Matheran Near Mumbai: A Eco-tourism Hill Station in the Lap of Western Ghats

“Matheran, a beautiful hill station near Mumbai, is an ideal place for eco-tourism. It provides a wonderful opportunity to escape the hot summer weather and enjoy picnics, leisure activities, and quality time with your loved ones. Surrounded by green hills, this picturesque destination offers a perfect getaway. Whether you visit for a day or decide to stay overnight, Matheran has numerous attractions to explore, guaranteeing a memorable experience for all.”

Updates January 2024: In December 2022, a trial for an e-rickshaw pilot project began and lasted until November 2023. By January 2024, there were still 7 of these vehicles on trial, operated by contracted auto drivers instead of local individuals from Matheran.

Following the court’s order, 94 old hand cart pullers have been granted licenses to operate e-rickshaws, ensuring their employment. The Matheran municipal administration aimed to have a contractor manage all e-rickshaws but lost the case in the supreme court.

It remains uncertain whether the e-rickshaw, which charges Rs.35, will replace the human carts rickshaw charging Rs.550 to Rs.700 for the journey between Dasturi naka and Matheran.

Updates January 2023: Good news! The trial run of E-Rickshaws has started between Dasturi Naka and Matheran. These environmentally friendly, fast, and very convenient transportation options are gaining popularity. Keep reading to find out more.

See Also: Matheran Picture Gallery.

Hill Station Facts

Fog at Matheran
Fog at Matheran

1. Hill Station Area:This hill station, spanning across 214.73 square kilometers, is a magnificent place waiting to be discovered.
2. Total People Residing on Hill: This hill station provides a calm and tranquil atmosphere with a population of 4,388 individuals.
3. Altitude: This hill station offers stunning views from a height of 800 meters.
4. Discovered and ventured: This hill station has been a favorite spot for tourists looking for peace and the beauty of nature since 1850.
5. Best time to visit: The best time to visit is during the monsoon and pre-monsoon seasons (winter) as the weather is pleasant and the atmosphere is refreshing.
6. Temperature: During the monsoon and winter seasons, you can enjoy comfortable temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. However, summers can be a little humid, with temperatures reaching as high as 30 degrees Celsius.
7. Known for: This hill station is well-known for being a favorite tourist spot and a beautiful picnic area in the summer and rainy season. It has a pleasant climate and is famous for its delightful toy trains.
8. Total Hotel Rooms: During the tourist season, there are over 1,000 hotel rooms available to provide visitors with a comfortable stay.
9. Total Tourist Visitors: This hill station is visited by more than 600,000 people every year, attracting a large number of tourists who want to enjoy its natural beauty.
10. Nearest Station in Mumbai: Neral, situated on the Central Railway Route, is the nearest station to this hill station. It is only 21 kilometers from Matheran and can be conveniently accessed from Dadar.
11. Distance from Mumbai: Located around 80 to 90 kilometers from Mumbai, this hill station provides a convenient getaway from the busy city life. For more detailed information, check out the Mumbai City to Matheran Road Distance.
12. Adventures: Experience exhilarating activities like horseback riding and zip-lining (temporarily unavailable) to enhance the thrill of your trip.

This amazing place is highly regarded and holds a special position on the world heritage list. It is especially popular during the pre-monsoon, monsoon, and summer seasons. Matheran is proud to be known as Asia’s only eco-friendly and pollution-free destination, offering a peaceful and rejuvenating atmosphere for all visitors. Immerse yourself in the stunning scenery, explore various sightseeing options, and even try thrilling adventure sports.

To maintain the tranquility of this hill station, vehicles are not allowed beyond ‘Dasturi Naka,’ which is the starting point of Matheran. Let’s explore more about this beautiful hill location, including the best time to visit, must-see attractions, climate information, the charm of toy trains, encounters with friendly monkeys, enjoyable horse rides, serene walking spots, affordable hotel rates, and a variety of resort options.

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Matheran and create lasting memories surrounded by nature’s embrace…

Enjoying Zip Line Adventure

This Adventure is closed. Brace yourself for an exhilarating experience as the zip line adventure sport took flight in May 2012, coinciding with the vibrant peak of Matheran’s summer season. More details at Mountain Zip Line at Matheran.

Horse Riding at Hillock Locations & Market Area

Manoj Horse Riding Matheran (9420056136)
Horse Riding Matheran

II have enjoyed horseback riding a few times, with my last ride being in November 2017. It’s always so much fun. Riding on horseback and exploring the surroundings is usually the best option, especially when the pathway becomes muddy and sticky during the monsoon season. However, a quick ride through the market area is also very enjoyable and something that many people love.

If you’re up for a more daring adventure and want to try horseback riding alone like a professional, the Horse owner can take you to ‘Matheran’s Olympia Race Course, which is specifically designed for fast horse riding. I have to warn you though, it can be quite an exciting experience for first-time riders. But believe me, feeling the sheer power of the horse as you ride at high speeds is truly thrilling.

However, I want to mention that these joyrides can be risky for certain individuals such as the elderly, unfit individuals, or those with weight issues. In such cases, it’s probably best to skip the horseback ride and choose a safer journey using a hand cart. That’s my personal recommendation. There have been incidents of accidental falls in the past, and our priority is everyone’s safety.

Driving On Matheran Zigzag Roads

Prepare yourself for an exciting adventure on the winding road journey from Neral railway station. Whether you decide to join a shared taxi or drive your own vehicle, this 6.7-kilometer trip to Dasturi Naka Car Parking is sure to be a blast.

As you navigate through the narrow, single 2-way roads without dividers, be ready for steep slopes and hilly terrain. Remember not to make sudden stops along the way, as it can be dangerous for you and other drivers.

But hold on tight, because the real thrill of Matheran hills is just beginning. While you might want to pause at the charming roadside spots for a quick photo, keep in mind that there is so much more to explore at the hill station’s summit. Countless picturesque locations await your discovery, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this short yet exhilarating road journey.

Important note: If you’re a beginner driver who hasn’t had much practice driving on hills, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Instead of taking unnecessary chances, just turn off the car’s air conditioning, open the window to enjoy the cool breeze, and let your vehicle show off its strength in gears 1 and 2. This will allow you to fully enjoy the thrill of driving on winding hilly roads while still prioritizing safety.

How to Reach This Hill Station

Nearest railway station: Neral (On Central railway route).

By Private Vehicle: There are several ways to reach the hill station. One option is to park your vehicle at the Dasturi Naka car parking area and walk from there, which should take around 30 to 45 minutes.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, you can check the schedule for the Toy train that departs from Aman Lodge station. It’s a short walk from Dasturi Naka and provides a charming way to reach your destination.

For those seeking adventure, you can choose a hand-pulled cart. This cart can accommodate one adult, a child, and their luggage.

Lastly, if you’re feeling adventurous and up for it, you can take a solo horse ride from Dasturi to Matheran station. It’s a fun option, but keep in mind that it may not be suitable for everyone.

By Local Train: If you’re planning a trip to Matheran, the closest railway station to go to is Neral on the Central Railway Route. Trains from CST and Dadar (Western Route Connected) regularly stop at Neral Station, making it easily accessible. When you arrive at Neral, be on the lookout for the charming toy train, if it’s available, it’s a delightful way to reach your destination.

Alternatively, you can choose a shared taxi, which is always conveniently located near the railway station. This option is highly recommended, especially since toy trains have become less frequent in recent years. The shared taxi will take you to Dasturi Naka, where you can then decide to continue your journey on the toy train, horseback, or even by hand cart – the choice is yours.

It’s important to note that the shared taxi is a reliable and efficient mode of transportation, costing approximately Rs. 80 per person until you reach the Dasturi Naka Matheran Entry Gate. So, get on board and enjoy a hassle-free journey to your Matheran adventure.

Matheran Toll Tax / Entry Charges from Dasturi Naka

  • Entry Ticket at Dasturi Naka: Explore the captivating realm of Matheran with our budget-friendly admission prices. Adults can enter for a mere Rs.50, while children can enjoy the experience for just Rs.25. Come and indulge in the splendor of this enchanting destination.
  • Luggage carrier: Authorized locals are available to assist you with your baggage for a fee of Rs.350 to 400. They can help with approximately 2 to 3 bags and are skilled porters.
  • Hand-Pulled Carts: The rental fee for a hand cart ranges from Rs. 550 to Rs. 700. This handy cart can hold 1 adult, 1 child, and 2 small luggage bags.
  • Horse Cart Charges From Dasturi : Each horse costs Rs. 550, not including any luggage.

2023, Introducing E-Rickshaw Auto From Dasturi Naka to Matheran

The locals and tourists traveling between Dasturi Naka and Matheran Hills have found a glimmer of hope in technology. The introduction of E-Auto and E-Rickshaw has started a trial run exclusively for the residents of this beautiful hill. Unfortunately, tourists cannot use these convenient rides as of January 2023, as they are only for experimental purposes.

However, once the trial period ends, everyone will be able to use this mode of transportation. This will provide relief to those who currently rely on horses and hand carts to go up the hills of Matheran from Dasturi Point. This tradition has been in place since 1989. Currently, around 450 horses and nearly 100 hand-pulled carts are used to transport passengers to the summit.

Over time, the traditional modes of transportation will gradually disappear as the hand cart pullers face difficulties during off-seasons and the rough terrain they travel takes a toll on their health. Since the days of British rule, the area beyond Dasturi Naka has been designated as a pollution-free zone, prohibiting the use of autos, gasoline-powered vehicles, diesel-fueled vehicles, or even CNG-powered vehicles.

A group of forward-thinking residents in Dasturi and Matheran had long been nurturing the idea of introducing pollution-free vehicles to their area. One of them was Mr. Sunil Shinde, who took the lead and filed a PIL in 2021 to request permission for the introduction of E-rickshaws. Unfortunately, his efforts didn’t receive any response at the local level.

Undeterred, Mr. Shinde decided to take his case to the highest court in the country, the Supreme Court. To his relief, his petition was heard, and the court granted permission for a trial project. The trials have been progressing smoothly, with the E-vehicles proving their worth on the challenging terrain of Matheran. With such promising results, it is hoped that this initiative will soon become the new standard in the area.

E-Rickshaw Tariffs

During the trial period, these vehicles can only be used by residents. Students pay Rs. 5, while other villagers pay Rs. 35. Students, the handicapped, senior citizens, and pregnant women are given priority for the 7 available autos. If there is still space, other locals can also join the ride.

Once E-Rickshaws are fully operational and the preferred mode of transportation for both locals and tourists, the charges per person may experience some changes. See also: E-buggy at nariman point.

Car Parking Space at Dasturi Naka

Parking at Matheran Dasturi can be quite an exciting experience, especially with the mischievous monkeys around. In addition to the Rs. 30 daily parking fee, there is also a Rs. 50 charge for a Municipal tax.

The parking area is open and shaded by trees, which adds to its charm. However, it also means that monkeys can easily reach your car. To avoid any surprises, it is highly recommended to bring a car cover. These monkeys have a habit of jumping on car roofs and side mirrors, leaving muddy paw prints behind. So, be prepared and protect your car from their playful antics.

Car Parking Charges

Earlier, we mentioned that the cost of parking a car at Dasturi Naka is Rs. 30 per day. Additionally, there is a Rs. 50 charge for the Matheran Municipal Tax Parking exit. However, the checkout time of 8:00 a.m. seems impractical for most visitors.

They usually leave their hotel between 9:00 and 9:30 in the morning. It almost feels like a tactic to extend the charges for car owners. In this situation, visitors would have to pay a total of Rs. 110 for parking their car at Dasturi Naka for a day’s visit to the hill station. Here’s a breakdown of these charges:

  1. 30 rupees (For the day you arrived)..
  2. Additional Rs.50 will be charged for Municipal Tax.
  3. Don’t miss out on this amazing offer! For only Rs.30, you can conveniently park your car overnight if you depart anytime after 8:00 in the morning.

Municipal Tax and Car Parking Receipts

Below is a sample of the tickets given at Dasturi Naka.

Dasturi Car Parking Receipt
Dasturi Car Parking Receipt
Matheran Municipal Tax For Car Parking
Matheran Municipal Tax For Car Parking

Upcoming Car Parking Facilities

In December 2012, the Matheran Authorities and MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) held a meeting to talk about protecting the eco-friendly hill station. They also discussed extending their efforts to Dasturi Naka. Together, they came up with a plan to reduce congestion.

According to the plan, the Dasturi Naka Car Parking Zone will no longer allow private or public vehicles. Instead, the parking facilities will be moved closer to Neral Railway Station.

Once the facilities and services start, only brand new environmentally friendly buses and possibly private ‘ Electric vehicles‘ will be allowed to go up to the top. Additionally, only people with hotel room reservations will be given access to the Dasturi parking area. This effort is being made to protect the historical hill from excessive traffic and pollution as much as possible.

Historic Toy Trains in Matheran

Toy Train Front View
Toy Train Front View
Matheran Toy Train
Matheran Toy Train
Interior Of Toy Train AC Saloon Coach
Interior Of Toy Train AC Saloon Coach
Matheran Toy / Shuttle Train.
Matheran Toy / Shuttle Train.

If you’re visiting Matheran Hills for the first time, don’t miss out on the wonderful toy train ride. It’s a must-do experience during your trip up or down the hills. Remember to check the schedule and timings of this adorable little shuttle train that runs between Aman Lodge (near Dasturi Naka) and Matheran Railway Station at the summit.

For a more organized trip, refer to the Timetable and Fare Chart available at this link and some train photos.

Since November 2017, this toy train has been operating again after a year-long break and various technical issues. People are hopeful that it will soon resume its services at Neral railway station instead of Aman Lodge. However, it is now 2023 and the wait for the anticipated toy train ride from Neral station to the final destination continues.

The journey between Dasturi Naka and Neral station on the toy train is truly enchanting, with its beautiful landscape, greenery, valleys, and charming coaches. The leisurely pace of the ride makes it a mesmerizing experience for first-time riders. Currently, the ride from Aman Lodge to Matheran Railway Station also offers a delightful experience, lasting around 25 minutes.

Matheran Foggy Climate
Matheran Foggy Climate

See Also: Upcoming Longest Ropeway, S T Bus Timings From Karjat.

Matheran Attractions and Sightseeing Places

The mountain retreat has many appealing features that provide a one-of-a-kind and pleasant experience. Its peaceful ambiance and rejuvenating climate make it the perfect place to go horseback riding, take a break, and spend quality time. Nevertheless, it is not recommended to revisit these tourist spots as they lack value and can be quite expensive.

I highly suggest trying the horse ride options of 4, 7, or 12 points to truly enjoy the beauty of this hill station. It’s a wonderful experience for first-timers to take in the stunning valley view and explore the dam area, which is a major highlight of Matheran.

The real adventure begins when you ride through the magical woods. The tall trees and rough pathways create the perfect atmosphere for a memorable horseback journey.

During the non-peak season or off-season, the charges for sightseeing horse rides are Rs. 300 for 4 to 6 attraction points and Rs. 450 for 12 sightseeing points.

The horses are well-trained and dependable. However, it is recommended that individuals with weight-related concerns or specific health conditions related to physical fitness avoid mounting and riding these magnificent creatures.

Here is a sightseeing map route that shows different points of interest, along with the travel distance from the Matheran Post Office area (the central point and market area).

1. Experience the thrilling 5 Point Horse Tour which will take you to Echo Point, Landscape Point, Honeymoon Point, Malang Point, and Louiza Point. Get ready for an exhilarating ride.
2. Set off on the unforgettable 7 Point Horse Tour and discover attractions like Alexender Point, Rambaug Point, Little Chowk Point, Big Chowk, One Tree Hill Point, Belveder Point, Marjories, and Nook Point. It’s a journey that will stay with you forever.
3. Join the 12 Point Tour on horseback and explore Coronation Point, Rustamji Point, Chenoy Point, Maldunga Point, Porcupine Point, and Malet Spring Point. This tour covers all the must-see points.
4. Marvel at the breathtaking sunrises at Panorama Point, Rambaug Point, Garbut Point, and Porcupine Point. These Sunrise Points offer a magical start to your day.
5. Make sure you don’t miss the Few More points, including Sunset Point, Mount Berry Point, Charlotte Lake, Olympia Ground, Dasturi Point, and Paymaster Park. Each of these points has its own unique charm waiting to be explored.

Map Of Matheran
Map Of Matheran

Download Matheran MAP

Alexander Point: This place is a must-see for its stunning views and perfect photo opportunities. It is one of the best tourist spots, providing a beautiful view from its elevated position on a hill.

Charlotte Lake: This calm lake is a popular destination for big picnics because of its famous spots called ‘Echo Point’ and ‘Louisa Point.’ Charlotte Lake provides a peaceful environment where you can enjoy the beautiful sounds of birds. To get to this perfect spot, you need to take a pleasant 25-minute walk through a green forest. Additionally, this lake is an important source of drinking water for the people living nearby.

Heart Point: If you love beautiful valleys and green landscapes, this place is ideal for you. The central point offers an amazing view at night, where you can see the sparkling lights of Mumbai city. What makes it even more unique is its high location, which gives you a stunning perspective to admire the beauty of the surroundings.

Louisa Point: Louisa Point is a perfect destination for selfie enthusiasts who love taking stunning pictures. This place has a wide range of attractions that will leave you amazed. You can capture enchanting waterfalls, captivating visuals of groups of birds, breathtaking valley views, and many other scenic points. Louisa Point truly has it all!

Other Attractions: If you’re in the mood for an exciting journey and have ample time, there are numerous places to visit near Mathen Mountains that you must not overlook. Discover the Shivaji Ladder, Cecil Point (a magnificent waterfall in the rainy season), Panorama Point, Chowk Point, Rambagh Point, Madhavji Garden, One Tree Hill Point, Porcupine Point, and Prabal Fort. Each of these spots provides a distinct adventure and awe-inspiring scenery. Therefore, if you’re up for an adventure, be sure to explore them.

If you love waterfalls, greenery, and beautiful landscapes, you must visit the Mahabaleshwar hill station. This captivating place has numerous attractions and sightseeing spots that are unmatched by any other destination.

If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway surrounded by the beauty of nature, Mahabaleshwar is the perfect destination. For a more authentic experience of nature, villages, and a delightful climate during the monsoon season, visit Jawhar Hill station. Check Jawhar Hill station for more information.

What More to Do When On This Hills

Discover the awe-inspiring mountains by walking or trying out thrilling activities like horseback riding or riding in hand-pulled carts. While exploring the scenic landscapes, you’ll come across numerous captivating sightseeing spots. Don’t miss out on the delicious treats at the food stalls, where you can indulge in Ice Golas, Chikki, Nuts, Season Bhuttah, and more.

Immerse yourself in the charm of this place by leisurely strolling amidst the picturesque cottages, resorts, heritage structures, and enchanting woods. With beautiful cottage resorts, charming village homes, rustic roads, and peaceful forest areas, there’s something for everyone to discover and enjoy.

Be vigilant for the mischievous monkeys. They are very agile and skilled at taking things and looking for food and water. These nimble jumpers are experts at searching bags and discovering hidden treasures.

Matheran Hill Station is a must-visit destination for school picnics in mountainous areas near Mumbai. It is the perfect picnic spot and a great location for kids who love to explore unfamiliar hilly terrains. The best part is that it is conveniently located near Mumbai.

Matheran is also a preferred location for overnight picnic for a blissful nature experience.

Hotels and Resorts to Stay

You can discover various accommodation choices to fit any budget. There are affordable options that cost approximately 1500 to 2000 Rupees per person, as well as slightly more expensive choices ranging from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 5000 per person during the peak season (Winter). Additionally, if you desire a more lavish experience, there are numerous high-end resorts and hotels to choose from.

Review thoroughly. Check for the best prices as Google reviews and Hotel apps and websites have made tourist life easy.

A Resort in Matheran
A Resort in Matheran

Make sure to save the date for the Annual Green Festival. This amazing event, hosted by ‘The New Bombay Design’ and Matheran Pratishthan, is all about promoting the importance of nature and living an eco-friendly lifestyle. From growing fresh green vegetables to building sustainable homes, the 5-day extravaganza in 2015 was a tremendous success. Let’s hope that this incredible festival will continue to captivate us in 2023 and the years to come.

Emergency Contacts: Matheran Police Station Number: 02148-230300, Nagar Parishad (Municipal Corporation): 02148-230234 / 02148-230343.

See More in    Picnic Spots Attractions Travel Guide

Greetings, I am Deven, the founder of Mumbai77. With immense passion, I have dedicated my full-time efforts to continuously learn and update important information about Mumbai city. Currently, I am a full-time blogger residing in Mumbai. Since its establishment on July 7, 2007, Mumbai77 has attracted millions of pageviews. Our website aims to provide valuable information, including my personal reviews and experiences, to assist individuals worldwide in their search for updated information about Mumbai city.
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Mohd Jamal
Mohd Jamal
Kanpur uttar pradesh india
Milind Sonar
Milind Sonar
It was helpful
mahendra mehta
mahendra mehta
Give us 2024 bus timing for all rout .remove old time table
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Suneeta Mestry
Good information about all stops. Thank you so much

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