Located less than 100 km from Mumbai, which hill station sitting on the Western Ghats is said to be automobile-free?

Tucked away in the Western Ghats at Raigad district in Maharashtra, this hill station can be accessed only on legs. Matheran, meaning ‘forest on the forehead’ is an eco-sensitive region lying about 100 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune.

There are around 38 designated look-out “points” (viewpoints) in Matheran, including the Panorama Point that provides a 360-degree view of the surrounding area and also the Neral town. Louisa Point has views of Prabal Fort. Other viewpoints include One Tree Hill Point, Heart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, and Rambagh Point. There are many hotels and Parsi bungalows in the area. Old British-style architecture is preserved in Matheran. The roads are not metalled and are made of red laterite earth.

The town also has a large monkey population, including bonnet macaques and Hanuman langurs. Domesticated horses for riding are also in large numbers and are one of the symbols of Matheran. Inside the forest animals like barking deer, Malabar giant squirrel, fox, wild boar, mongoose may be found. But these animals are rare in numbers compared to monkeys and usually do not venture where humans are present. So most likely one does not come across them. There have been reports of leopard sightings in Matheran few times in last decade. Leopards are not known to dwell in Matheran. But due to dense forests in valleys surrounding Matheran leopards who are on the roam may climb Matheran. Nowadays leopard sightings by locals are extremely rare due to dwindling leopard population in general all over the country. There has been no known incidence of leopard attacks in Matheran.


Picture Credit : Google