The Mist and Mystique of Matheran

If memories become foggy over a period of time, recollections from Matheran would be the most vivid ones for me. Be it any season, any time of the day, this woodland perched above the Sahyadri summits of Maharashtra is always enveloped with cottony fog. I have visited this place twice or thrice since childhood, yet it never fails to allure me.

Sahyadri mountains covered with a thick blanket of clouds.
Sahyadri mountains covered with a thick blanket of clouds.

Matheran is a favourite weekend getaway for Mumbai and Pune, but still untouched by pollution of these twin cities.

Pollution-emitting vehicles are shunned in this eco-sensitive zone. You have to select from a few rudimentary options like toy-train, horseback, hand-pulled rickshaws and good-old hiking to reach the hilltop from the entry point.

A rail route which is closed during the monsoons. Inoperative tracks make a fun trail for hikers.
Smoke-vomiting cars are replaced with horses.
Smoke-vomiting cars are replaced with horses.

I always preferred hiking, and thanked myself for doing so. The moment you enter the gates of this green haven, you are welcomed by the sound of silence; occasionally broken by chirping of birds or neighing of horses.

Rows of quaint little hotels, private bungalows and government properties built in the yesteryears give a Victorian air to this hill station.

And if you get tired with all the trekking, you can always stop and stare at the beauty around you.
And if you get tired with all the trekking, you can always stop and stare at the beauty around you.
Get lost in the woods, and you’ll find ample ways in which nature astonishes us.
Get lost in the woods, and you’ll find ample ways in which nature astonishes us.
Usually puppies are hyperactive people. But this one chose to pose composed.
Usually puppies are hyperactive people. But this one chose to pose composed.

If you think that travelling in rains is not a big dampener, then you must visit during the monsoons. The landscape looks like a freshly-painted canvas of nature. Rain-bathed trees swank their brightest greens. Petrichor lingers around day and night. A steady downpour turns the sun-baked roads into gooey mud-ways. (Be careful of your footwear though. It is best to choose closed shoes or strappy floaters over delicate sandals and flip-flops.)

A friend had to say goodbye to her footwear.
A friend had to say goodbye to her footwear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it is drizzling gently, wear a poncho and a rain hat and step out for sightseeing. There are over 20 spots worth visiting.

A beautiful view from one of the many popular points of Matheran.
A beautiful view from one of the many popular points of Matheran.

However, you can always walk an unwalked path and discover something altogether new.

I came across this private property, completely covered with foliage, while wandering in the woods.
I came across this private property, completely covered with foliage, while wandering in the woods.

And if, by any chance, you end up trapped in your room with torrential rains outside, don’t you worry. Just grab your favourite drink, a cuppa coffee or a glass of spirit, and enjoy the view from your window for hours. Not to mention, with your favourite music in the background.

A view from my window during the afternoon, evening and next day morning too.
A view from my window during the afternoon, evening and next day morning too.

 

Well, rains may extend for a week or two more. So, why don’t you pack your bags and visit this monsoon getaway?

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