A traveler enthusiast always gets excited at the mention of a new place- the thought of an unseen land gives a sense of adrenaline rush in the otherwise monotonous routine.What comes as an added bonus is the fact that the destination is not only a few miles away, but also it can be explored in a day or two.
These made us explore the small town of Matheran(located close to Mumbai) in the monsoons.Although we had heard mixed reviews about the place, having nothing much to do on a weekend, we decided to give it a shot.Its quite easily approachable- you need to catch a local train from Mumbai/Thane to Neral.
There is a toy-train service from Neral upto Matheran- Voila!But the toy train remains closed on the account of rains and Matheran being a hill station had routes up a steep slope.But no worries, you will find numerous taxi services which will carry you atop the hill. Again a plus point.
The taxis charge a nominal rate of 80 rupees INR per person.You not only enjoy the scenic beauty as you circle to the top of the hill, the cool breeze tickling at your face will be again an awesome feeling.And when you finally set your foot at the hilltop, you will be surrounded by thousands of tress and birds chirping(blissful).
After getting tickets one can either walk up to the town center or take a carriage/ride on horseback. Since we were not so comfortable at the thought of riding on horses, we decided again it and decided to explore the land on foot. The scenic beauty was mesmerizing but walking on muddy tracks and narrow roads was not so great either.
Finally after reaching the town-centre, our stomachs were rumbling for food(Well, did I mention we had muddy pants, shoes by that time).If you are planning a travel in the monsoons, make sure you are wearing easily washable shoes,also the shoes need to be comfortable as one has to walk a lot.
Thankfully, the local restaurant server a decent lunch including fish fry, egg curry and hot steamed rotis(without burning a hole in our pockets).Lunch rejuvenated us and after our energy meter was loaded, we again decided to explore; this time to find a good accommodation for overnight stay.
There are a number of guest houses and hotel accommodations available. But the number of tourists outnumber the accomodations available. So the available hotels which had good reviews were charging a bit higher amount for weekends(somewhere close to 7000rupess INR+taxes); although not many facilities are available.
As we had already explored the place, we decided to return back.With a heavy heart and aching soles, we started the descend down to the entry- and back to the station.
The place was beautiful,calm, serene. If you plan on making an over-night stay make sure to book the hotels beforehand(you can get a better deal that way).
And one last pointer, there are hundreds of monkeys of all sizes in Matheran, be careful of the food items you carry!