Photographs of Matheran
I have written in detail about my favourite hill-station Matheran here, and this post has some additional pictures I took on a recent trip. The drive to Matheran was wonderful as the road has improved considerably since the last time we went. Although it is still a narrow road, it was a pleasure driving up the ghat. Some of the trees had bronze leaves and it gave an autumn-like feel to the scene.
The weather was just perfect, not too hot! The ghat leads to a place called Dasturi which is basically parking lot for cars, but be warned, toilet facilities are bad! A filthy toilet awaits you here in case you want to go.
You cannot take your car up to Matheran. You have to walk or ride and that is really the best part! It’s about an hour’s walk or horseback ride. The air is pure and the mud road not at all crowded. A horseback ride up the hill can cost anything from Rs 200/- upwards, depending on the distance of your hotel from the main market. There are also hand pulled rickshaws for those who can neither walk nor climb. I have never been in one of these but apparently it’s a very bumpy ride. So is the ride on a horse and my preference is to walk. There are many trees so it’s shady and the incline is a comfortable one. One can hire a coolie to carry the luggage. This too can cost up to Rs 100/- All these rates are negotiable and can decrease during the lean season.
The alternative is to go by train (narrow guage) up to Matheran but the train (from Neral) goes up only twice a day and we have done this only once. A very picturesque ride as it takes you right to the edge of the hills.
Needless to say, the view is breathtaking. And even more so from the various “points” that are designated for the purpose.
Not much by way of entertainment except for the scenery unless ofcourse you want to try a bowling alley like this!
Or perphas you could go for a fake tattoo!
Those used to street food have probably tasted masala Thums Up but for me it was the first time. Basically it’s Thums Up with a dash of lemon, salt and chat masala. You get masala Sprite and masala lime juice (with soda and spice) too.
This picture below is one of my favourites from the trip. It was a reminder of Holi! As we were going up the ghat, a bunch of kids blocked our way and we were forced to slow down. Our windows were up but they did spray the car with coloured water. Overall though they were harmless and friendly, and moved aside quickly.
We came across this old man as we were walking down the ghat.
I quite liked the arrangement of these trees in the picture below. I could not help thinking that the tree with green leaves was coming out of hard rock while the tree which had shed its leaves seemed to have some earth to draw its water from. Finally then it depends on the roots, how they twist and turn and how deep they go. I could not help but think of human beings and how some people flower and flourish in tough circumstances while those who have all the opportunities sometimes dominate…but yet fritter away their life by achieving nothing.
Related Reading on specific locations:
Bull-fighting in India
Tarpa Dance videos (a tribal dance of Maharashtra)
Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram
Aurangabad caves, Bibi ka maqbara and Daulatabad fort