Nestled in the abode of the Western Ghats, Matheran seeks claim to being the only hill station where motor vehicles are banned.
Take 1: After a 45 minutes ride from Neral through winding roads, we finally slipped down the valley, back to Neral…
Take 2: After a 45 minutes ride from Neral through winding roads, we finally reached Matheran. Apart from the heat and humidity and the deluge of people,we were also welcomed by one of the oldest and environmental friendly modes of transport : The Horses.
From the entry point to the main market in Matheran, the distance is around 4 kms and it is a climb so a mode of transport is usually necessary. Apart from the horses, you also have the option of human pulled rickshaws. The horse ride costs around Rs. 200 per head and the rickshaw Rs. 200. For the bravehearts, a trek to the main market,following the railway line is a good idea.
Now we were not bravehearts and neither were we willing to part with the Indian Rupee and so we decided to trek. As were climbing up the road, we spotted a detour with a signboard saying “Panorama Point”. In the mood to trek, we decided to take the detour.
As we slowly made our way, we were greeted with a dense green tree cover and the photographer in me prompted me to take some pictures of the beauty around
Matheran’s a hot hill station and the heat of the day slowly sapped the strength from our legs. A long winding road ahead of us told us we still had around a km to walk to reach Panaroma point.
Still joking and pulling each other’s legs, we didnt realize that we were quite far from any signs of human civilization. Add to that the silence of the forest on both sides and you have the perfect setting of “kids in the jungle getting lost” movie.We werent so lucky, however, and after around 30 minutes of walking, we saw a family of 4 speeding down the trail.
As we exchanged pleasantries, the family wished us all the best for the jorney ahead. Moving ahead we were greeted by the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats and its deep valleys.
If you are wondering as to whether we came face to face with other mobile creatures in the forests, you are justified in doing so. We also wondered the same as we trekked. The only creatures we chanced upon were 2 shy Indian langurs who dashed across the train into the trees at our sight and this lizard who thought he’s doing a good job at camoufage.
And so after a 1.5 hrs trek we finally got a glimpse of the summit. Beautiful but quite similar to what he had passed ont he way, beautiful views of the valley beyond.The point had been additionaly graced with a now defunct fountain.
As we stretched ourselves, Smita ( who’s comments grace my blog as well), suddenly had a moment of enlightenment and she bestowed on us the fact that Panorama Point is also known as Sunrise Point!!!
Sunrise point at 12’0 clock in the hot afternoon doesnt sound very appealing does it? With the grave mistake been already committed we “prided” ourselves in being the only trekkers in this part of the world at 12’o clock.
With this sense of achievment we made our way back to camp base. The trek back was faster due to the forces of gravity and the ‘human body’s need for food’ forces acting on us.
The only casualties on this detour were two pairs of shoes and red soil sticking to our backs and bottoms.