Matheran: A no-honking hill station

What can be a better escape on a rainy weekend from Mumbai or Pune than Matheran. Matheran is the only hill station in India, where vehicles are banned and you can clearly listen the sound of breeze rustling leaves and that of the horseshoes.

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It is the one hill station that is so close by that one can visit it at the drop of a hat. One can commute and explore the hills either on foot or on horseback. This is a perfect place for Digital detoxification as one can call it, to enjoy in the lap of mother nature.

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As far as travel to the hill station is concerned, Matheran can be reached by road from Mumbai or Pune via Road or Train with ease.

We stayed at Hotel Cecil which is a very calm place and fits in the budget. It is a heritage building and is about 100 years old. The rooms were very spacious, the washrooms were okay but the food was really good. Even though they do not serve any nonvegetarian food or alcohol, still I would say that the quality of food and variety was good.The rent on a weekend for a single night was Rs 3000/- for a double occupancy room, inclusive of all meals.

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As for tourist activities, Matheran has about 22 points which are listed below. These were all developed by Britishers.

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Important points are Alexander Pt., Rambag Pt, Little Chowk Pt, Big Chowk Pt, One Tree Hill Pt, Belvedere Pt, Olympia Race Course, Lords Pt, Charlotte Lake,Celia Pt (a waterfall mouth), Echo Pt., Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt), Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt), Khandala Pt, Madhavji Garden & Point, Matheran Railway Station, Louisa Point, Mayra Point, Pisarnath Temple.

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It takes about 3 days to cover all the points and since we had a time constraint we decided to visit only the important places. We decided to visit all the scenic points but if you are an adrenaline junkie, you can try Valley crossing from echo point. High on the hills, when you witness the fog and feel the cold wind against your face nothing can taste better in that weather than hot maggie and corn. It’s advisable to reach back your resort before it gets dark as the hill terrain is not equipped with street lights. So to reach in time, we decided to hire horsebacks with funny names such as hawa hawai. After sound night’s sleep and a  delicious morning breakfast, we left for Mumbai. Took a Toy train (15 mins journey) from Matheran to Aman Lodge, then shared taxi to Neral and then Local train to Thane and finally back home after experiencing a much needed Digital Detoxification.

Matheran says,”Horn NOT OK Please.”

Photo Courtesy: MTDC website and Abhimanyu

www.maharashtratourism.gov.in

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Story By

Abhimanyu

Edited By

Utkarsh

Saarr Some Idli and Filter Kaapi Pleeeeej !! – Yercaud

What vadapav is to Maharastra, Idli is to Tamil Nadu !!…

I was in Bangalore for an official tour and could not miss the opportunity to go on a day’s road trip to a not so famous hill station called Yercaud. It’s in Salem district about 4 hour’s drive from Bangalore. This hilly town is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern Ghats.

We were a group of 4 school time friends who successfully hijacked one of our friend’s sister’s car for this trip.

Planned to leave Bangalore at 4 am but left 2 hours early as our excitement overpowered sleep.

4 Friends out of which 2 could driver, 1 hatchback, unlimited kickass music and Infinite chats is all what you need on a road trip. The roads were smooth and we easily cruised at approx. 80 Kmph.

Bhookh (hunger) alert !! If you are a person who cannot sustain hunger at all and fear that you might die anytime when you are hungry, please eat something/ pack some snacks before you are traveling in Karnataka highways during night. Because you will not find any 24*7 food courts/ tapris or anything till the dawn breaks.

Uphill journey from Salem to Yercaud is picturesque and there a about 20 Hairpin bends till you reach your destination.

The pleasant morning sun welcomed us with wide open arms when we reached Yercaud on time, sleep deprived and declared dead of hunger. My hungry eyes located a café (don’t remember the name) right on the Yercaud circle and we barged in. Café served lip smacking idli sambhar with 2 varieties of chutneys on a fresh banana leaf. The idlis were so soft that they melted in mouth before even before chewing. Yearcaud has many Coffee estates and nothing beats the taste of hot brewing filter coffee aka Kaapi after those priceless idlis.

We were all fresh and there was no trace of sleep deprivation in our eyes. 1st we went to The Servaroyan Temple situated atop Servaroyan hill, the temple is a narrow, cool and dark cave having the God Servarayan and the Goddess Kaveri inside.

The hilly roads are surrounded by aromatic coffee estates, some of them are even a century old.

There is a Pagoda point to see and also a beautiful lake to boat on.

Best time to visit – Monsoons and winters i.e July to January

Road trips are about journey and not about destination, but when you reside in Bangalore and have visited Nandi hills for infinite times Yercaud is definitely an option to be on top of the list.

Picture Courtesy – Sangeet Khandait

– Abhimanyu @yatripandit

PS: Please click on the ads which appear on the website and help us earn some money to travel.     This blog is still very young and growing. If you like the story, do not shy away from reciprocating your love in form of likes comments and sharing on social media.