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Matheran Travel Guide:

Introduction
Matheran is a city and a Hill Station municipal council in Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a hill station in Karjat Tahsil and is also the smallest hill station in India. It is located on the Western Ghats range at an elevation of around 800 m (2,625 feet) above sea level. It is located around 90 km from Mumbai, and 120 km from Pune. Matheran's proximity to the three Metros makes it a popular weekend getaway for urban residents. The name Matheran means "forest on the head" (of the mountain).

Matheran is an eco-sensitive region, declared by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. It is one of the few places in the world where vehicles are not allowed, which makes the place different from others. Matheran takes you over a hundred years back in time when there were no vehicles.

Because of vehicles being banned in Matheran, the place is quite peaceful despite the thousands of visitors coming to visit throughout the year.

History
Matheran was discovered by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then district collector of Thane district in May 1850. Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Bombay laid the foundations of the development as a future hill station. The British developed Matheran as a popular resort to beat the summer heat in the region.
Dasturi Naka

Matheran is connected to the town of Neral which lies at the base of the hills. A tar road connects Neral to Dasturi Naka which is 9 km (5.8 miles) from Matheran. In order to maintain Matheran's uniqueness, no vehicles are allowed beyond this point. The other mode of transport is a 2 ft (610 mm) gauge narrow gauge railway, which links the town to Neral. Neral also has a broad gauge station which is on the busy Mumbai-Pune route. Neral is well connected by railway line with Karjat being the nearest Junction. The Matheran Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy and covers a distance of 20 km (12.4 miles), over large swathes of forest territory. The Matheran hill railway had been inspected by UNESCO world heritage site officials in the last week of October 2009. The official declaration of its status as UNESCO world heritage site like other hill railways of India like Kalka-Shimla, Darjeeling hill railway & Nilgiri mountain railway will be declared by July 2010. The railway officials are very hopeful of getting the UNESCO world heritage status from the views expressed by the inspecting officials. The heritage status will boost the tourist activities in the area.

In the floods of July 2005, around 70% of the railway lines were damaged and did not reopen until April 2007 after repairs at a cost of Rs 2-2.5 crore.

Geography
Matheran is located at 18.98°N 73.27°ECoordinates: 18.98°N 73.27°E.[2] It has an average elevation of 800 metres (2224 feet).

Places of interest
There are altogether 28 points, 2 lakes, 2 parks, 4 major worship places and a racecourse to visit inside Matheran. If you want to see all of them then you may need 2–3 days on your feet. One can move around on foot or horseback, but it is recommended moving on feet to take the best glimpse of nature. If you are on Horse back you may not be able to spend your desired time on the points. All the points’ gives a unique view and you can’t miss them.There are many walking paths for a leisurly walk. Points to see;

Alexander Pt.
Rambag Pt
Little Chowk Pt
Chowk Pt
One Tree Hill Pt
Belvedere Pt
Olympia Race Course
Lords Pt
Charlotte Lake
Cecil Pt (Actually a water fall mouth)
Echo Pt.
Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt)
Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt)
Khandala Pt
Madhavji Garden & Point
Matheran Railway Station
Louisa Point
Mayor Pt

Other Attractions
Mount Berry: Mount Berry is a popular tourist destination that is located 5+ km from Matheran. It offers a bird’s eye view of Neral. The major attraction is the slow train that chugs up the hill in the midst of pristine natural beauty. matheran peak is visible from here.

Charlotte Lake: Also called the Sharlott Lake, Charlotte Lake is one of the most picturesque spots in Matheran. On the right side of the lake, there is the ancient Pisarnath Temple. The two picnic spots Louisa point and Echo point are located on the left side of the lake.

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