I'd been planning this trip for a long time now. Finally decided to fullfill it with my college group. After dealing with a lot of troubles finally decided to leave for the trip on 14th June. Due to girls being with us, had to limit the trip to a day stay only. We were 10 of us for the trip. 6 boys and 4 girls. The whole trip was planned according to train timings based on the Android app 'M-indicator'. As one of our team mate was arriving on the same day to Mumbai from another one of her trip, had to adjust the time accordingly to leave a bit late.
So the day had finally arrived. Me and my class mates met at Borivli station at 8.15 am. The 10 of us than caught the 8.36am Borivali-ChurchGate fast. The train was crowded as usual being peak time. We reached Dadar station by 920am. The trains to Neral arrive on platform number 4 on the Central Railway side. These trains are Karjat bound locals and there is only one train arriving every hour so the trip mainly was based on the train timings. The local we caught was the 9.44am from CST. We reached Neral by 11.10 am. As expected we did not get the toy train as the bookings for it had to be done atleast 3 days in advance. The ticket to Neral from Borivli was 21 rupees. The same was paid by a friend coming from Mira-Road. As soon as you reach Neral you will be hoaded by agents telling you to book the hotel they are offering. Trust me, no matter what they say or however convincing they sound, don't listen to them. They may try to trick you showing pics of the hotel stay they are offering but it's all a farce. Directly make your way to the taxi stand on the east and take a cab to Dasturi park. The cost of the cab is 60rupees per person. We were dropped at the entrance of matheran where there was a ticket counter. Every tourist is made to pay a 40 rupees toll to enter Matheran. Once our group made it there, we decided to walk along the tracks to reach upto the main city. The walk was long and tiring(for the girls atleast). The walk was one of the best trekking experience I ever had (still nothing compared to Munnar though). It was 2.5 km long and took us around 1.30mins to get there. Counting time wasted in photo sessions and all. We finally made our way to Matheran station. Remember If your walking along the tracks, don't exit through the railway stations main exist as you may be asked to show the toll ticket to the guard standing there. Make your exit towards the main road before reaching there. The best way to travel around Matheran is by foot only. The horse charges are too high. We stayed at a cottage. 2 rooms for 10 people interconnected for 3k. Being a cottage ,we had ample amount of space as a varanda up front. Checked in at 'Sai-Hit' , freshened up and had food at the hotel opposite our cottage. The quality of food was pretty poor there. By the time we had finished our food it was already 4pm. We set out on a walk towards the nearest points. The first being Khandala point. And made our way all the way around till echo point, covering a lot of points on the way . The dried up charolette lake was probably the best place we found considering we sat there for a long time resting behind the mountain mud checking out the beautiful view nature had to offer. It is advisable to actually carry a torch as street lights are rare. And the trip back to the hotel in that unknown land was quite a scare to the girls atleast. We returned back in darkness finding our way asking lonely houses along the road. After nearly an hour of walking finally reached the main market area. There is not much to shop at Matheran. You have chikki, hats, fudges or footware to choose from. We reached our hotel back at 10pm and immediately freshened up and left for dinner. Being a week day, the hotels and shops close down by 11 max. Moreover it wasn't even season time. The hotel we went this time had much better food to offer. It was on the main market street. I fail to recall the name now but it was the next hotel near to 'Pramod Bar' (the only bar in Matheran). Atleast that makes it easier to remember things. Most money that we actually spent at Matheran was actually for water. Being 10 of us, I wonder how much bottles we actually needed. Its more suitable to purchase that 30rs mineral water. The rest of the night was spent sitting at the varanda outside our cottage and talking about life and college. We slept at around 5 and woke up the next day at 9. There was a bit of water problem at our hotel, so remember to confirm that properly with the hotel staff before checking in. Since most of the girls not being able to walk more citing their body pain and other lame excuses, decided to walk to only one point that morning. We checked out of our hotel room around 11, had our brunch at the same place where we had our dinner last night and made our way towards monkey point. It was also long walk but the good thing was that it was on the same way towards our taxi stand at Dasturnaka. On the way back it began to rain heavily. Soaked, we made our way through the forest and finally caught a cab reaching Neral station at 2pm. We took the 2.15pm train to Dadar and by 6pm we all had reached home. Early,I know but trust me, there is not much different places to see at Matheran. Its all pretty much the same, with just different view points. It'a more about the weather. Overall the trip was a success, we had our fare share of action, drama as well as got to spend good time with the ones we love. I had planned it well so luckily everything went according to plan. The main concern being to make it according to the train timings.
Here is the list to my original plan. However we had to catch the later trains one of our member made it late. It could be helpful if you ever plan to make a similar trip with your group.
Destination- Matheran Date-15th-16th June
Cost- Travelling,Food Staying(Depends on personal expenditure) Discription:- DAY 1 -Meet at Borivli-6.45am ( Better Don't be late) OR Directly at.. -Dadar by 730am.
-Catch 7.48am train to Neral.
-Reach Neral at 930am.
-Choose between train,Cab or walk to Matheran. -Catch max. 2 hours to reach matheran
-Reach Matheran by 11.30am
-Check in at a hotel -Roam whole day. Enjoy
-Check out of hotel by 9am.
-Roam, sight seeing
-Leave at 4.10pm
-Reach Nerul by 6.10pm. -Train to dadar at 6.37pm -Reach Dadar at 810pm.
-Back home by max 930pm. (Considering any delays on return trip)
-Everything is planned depending on train timings exactly. DON'T BE LATE.
- Only one train is available every one hour to Neral. So better DON'T BE LATE.
- Try to make your luggage as less as possible. There is allot of traveling to do. Less the luggage, easier the travel. -Carry a torch(for treks), personal basic medical necessity(if required),Your own personal Snacks etc. Maximum water you can carry. Umbrella ,windsheeter etc for the rain.
- The room rent could be high, so do remember to carry extra cash in case of emergency Ciao
As you see, everything was planned well before making the trip. On anyother day, I would tell you that unplanned trips are the best to enjoy. But once again, taking the girls into consideration, this part was necessary. But none the less, it was a journey to remember.