Mathreran, a beautiful place on the Western Ghat, is the place that I always wanted to be, but due to my busy schedule was never able to actually plan. I tried to go there many times, but one or the other actually prevented me to do so. One day on Friday evening I just decided to go and left for the place after my day’s work.
For this first I reached Thane and then took the train to Kalyan. From Kalyan I took the train to Neral. I reached Neral at about 0100 am in the morning. As it was full dark that time and I was not sure of the way to move forward. When I was planning, I met a group of college students who were planning to trek to sunset point in Matheran.
It was really God send and I decided to join them. I asked to join them for this which they readily agreed. We started the track at about 0200 am and took our first halt after 1 hour, trekking in pitch dark with the help of small torches. We halted for about 15 minutes and then started again. Despite the fact that I was moving in a group, but the fact that we were walking in the jungle in pitch dark made me a bit uncomfortable, but the experience was great. Our first place of halt was supposed to be Dasturi Naka. On our way we met many other groups. After walking for about another hour we took second rest. That day when I rested on a rock, watching the moon and the stars, the experience was something that cannot be described in words.
We resumed our journey in another 15 minutes and reached Dasturi Naka by 0430 Am. This is the first halt and from there one may take a horse to go up to the Panorama Point. From there we took tickets and again rested for 15 minutes. I decided to simply walk on feet up to the Panorama Point, the place which is famous for the splendid views of sunrise and sunset. We walked for about another 30 minutes to finally reach the Panorama Point. There were not too many people that time but as it was still 20 minutes to go for sunrise, so more were expected to put in.
We sat on a high rock . The weather was excellent, as cool breeze was blowing. There was no light or sound pollution around. We were sitting there in peace. Soon more and more people joined us. After about 20 minutes, the horizon towards the East started turning red and the Sun finally popped up to spread a disco of light and colors. It was one of the best scenes of my life. As the weather was clear so the sunset could be seen in its full glory.
I hurriedly took many shots to preserve the moment. The scene lasted for about 15 minutes and then I walked back to Dasturi Naka and took breakfast. To go to all the other points, there are two options to move ahead from this point. Either one can take horses or can simply walk on foot. Though taking a horse is more convenient, but the horsemen stops at any point for only 10 minutes and one can not actually enjoy the place in full. But if you are short of time or finding it hard to walk too much, they you can try this option. You can also try this option for a few of the far off points and see the closer ones on foot.
From there I was separated from the group of students as they had other plans. So, I thanked them for their help and company and decided to walk to my next point i.e Porcupine Point and Monkey Point on foot. One my way to these points I passed through the Matheran market, are really busy place at that time, filled with tourists as that was Saturday. As the place is close to Mumbai so many people come to visit the place for a relaxing weekend.
The Monkey Point, true to its name, was filled with monkeys and langurs. You are advised not to offer them any food is with will surely snatch it away from you. After spending some time there I moved towards the Porcupine Point. This point is known for the sunset, but I reached there much earlier. So, I moved on to another point, called Echo Point, after spending about 30 minutes there. On reaching the Echo Point, I rested for a while the place was great. I also tried to get my echo by shouting from the place. It was great to listen to your voice coming back as if the hills are talking to you. From there I moved on to visit many other points as George Point, Lousia Point, Suicide Point, Honeymoon Point, Pisarnath Shiv Temple and in the end the Charlottte Lake.
King George Point is one of the most popular tourist attractions I Matheran, but it is at its best in the rainy season when one can see many small falls. As I was visiting Matheran in winter so that time there were no falls to be seen, but the place was still a great one to visit. Another great point to see is the Lousia Point. From this place one can have a good look at the Prabal Fort to one side Pisarnath temple on the other. Close to the temple there is Charlotte lake, another very picturesque scene of Matheran.
The Suicide Point was actually the end of a steep and very deep George. As there was no railing provided , so standing there gave me a bit of a creepy feeling. I was a bit surprised as standing there without railing was a bit risky. After resting for a while and taking some snacks I decided to go to One Tree Hill Point, which was about 6-7 Km from the Suicide Point. I took A horse to reach the place. It took about 45 minutes to reach the place. I spent about 30 minutes there. By that time I was really tired so decided to go back to Matheran market to have dinner and then start my return journey.
I took a cab from the One Tree Hill Point and reached the market in 20 minutes. The place was as busy as was in the morning. One reaching the market I could see the toy train, a 100 year old heritage piece, still running to this day. I took some snaps of the train for memories and then settled in some good restaurant and took my dinner. At the time I visited was actually the honeymoon season, so there were lots of newly married couples to be seen everywhere.
After my dinner, I took a shared taxi to go up to the Neral Station and from there took the train back to Kalyan. From Kalyan I again took another train to Thane and reached home by 0600 AM on the Sunday morning. As that was a holiday so I just went o bed with sweet memories of the trip to Matheran.