Rabindranath Tagore in his ‘ Europe jatrar dairy ’ wrote that Japanese are industrious because they have a hobby of IKABENA — making an arrangement of flower, that gives them a pleasure and enjoyment. According to Tagore this enjoying of beauty gave them the capacity to hard work.
More you enjoy, more you earn the capacity to be industries. All work and no play makes a jack a dull boy. Only when you enjoy Saturdays and Sundays well, you are capable to work hard during the week. British taught us this knowledge in the course of 400 years rule. British ruled India by virtue of their steel character, they gifted us many things –English education, Parliamentary system of Goverance are two of those. The discovery of hill station like Darjeeling-another hill station, is also their gift. In abiding by the philosophy, modern organisations give their employees LTC and other Allowances for bearing the expenditure of tours once in 2 years.
Near Mumbai there is a hill station which we can tour at a minimum budget. The hill station is Matheran. Matheran is a most famous and coolest Hill station situated in Karjat tehsil, Raigad District of Maharashtra. It is the smallest hill station in India, located on the range of Western Ghats at height of 800m ( 2625 feet ) above sea level. The name Matheran means either ‘forest on top’ or ‘woodland’ overhead.
Matheran is located around 90 km from Mumbai from Pune and about 320 km from Surat. Matheran as a hill station was discovered by a British, Mr Huge Mallet, the then collector of Thane in 1850. Vehicles are banned in this area, as such pristine beauty of the area is maintained. Today’s newspaper carries a report that Govt. may allow to ply E-autos soon which does not have emission.
The natural beauty is breath taking, there are about 38 designated look-out points in Matheran, including the panorama point that provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town in the plains. From this point, the view of sunset and sunrise is beautiful. The Louisa point offers crystal clear view of the prabal fort. The other points are — one tree hill point, Hart point, Monkey point, Porcupine point, and more.
Motheran Toy Train—It is exciting to travel by toy train from Neral to Matheran. Toy train journey takes around 21 km through zigzag turns from Neral to Matheran hill top. The Matheran Railway is a small line of 2ft gauge constructed in the year 1907 and has been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO recently.
Getting to Matheran is half the fun. It is well connected by rail both from Mumbai and Pune up to Neral junction station, a station at the bottom of the hill. From Neral a small toy train, narrow gauge, takes you through a zigzag route about 21kms to Matheran in two hours’ time. It’s a very scenic two hours ascent as the train winds its way around the steep slopes. Some marvellous valley scenes can be observed during this journey. Three small stations called Jumma Patti, water pipe and Aman lodge are on the way to Matheran.
The toy train can only be booked in advance from Mumbai or Pune. Distance: Mumbai-Neral-90km, Neral-Matheran-21 km. COME WITH ME LER US TRAVEL TOGETHER.