The closest hill station to Bombay, Matheran was discovered in 1850. This quaint little hill station provides lovely views of the nearby places from the Hart point. On a clear night, you can even see the lights of Bombay from Hart Point. Travel to Matheran involves an adventurous two-hour ascent in a toy train, with food and drink vendors and monkeys jumping on and off as the valley glides by sedately. Alternately, a tough 11 km hike through thick and shady forests or a winding car drive can get you there as well.
The market offers a variety of items such as cane and leather articles, hats, sandals and a variety of sweets. Interestingly one thing that dominates the market is chikki, a confection made of gram flour, jaggery and cashew nut. You can also buy this universally popular sweetmeat in large quantity to carry back home. Matheran has retained the tranquility and peace of a hill station by not allowing any kind of motor vehicle into the town.
Weather: Temperatures vary from 16 C in winter to 32 C in summer, with an annual rainfall of 524 cms. October to May is the best time to travel to Matheran.
Reaching Matheran: Bombay, 100 kms away is the nearest airport. Neral station, 21 kms away is where you can catch the toy train. Bombay by road is about 108 kms from Matheran via Karjat and Neral. Pune is 120 kms away. All cars and buses stop at Dasturi just outside, from which you can walk, take a horse or a hand-pulled rickshaw into the town. State Transport buses ply regularly from Bombay and Pune.
Hotels: There are plenty of hotels with budget and luxury accommodation available in Matheran, beside the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation run accommodations
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