally reached the Khandala point. The efforts to climb down steep narrow rocks were not much fruitful. The point is really small. Low visibility was an issue here as well. The view involved dense green trees playing hide and seek over the hills thanks to the clouds.

The most beautiful and exhausting experience begins now!

We luckily messed up a bit with the map and went diagonally instead of the straight trajectory. This route ended up being the most challenging yet fun.I cannot remember how long we kept walking but at least about an hour later we reached the point.

Photo of Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N | by Debapriya Banerjee

Dense forests, intermittent by few people, were a stand-out feature in this trek. The turns were hazy and foggy, enough to give you chills. The natural ambience built the perfect backdrop of a zombie movie!

Photo of Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N | by Debapriya Banerjee

This route to Louisa Point went through a bird sanctuary on its way.There was this stretch of absolute solitude with the air filled with the melody of birds. Further into the route almost near the end, we spotted a small hut, selling corncobs, maggi for 50/- INR and tea (full glass for 20/- and half for half the price). This home turned outlet, “Osborne House” had monkeys as special visitors. They came carrying babies with them or going solo, ever-ready to snatch your food.

Photo of Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N | by Debapriya Banerjee

View beside Louisa Point

Photo of Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N | by Debapriya Banerjee

We took the route opposite Khandala point and did not realize but kept walking diagonally along the map. We ended up reaching the beauty, Louisa Pt. We would not dare stand this close to the cliff if the view in front of us was visible!

A little distance back while returning, there was a route heading for Malang point. This is the point where we got the best view of our trip.

A quick snap from Malang Point where the couds shifted for a nano-second!

Photo of Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N | by Debapriya Banerjee

Following the same route, we reached where we started the diagonal walk. The Alexander Point lay to the left. It was just three of us and a dog along the entire route to the Alexander Point and back. The point had no-one other than a single person selling corn-cobs and tea at an isolated store.

The trek points were to come to a close as dusk set in.

A black horse carried the exhausted me all the way back to Matheran station. The owners here are all masters holding 2-3 horses with people on-top at a time. Their expertise and my lack of it were drastic!

Tired from the long walk, we skipped the other points including the famous Charlotte Lake. Ideally, you should plan a stay-over if you do not want a hectic trek.

“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.”

Day 1

Have you been to the hill station known for being the smallest in India? The mighty clouds hovering over it will make you question the smallness though. Pack your backpacks and get ready to have a hectic but memorable trek in the heart of Maharashtra.Travel info:

No of days: 1 day trek.

2 days are preferable to cover all points.You should leave as early in the morning as possible.

1st Mode of travel: Train

Time taken from Thane to Neral: 1 hour and little more.

View from the van before ascending the hills

Photo of Leave a trail in the clouds – | M A T H E R A N | by Debapriya Banerjee
Be the first one to comment