Matheran was discovered 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 connected to the town of Neral which lies at the base of the hills. A tar road connects Neral to Dasturi Naka which is 11 km (6.8 miles) from Matheran. In order to maintain Matheran’s uniqueness, no vehicles are allowed beyond this point. The other mode of transport is a 2-ft (610-mm) narrow-gauge railway, which links the town to Neral. Neral also has a broad gauge station which is on the busy Mumbai-Pune route. Neral is well connected by railway line with Karjat being the nearest Junction. The Matheran Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and covers a distance of 20 km (12.4 miles), over large swathes of forest territory.
Placed at an altitude of 800 m above sea level and situated at a distance of 100 km from Mumbai, the major tourist attractions of the place are its 38 vantage points that offer breathtaking view of the whole place and its nearby areas. Here is a list of some of these major lookout points, which must be included in the sightseeing tours of the place.
This is a crucial point that offers a panoramic view of the whole place. As the name suggests, Echo point is well-known for allowing you to enjoy your echoes. This has made the place very popular amongst locals as well as tourists.
This lake is the main source of water supply in Matheran and a major point of the place. It is located at a distance of 1 km from the main market and looks idyllic during the monsoons, but dries up during the summers.
Located on a plateau, this famous lookout point offers a spectacular view of the ruined forts of Prabal and Vishalgarh. The famous “Lion’s Head” (a rock resembling a lion’s head) is located close to it.
It is a famous point located 1 km towards the north of the place. This point provides splendid views of the Garbut Point, the Chowk valley and the Ulhas River, and is a favorite among the sightseers.
King George Point
During the monsoons, water from the nearby Charlotte Lake overflows and forms various waterfalls around the place. This is the point that beautifully captures these waterfalls and hence is a popular point during the season of showers.
Located at a distance of 4 km from the main market, this point is famous for its views of the setting sun. This point offer views of a dark forest below. Prabalgad can also be seen from this point.
It is a well-known point, famous for the large number of mischievous monkeys that throng the place. The point also offers a mesmerizing view of the verdant plains below.
More Tourist Attractions
Other important points are Heart Point, Malang Point, Honeymoon Hill, Lords Point, One-tree Hill, Olympia, Paymasters Park, Artists Park, Mount Barry, etc.