Bored of the routine? Tired of going clubbing every weekend in the same clubs of Mumbai? Want to enjoy nature at it’s best without burning a hole in your pocket? Well, if you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, this one is for you!
I’ve loved Mumbai all my life and will continue to do so all my life. This city has given me so much. The chaos this city offers is something I can never get tired of. In fact, I’ve been so used to this chaos, that I think I am kind of addicted to it, but like all addicts, I keep getting the thoughts of breaking away from all of this and on moments like these, I end travelling to different places to maintain a balance. That time, it was Matheran, that too on a budget. Go, read on to find out how exactly I reached the place, what I did there and how you guys should do it!
How we reached?
My friends and I started quite early and took the 5:48 am train from Kurla to Neral; Kurla being the closest central railway station for all three of us. After about 90 mins of travelling in an almost empty train, we reached Neral from where we took a share cab that took us Dasturi Naka, beyond which no vehicles are allowed. You can also reach there in your own vehicles, but do keep in mind that no vehicles are allowed beyond Dasturi Naka, so you might want to reconsider taking a vehicle there.
What we did there?
Our idea of a trip might be very different from quite a lot people’s idea of a trip. We prefer exploring the place on foot as it gives us the much needed cardio and the option to go to places we want and not have a fixed routine or plan. Having said that, to keep us going, we make sure we have a hearty breakfast. So we halted at a local restaurant whose name I do not recollect right now, had our fair share of food and tea and headed towards our first stop, Alexander point.
Alexander point was a quiet, peaceful place overlooking the beautiful hills all around and that soothes your mind and body like nothing else.It not too far, at least that is what we thought. It set up an amazing mood and tempo for the entire trip.
Yet another beautiful place; just reminds you of how nature can bring back the lost calmness in you.
Next up was Chowk Point that offered a view that is mesmerizing! I fail to find the right words to describe it’s beauty. With some tea to give us company along with this beautiful view, we were surely lost in a beautiful zone.
One Tree Hill:
As the name suggests, this hill just had one tree and trust me, it looks beautiful! We would have missed getting closer to this place had our tour guide(a dog) not taken us there. Yes, a dog! He was with us all along the route and a chat with the tea stall owner confirmed that dogs in the area move around with you from a point to another, helping you explore places like never before and the least we could do is offer him some food. The happiness on getting some food knew no bound and he wagged his tail left, right and center. It brought a smile on our faces too.
Our next halt was Charlotte lake that is a bit commercialized and that wasn’t something we were really looking for. None the less, it was a good halt and we refueled our exhausting bodies with some moderately priced food here.
After a good rest of over an hour, fueling our body with food and tea, we headed over to Louisa point. The incline from the lake it a bit tiring, but the visual delight you’ll have when you reach there will take away all the tiredness. This one is my personal favorite, offering a view like none of the above mentioned places. Not taking away anything from any of the places, but this just calmed each and every nerve of my body. Hadn’t been this calm in while. We sat there for over an hour; doing NOTHING! Like literally nothing, but just absorbing the beauty of nature.
Porcupine (Sunset) Point:
After spending over an hour at Louisa point and having a small chat with one of the tea stall owners on the way, we headed to Sunset point. The name pretty much explains everything and me being obsessed with sunsets, I just couldn’t miss this! However, luck ran out and it was too cloudy to witness that. This place was beautiful too with hills all around.
We were there till 7 pm, which wasn’t the best of things to do as it started becoming dark on the way back. While we were almost right on our path, couple of people had lost their way back and helping them out occupied quite a lot of our time, and we ended up reaching the market area around 8, completely exhausted! We were super hungry so decided to have some food before heading back. The railway tracks were pitch black so carry a torch/phone with flash light.
All in all, Matheran is a great place to visit when you’re low on budget and want to explore nature’s offerings.