Matheran the lush green hill station of Raigad
Matheran : We all know that college days were the best days of our lives, it was a time when all we did was attending college, studying a bit, bunking lecture for some time and the most important of them all was going on field trips and “picnic”. One fine day, I convinced my friends for a trip to Matheran and after some haywire talks they agreed to my plan. I’m a kid who always welcomes adventures and looks forward towards venturing new places.
Matheran was our first standalone hill station trip during college times, we were then in degree college and had just completed our final grade exam. It was time for us to get into the wilderness and explore the surroundings of neral’s station. This is the first time I’m going to mention my buddie’s names who witnessed the backpack trip along with me. Akash, Sujay, Neeraj, Asmit and finally Peersahib accompanied me. We had originally planned a one-day trip but because of change of events it turned into a 2 day.
Those events were, basically being a hill it’s a whole large mass of land which is definitely not possible to explore in a single day and secondly, we had to walk a long distance to find a good room. We gathered at Ghatkopar station on Friday at 6 am, boarded train to Neral station. Two hours later we reached Neral and figured out a way to get to the top of the hill. We all were new to this place and had no prior experience of trekking as well as camping.
After having some snacks, we fortunately met Ahmed a pickup driver who took us up the mountain, while inside the car we had breezing air and captivating scenery incite our travel freak. He dropped us at the gates of Matheran’s administration, forty-five minutes later. As no vehicles were allowed beyond the gates, we had to halt and find a tour map. After grabbing one we hiked up straight to rest room. We saw the toy train waiting but didn’t get in it. However, we followed its trail and walked for an hour to find a suitable resting place. We refreshed our self with Tea and took a short nap.
Two elderly villagers gave us shelter for some fee. They offered us food which they called “Unlimited Food”. For us that would mean limit-less. But when we found out the truth, the reality surrounding us totally changed. First place that we visited was the “eco-point”, as per the tour map it’s positioned in the north direction. While my friends were shouting the names of their loved ones which echoed loudly, I stood behind and saw the cheer on their face. Surprisingly they got me into their fold and loudly cried my crushes’ name which to some extent shied me.
“Clinging of swords” sound made all my friends run away but not one. They feared and ran away like mongoose. Actually, it was not something horrifying, it was a ringtone of my friend Peer’s cell who was calm and didn’t run like the way others did. Monsoon made the weather charming. We then headed east to see the louisa “dead-end” point and the hill reservoir.
Conquering rains made path tough enough to cross and some of us had to wait for the rains to off. Despite these hurdles Sujay, Akash and Neeraj ambitiously crossed hurdles and reached the reservoir and enjoyed the rains. Water droplets dropped down their forehead like a delight
Lightning made it more terrifying, I almost slipped but got saved from the lightning fall because of my will to live. Next, we saw a huge stable full of wild mountain horses, but because of the slippery surface we did not take the risk with our lives by riding them. We took break at the Charlotte lake which is a recreational lake. Sluggish surface hardened our further advancement. However, we bought some sweets and decorative stuff at the main market. We then met Mohammad, who welcomed us to his hotel.
Best thing about this place is its people, the kind of unity we rarely see in other places. As per my observation, Muslim community here and typically of Raigad district speak Marathi better and fluently than any other Maharashtrian community themselves, language is known to be their best feature. They typically trade in homemade confectionery such as Gulkand, Chikki and sweets made of dates. Tyring walk and an eloquent day completed at 11pm as we went back to our room.
Woo-Hoo at 12 am, one of our bud Peer, night walked to a cottage. All of us woke up and started searching him. The thing that creeped us was that he was walking with closed eyes and was heading straight to the cottage which is rumored by the locals to be a haunted building. We quickly picked up Peer and sparkled some water on his face, when he realized that he was night walking his eyes widened with a shock! This concluded our lack of horror episode in the journey.
Next day was a short one, we visited the Mahadev Shiv temple and Panorama Point. Panorama Point is a “V” shaped deep valley with lush green vegetation. Ashane Water falls is among the most visited spot, it’s a must if you are backpacking to come here. Sun-set point along with Kalavantin pinnacle are second on the must watchlist for everyone. In the end, there is a picture of my group besides the “MATHERAN TOY TRAIN STOP”, where we shared biscuits with some monkeys.
This place is full of amazing and content spots which really isn’t possible to figure in 2 days. I suggest you visit this place once, with a package of at least 4-5 days in mind so that you get to see all its grand locations. Monsoons complement this place so arrive during this time only.
WE ALL ENJOYED A LOT AND I HOPE YOU TOO WILL!
“Happiness Depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous”-Marie Rutkoski.
For “Tirupati : A Solo Tour to Lord Vishnu’s Grandeur” visit this link : https://wp.me/p9IqoG-1Y