Matheran is a hill station, near Mumbai, in the west Indian state of Maharashtra. It’s known for its mild climate and well-preserved colonial architecture. Motor vehicles are banned and many visitors arrive by narrow-gauge railway on the 1907 Neral–Matheran Toy Train. The Panorama Point lookout offers views across the mountains of the Western Ghats. Louisa Point has views of waterfalls and the ancient Prabal Fort.
There are around 38 designated look-out "points" (viewpoints) in Matheran, including the Panorama Point that provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town. From this point, the view of sunset and sunrise is dramatic. The Louisa Point offers crystal clear view of the Prabal Fort. The other points are the One Tree Hill Point, Heart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, Rambagh Point, and more. To stay there, there are plenty of hotels. There are many Parsi bungalows. Beautiful old British-style architecture is preserved in Matheran. The roads are not metalled and are made of red laterite earth.
Matheran was identified by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then district collector of Thane district in May 1850. Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Bombay laid the foundations of the development as a future hill station. The British developed Matheran as a popular resort to beat the summer heat in the region. Matheran is the birthplace of famous freedom fighter Veer Bhai Kotwal. He was born on 1 December 1912 in a Barber family. The state government has built a monument in his memory. The Matheran Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and covers a distance of 20 km (12 mi), over large swathes of forest territory. The Matheran hill railway, also known as Matheran Light Railway (MLR), was inspected by UNESCO world heritage site officials but failed to make it to the list as a World Heritage Site. India's other Hill Railways like the Darjeeling Railway, the Kangra Valley Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway are already on the list.
Places of interest
There are altogether 28 points, two lakes, two parks, four major worship places and a race course to visit in Matheran. It takes about 2–3 days by foot for a complete tour of all the points. Important points are Alexander Pt., Rambag Pt, Little Chowk Pt, Big Chowk Pt, One Tree Hill Pt, Belvedere Pt, Olympia Race Course, Lords Pt, Charlotte Lake, Pisharnath Mahadev Mandir, Celia Pt (a water fall mouth), Echo Pt., Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt), Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt), Khandala Pt, Madhavji Garden & Point, Matheran Railway Station, Louisa Point, Mayra Point, Pisarnath Temple, Matheran Shiv Mandir.View points like monkey and echo are famous for steep cliffs, deep ravines. One day trekking to vikatgad is an adventurous experience along the cliffs and deep ravines.