Places to Visit in Matheran, point of interest, Toy Train, Alexandra Point, Guide
Tourist places to visit in Matheran are Toy Train, Alexandra Point, Forts and nearby Ajanta caves and Ellora caves. Matheran is a Hill Station and a municipal council in the Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
The name means “Jungle Head” or “Forest on top” and that is exactly what Matheran is. At 700 feet above sea level, 108 kms from Mumbai, Matheran is situated literally at the edge of the western ghats. With undulating hills cloaked in shady trees. it sprawls over an area of 8 square miles, comprising essentially of a central block and two smaller ridges of wings. Famous for its views, at various points the ground drops sheer to the plains far below, and if the day is clear, one can see not just the surrounding hills but also Neral, star adding the central railway line and in the far distance, Mumbai itself.
APRIL 16,1853-INDIA”S VERY FIRST TRAIN STEAMS OFF
Hugh Mallet allegedly “discovered” Matheran in 1850 and its transformation into a popular hill station coincided with the introduction of the very first railway line on the Indian soil. The surveys of the first section of the historic line from Mumbai to Thane commenced in 1850 and three years later the first train steamed out. The Mumbai Times realized the importance of the event and criticized the Governor for not being present.” Its among top in the list of tourist places to visit in Matheran.
SETTING UP THE LINE
Unlike the other hill railways, the credit for setting up the railway line to Matheran goes to an Indian. Abdul Hussain son of the business tycoon Sir Adamjee Pheerhoy of Mumbai was a regular visitor to matheran at the turn of the century, After having obtained reluctant consent from his father, young Abdul Hussain camped at Neral in 1900 to plan for the narrow gauge line. The construction of this line was authorised by the public Works Department. Abdul Hussain floated a company with the title of “Matheran Steam Light Tramway Company” with a share capital of Rs.10,00,000/- wholly owned by the Peerbhoy family. Work began soon after and the illustrated Weekly dated 11 th April reported that the work was progressing satisfactorily, “This is a prospect of it being opened in time for the hot weather traffic. The engineering difficulties have been surmounted, substantial work has been accomplished and Mr. Adamji Pirbahi, has the satisfaction that the cost is well within the estimate.” The line opened in March 1907.
WHAT THE TRAIN LOOKED LIKE IN 1906
“The passenger carriages, like the Darjeeling ones are tramcars in miniature, with two bunches well upholstered , each divided by arms into three seats. The bogie is roofed, but the front, back and sides are ordinarily open. Only two classes of passengers cars provided and in each train is capable of conveying a hundred passengers with their luggage. The saloon cames from the G.I.P. but all the other rolling stacks was built in Europe.” Illustrated Weekly, May 9th 1906.
JOURNEY UP THE HILL
The journey begins from Neral. The climb begins soon after Hardal Hill. Near the Jammpatti station, the rail and the road almost come together. They part company and meet again beyond the steep of Bhekra Kund. From here a very interesting portion comes into view. We see the Horseshoe embanked constructed near Mount Barry. Round this, the line runs for a mile in the north direction till it turns back through the only tunnel on the route. The line then runs beneath Mount Barry.
Immediately afterward, the line zig zags sharply backwards and forwards twice, passing through two deep cuttings. From here on, the line pushes its way more decorously and reaches out straight for Panorama Point. It returns by Simpsons Tank and terminates close to Matheran Bazaar.
Tourist Places to visit in Matheran (IN AND AROUND )
Matheran itself is a small place with picturesque walks and panoramic views.
The Panorama Point commands a particular striking view, especially in the evening with the great city of Mumbai lying in the far distance and the ocean stretching beyond.
THE CAVE TEMPLES AND FORTS
The state of Maharastra is famous for its cave temples, especially Ajanta and Ellora. Accessible from Lonawala, close to Neral on the Mumbai-Pune line are the two well preserved Kalra and Bhaja cave temples. Completed around 80 BC ,the Kalra cave temples is a Hinayaka shrine. The Bhaja caves 18 in number ,are older and date back to 200 BC. Its among top in the list of tourist places to visit in Matheran.
Further along the line, are the BEDESA caves, accessible from the Kamshet station. There are also old forts in the region: the Visapur Fort above the Bhaja caves and Lohagen Fort six kms. from Malavi.
ALEXANDRA POINT – Top in the list of tourist places to visit in Matheran
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Matheran Toy Train | Matheran Hill Station
Matheran Toy Train | Matheran Hill Station4.7 (93.33%) 3 votes Matheran hill station in MaharashtraRead More