Matheran Nostalgia

It is that time of year again, when the love-struck couples make a beeline to Matheran, the cozy and tiniest hill station in India.

Sun sets in hills of Matheran

Sun sets in hills of Matheran

Located in Western Ghats of Raigad district in Maharashtra, Matheran, a quaint little town, the name of which literally means “forest on forehead of the mountain”,  is Asia’s only automobile free hill-station and is aptly called the ‘pedestrian’s hill-station’. This little town was one of the favored getaway destinations of the British during early Raj days. Like most hill stations developed by British, this too has many scenic view-points named after the officers of East India Company scattered all over the rugged undulating hill-top.

The best thing, however, that Matheran has to offer is the toy-train ride across the winding hill-side from Neral to Matheran. So what if this narrow-gauge train did not make it to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site; it still is a heritage worth preserving.

Toy train

Toy train from Neral to Matheran

I remember a short trip on this train a few years ago. We had taken a Spicejet flight to Mumbai for a long vacation with family. Our daughter was just about two-years-old and the toy-train ride seemed like a fun activity for her so off we went to Matheran. A day in the small town riding horses and walking through the street full of shops and eateries made me fall in love with the old world charm of the small place. Since the trip was made on the fly, I had my doubts about the availability of nice hotels in Matheran, but my apprehensions were unfounded. There were not only regular hotels but also some wonderful home-stays to choose from.

Next day, we enjoyed a walk in the tranquil forest and visited few view-points. And though it tired us with a two-year-old child in arms but the short trip also left us rejuvenated. The little town had charmed us and with a promise to ourselves to visit again, we caught the next ride on “Phoolrani”, the toy train from Matheran to Neral.

If you are still contemplating about a visit to Matheran…… Don’t! The town will enchant you and maybe, like those early British settlers, you too will want to make a yearly journey to these hills. Believe me, you won’t regret it!

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About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
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2 Responses to Matheran Nostalgia

  1. Vikram Karve says:

    We are certainly no “love-struck” couple – but – your post has evoked nostalgic memories – and – we feel like heading for Matheran once more.
    Nicely written.
    Regards
    Vikram

    Liked by 1 person

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