A rejuvenating one-day trip to Panorama Point, Matheran

Are you interested in planning a one-day weekend getaway destination near Mumbai? Do you love light treks in the monsoon? Then, I am sure this article will be of interest to you. I have described a one day trip to a weekend getaway: Matheran, just 90 kms away from Mumbai. Come join me and enjoy the journey into the lush green forests of Matheran to a scenic Panorama Point, which provides a 360 degrees view of the Sahyadri ghats, the valleys and Neral town.

Be it a one day trip or a 2-7 days holiday, a trip to Matheran is always a rejuvenating experience. I have been to Matheran for at least 3-4 times every year for the past twenty years. But it is worth repeating a visit. Come rains and Matheran beacons for a one-day trip!

About Matheran

It is a hill station in the Western ghats, Karjat Tahsail in Raigad district in Maharashtra. Did you know that Matheran is the tiniest hill station in India? The hill station is around 2500 feet above sea level. Being near to both Mumbai and Pune, it a famous weekend destination. The word Matheran in Marathi means a forest on the forehead of the mountains. The green lush mountain top is very clearly visible from the flight when it turns near Matheran and before it lands at Mumbai It is declared to be eco sensitive by the Government and it boasts to be the only automobile free hill station in Asia. The best time to visit Matheran is in the rains!

What to see in and around Matheran

At the entry to Matheran is Dasturi from where you can go to Panorama point, which provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains, Neral and the valley. This point gives wonderful views of both the sunrise and sunset. Around the mountains of Matheran there are around 38 designated look-out points like the Louisa point, One tree hill, Monkey point, Charlotte lake, Porcupine point, Lord's point, Celia point, Heart point, Rambagh etc. While you walk around in the town, there are ample lanes and by-lanes which are surrounded by Parsi bungalows with British styled architecture. Each point has a different ambience during the different parts of the day and all this while when we have visited Matheran each time the view at the same point has been different. It is always a pleasure to visit and enjoy the enthralling beauty of Matheran.

The trip preparations

This is how we decided on a venture to Matheran on the first Sunday of August. On Saturday, we packed some light clothes, windcheater, some plastic sheet for sitting on the ground, suitable footwear and light food (khakras, salted peanuts, dry fruits, fruits) for the day trip. In the morning I cooked some theplas and packed with pickle and we were ready to set off for the trip. We prefer not to eat outside since it may be unsafe in the rains. At Dasturi you just get batatawadas, may be a little oily and spicy. Do not forget to carry ample water with you.

Travel to Matheran begins

Matheran is about 90 kilometers from Mumbai. We started off by car from Mahim and touched the Expressway in an hour. We typically start early to beat the traffic and avoid the sun. Take a left just where the expressway starts and turn into Panvel and hit the old Pune highway, keep going till you reach Chowk, and turn left and head for Karjat. Now you can wind you way through greenery, cross a Film studio with tall sets and move further till you come across a fork going to Neral and Karjat. Next take the Neral road, which luckily, a few months ago is increased to two lanes both ways and keep going till you come to the bottom of the Neral hills. Now is the complex mountainous road, with share taxis driven by experts zooming past you, In case you are not confident you can hire a driver on the way. Wind your way across the ghats and watch the scenic beauty of the hills as you gradually climb up the hills. The distance is about 15 kms and you reach the top of the Matheran mountains, called Dasturi. This is your vehicle end point and you need to park your vehicle and walk into Matheran or any of the interesting points you wish to go. Parking is available at nominal charges even for several days. If it is a weekend then it does get crowded and you may have to go deep into the forest to park your vehicle. Monkeys do look after your vehicle safely.

The scenic beauty of Panorama point

A slow steady walk from Dasturi takes you through a very isolated but very beautiful jungle full of lush green woods. The walk through the jungle to this place is wonderful and you do get frequent glimpses of the landscapes as the jungle thins out intermittently. The walk on the pathway left us mesmerized. Occasionally you can listen to the chirping of the birds which move you towards Panorama pint. Once the Jungle ends you will definitely be enchanted by the view Panorama Point has to offer.The trail is comfortable but covered with small loose stones and red mud. So, beware of what footwear to use. Use a good pair of walking shoes with sturdy soles.

You keep on walking to the end of the mountain top, and you will be greeted with one edge over looking the west while the other edge overlooks the western valley. In front are the majestic mountains and the entire view will take your breath away. The extreme point is barricaded and provides viewers with ample photo opportunities. The clouds come and go, they cover and uncover the mountains. As the clouds play hide and seek, you seem to get transported to fairyland. Relax and unwind, on a small cement bench, covered with moss and soon you are transported to fairyland. If the day is clear, you can spot the Porcupine point on the other hill from here. Beware of a monkeys, they are harmless but they can snatch any eatables which you may have. You can also view the winding railway track on the hill side at several places while you trek. A little to the left and below you can see a Ganpati idol made from the hill stone. Lots of people walk up on the railway line and reach this idol. This idol is called: Kade varcha Ganapati. It means Ganapati on the waist. The trip can be covered walking or could be completed on horse ride. You could also night trek here to catch a sight of a beautiful sunrise or the sunset. Carry a big torch since it can become very dark on the trail. The place is completely deserted and hence carry some light food and water.

In a nutshell a one day trip to Panorama point, Matheran will fill your heart with tranquility and rejuvenate you. Experience this yourself and you will know!


Guest Author: Alex20 May 2016


Thank you for sharing the excellent piece of information about Matheran. My friend recently visited the place and have given excellent feedback.

Do you have any recommendations on budget hotels at Matheran? Also, is this a safe place to visit with small kids? Are there lot of mosquitoes? Please let me know if any precautions to be taken since I will be coming with small children.

Guest Author: Anoop20 Jun 2016

Seema Shah
Keep writing, Impressed with your article. We are planning to make a road trip to Maharashtra. Can you please suggest best places to visit in Maharashtra?

Guest Author: Sukhwinder Bhullar04 Jul 2016

Matheran is a good destination, the travelogue is really written well. Neral-Matheran toy train journey is a must do when you visit Matheran. I wonder about accommodation options available there, since the place is remote, away from the urban settlements?

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