Monday, February 2, 2015


A view on the way to Matheran
This is probably the sixth time I am going for a holiday to Matheran, a hill-station close to Neral near Karjat. We were six of us in the family who left home at 6.30 am on Friday to catch a local train from Sion station to Kurla. From there, we caught a fast train at 7.12 am to Neral. 

Venkat, Vinny and Yours truly in the toy train
We reached Neral at about 8.15 and booked tickets on the toy train. We had vada pav for breakfast as we waited for the train to leave. It left a few minutes late and we chugged out of Neral on our way to Matheran. The train runs across hills and valleys throughout the journey that is supposed to last two and a half hours with two stops in between. Ours took a good four hours to reach Matheran station. 

Water Pipe is one of the stations on the way to Matheran
While it wasn’t the most comfortable of journeys, the view more than compensated for it. Travelling across a vast amount of greenery, we were also entertained by a number of monkeys that came close to the railway track foraging for food, especially close to the stations. There were a couple of them with little babies clinging to them. When we threw some berries, they rubbed away the salt and masala with both their hands before popping them into their little mouths. They are just too smart and intelligent I must say!

He's dusting the salt-masala off the berry before popping it into his mouth
It was almost one o’ clock when we got off at Matheran. While there were two men from Cecil Hotel to carry our luggage, we trekked up the gentle slope for another half an hour before we reached there. 

He's all set for a ride. Isn't he handsome!
Matheran is a hill-station where vehicles are not allowed and they are very strict about it – not even cycles. The peace and silence that hit you is simply amazing. Our hotel was situated in a remote corner where even the horses didn’t disturb us. It was just us, a few more guests, the hotel staff, a few dogs and monkeys spread over a large territory. 

A veg-fruit-spice market that had been established in 1919
While the youngsters went riding one day, Venkat and I walked to the market. We walked for about a couple of kilometres, just getting a feel of the place. Imagine not having to look over your shoulder every few seconds while walking! No bikes, rickshaws, cars, cabs or buses to knock you down or blow your ears off with their honking. There were restaurants, a bar, bakeries and shops selling leather handbags, Kolhapuri chappals, hats, cane baskets and more. And of course, there were a number of hotels offering different packages. We stopped at a bakery to have a fresh scone dripping with cream and hot tea. Both were delicious. 

That's me on the hand-drawn rickshaw
Horses walk next to people while there were a few hand-drawn rickshaws – this was something new as they weren’t around the last time we visited the place – that can carry one person at a time. I was beat by the time we finished the round of the market and so we opted to take a rickshaw each back to our hotel. 

Varda, Vinny, Pratika & Viggy
Evenings were fun with Viggy playing the guitar and singing along with Pratika. The rest of us lounged around listening till dinner. After dinner, we played a few rounds of carom and also took walks around the garden. The silence seeps into your very bones and brings about a much needed peace. 

He was too cute and had to be caught on camera
We had breakfast at the hotel on Sunday morning before we began our walk down to the taxi stand. It took us 40 minutes to trek down the gentle slope with monkeys for company. The return home was swift with a stop for lunch at Vashi and we were home by late afternoon. 

That's Venkat as we began our trek down to the taxi stand on our return journey
Two days of bliss, yummy vegetarian fare that I didn’t have to cook, sunrises and sunsets to please the most difficult of people and loads of family bonding! I couldn’t ask for a better holiday. 


  1. Good trip, I must say. Makes me want to go there too.
    Quoting you:
    Two days of bliss, yummy vegetarian fare that I didn’t have to cook, sunrises and sunsets to please the most difficult of people and loads of family bonding! I couldn’t ask for a better holiday.

    I want this kind of Holiday now :( Going to pester my family for one NOW ! ;)

  2. Thank you Nilima! You should go. It's totally worth it and I am sure Pranav will love it :D

  3. What a beautiful trip Sundari.The place is so beautiful. You have presented your trip so well. Of course the models are all doing justice to the beautiful place. :) Will plan this place when we visit India. :)

  4. Thank you Rubina! Just make sure you are fit when you visit here. The walk down the slope took a toll of my knees ;) But most definitely worth the trouble

  5. There are lot many places to see in Delhi too..........

  6. Its such a lovely and adventurous place. Untouched, unspoiled and unbelievably tranquil, this popular tourist hill-station in Maharashtra is a great getaway destination. Just 2 hrs from Mumbai, it is one of the most unpolluted cities in the region, especially since no vehicles are allowed inside its limits. Check out best Matheran hotels for accommodation.