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 either "forest on top" or "mother forest". 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. There are around 38 designated look-out points in Matheran, including the Panorma Point that provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town. From this point, the view of sunset and sunrise is breathtaking. The Louisa Point offers crystal clear view of the Prabal Fort. The other points are the One Tree Hill Point, Hart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, Rambgh Point, and more. 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.
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.
Matheran is one of the popular getaway for people from Mumbai and Pune, it is a quiet hill station located on the Sahyadri range. Matheran, Meaning 'forest on top', was discovered in 1850, by a district collector of Thane, Hugh Poyntz Malet, and the foundations for its development was laid down by Lord Elphinstone, the then Governor of Mumbai. Matheran has been listed by the Union Environment Ministry as an eco-sensitive region and is connected to the closest town of Neral by a narrow gauge railway, operating since 1907. As no vehicles are allowed in Matheran, one has to drive up to Dasturi Point, 11 km ahead of Matheran, from where you could reach the main bazaar either by foot or on pony. The nearby Lake Charlotte is the main source of Matheran's drinking water.
Lookout points: There are around 38 different lookout points in Matheran, from where tourists can view the amazing beautiful valley. The spectacular view of the valley remains in the memory of the tourists for a long time.
Valley Crossing: A very great activity like Valley crossing by a rope can be experienced at Honey(Moon) Point. It seems to be risky and dangerous but it is not as we are tightly hold by TWO safety belts and the adventure group conducting this activity does take care of us. You should experience this. Simply awesome!!!