Print this pageTRAVEL TIMES

Bombay CST to Neral station by train approx. 2 hrs.

Neral to Matheran by train approx. 2 hrs.

South Bombay to Matheran car park by tourist taxi approximately two and a half to three hours depending on traffic.

Neral to Matheran by taxi 25 to 30 minutes.

Matheran car park to Main Bazaar and Lords Central Hotel approx. 40 minutes walk.

Matheran station to Lords Central Hotel approx. 7 to 10 minutes walk across the Main Bazaar.

LOCAL CHARGES

The Matheran municipality collects a charge of Rs 50 per person, which goes towards the upkeep of the town tourist facilities.

TOUTS

Like other tourist places, the moment you reach Matheran Porters, Rickshaw-Pullers, Horse Attendants and Touts will surround you.

The Touts or Porters recommend you certain hotels or lodges and try to sell you accommodation at places that offer them a hefty commission. These Touts are unscrupulous and will aggressively run down hotels that do not encourage them. Do not be surprised if you ask for Lords Central and are told that the hotel was shut down 20 years ago! These Touts are mostly employed by the numerous illegal "lodges" which are of questionable reputation, and do not have a license to operate They employ the most aggressive Touts to lure the unwary visitor.

Matheran does not need a guide or a commission agent to find accommodation. Just get to the main bazaar and you will find that all accommodation is within 5 or 10 minutes walking distance from here.

CAR PARK TO LORDS

Horse ride charges to Lords Central Hotel Rs 300 TO Rs 400 per horse.(one person per horse)

Hand pulled rickshaw charges to Lords Central Hotel approx. RS 450 to Rs 550 (one person +a little luggage per rickshaw)

Porter- Rs 200 to Rs 300 per porter (not per bag)

(Above prices are approximate and it is common practice to bargain for a better rate)

Charges will be higher after dark and on busy holiday periods.

NERAL – MATHERAN CAR PARK TAXI CHARGES

The best way to get to Matheran is by train or by car directly from Bombay or Pune. It is difficult to get last minute seats on the Neral Matheran toy train.

If seats are not available or there is no scheduled train from Neral to Matheran, then share taxi is the next option.

Charges are Rs 350 for a full taxi from Neral station to Matheran (you will not have to share this with anyone else and it will leave immediately).

Rs 70 per person in a sharing taxi (5 persons to a taxi) though the operators usually stuff in as many as 8 to a taxi if nobody objects.

If you are sharing a taxi and the requisite number of people are not available then do offer to pay for the absent persons so that the taxi leaves right away (You may actually save a few hours this way and be more comfortable).

TOURIST TAXI FROM MUMBAI – PUNE

Lords can have you picked up from Mumbai or Pune by tourist taxi on advance notice. Charges as follows:

  • SMALL VEHICLE   Maruti Van maximum 4 persons
  • MUMBAI to Matheran Car park (from any one address between Colaba and Andheri) Non AC Rs.2300/- AC Rs. 2500/-
  • PUNE to Matheran Car park (from any one address) Non AC Rs.2400/- AC Rs. 2600/- 
  • LARGE VEHICLE   Sumo maximum 6 persons
  • MUMBAI to Matheran Car park (from any one address between Colaba and Andheri) Non AC Rs.2600/- AC Rs. 2800/-
  • PUNE to Matheran Car park (from any one address) Non AC Rs.2700/- AC Rs. 2900/-
  • Approximate Toll charges Between Mumbai and Matheran Car Park Rs. 90
  • Approximate Toll charges Between Pune and Matheran Car Park Rs. 125

Above rates are Valid upto 15TH October 2013.

PICK UP OR DROP OFF AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS WILL ENTAIL EXTRA CHARGES. AIRPORT PICKUP WILL ENTAIL AN EXTRA CHARGE OF Rs. 250.

Taxi charges above do not include transfers from Matheran car park to the Hotel or back to the car park.

WE CAN ALSO ARRANGE A TOURIST TAXI TO PICK YOU UP FROM (OR DROP YOU TO) KASHID, GANPATIPHULE, ALIBAUG, AURANGABAD , MURUD JANJIRA, LONAVLA, KHANDALA, GOA , TARKARLI etc.

BY TRAIN FROM MUMBAI TO MATHERAN --- Detailed instructions.

FROM MUMBAI

Getting to Matheran from Mumbai is not very difficult even if you do not have train reservations.

Get to Mumbai CST station.

There are two sections.

One for mainline trains platforms 8 onwards. (Deccan Express and Koyna Express usually leave from platform 8,9,10,11, 12 or 13)

One for Local suburban trains platforms 1 to 7

Look for the ticket windows. They are cleverly hidden opposite platforms 1 and 2. Ticket window numbers are 7,8 and 9

Ask for a ticket to NERAL. On the Karjat line. (NOT "Nerul" on the harbour Line)

II Class tickets Rs. 23

I Class tickets Rs. 175

Now go back to the platforms and wait for the indicators to announce your train

The local train you need will arrive either on platform 3, 4 , 5, 6 or 7.

What you should look for on the top of the indicator is “S” (“S” is the code for the karjat trains.) and train Destination as “Karjat”

And the platform number will appear next to the code.

CST (MUMBAI TO NERAL)
am 4.15, 4.40, 5.19, 5.41, 6.50, 7.39, 8.39, 9.34, 10.44, 11.17, 11.56
pm 12.52, 1.40, 2.49, 3.17, 4.10, 5.32, 6.24, 7.00, 7.47, 8.13, 8.51, 9.54, 10.40, 11.28

Make sure you get off at Neral.  
CST TO Neral is about a 1 hour 40 minute journey.
(If you take a local train --- Stations on the final approach to Neral are Badlapur, Vangani, Shelu and 5 minutes later NERAL.)

(If you take an express train the last station before Neral is Kalyan Station)

You can also get to these trains form the following stations: DADAR, KURLA, GHATKOPAR, THANE.

Kurla Station is the one closest to the Airport. Though is is better to get a taxi from the airport to Dadar Station and catch the train there. (Kurla is completely chaotic and getting any sort of information about trains etc is next to impossible when it is busy).

Dadar on the other hand is a major station and quite easy to navigate.    Ask for which platform the karjat local trains will arrive.

At Neral use the foot over bridge and get to the other platform. 
Inquire about the toy train and whether tickets will be available. 
If not… walk out of the station and turn right. 
This will lead you to the Neral Matheran taxi stand. 
Taxi rates are Rs. 70 per person sharing.

The taxi will not leave unless there are a minimum of 5 persons paying 70 rupees each. If you are in a hurry or there is no one else you can pay Rs. 70 x 5 = Rs 350 and take the full taxi.

If you are of a mind that a ride in the Matheran toy train is a must then following are the timings.

NERAL MATHERAN TOY TRAIN MOUNTAIN RAILWAY

Timings are as follows: Neral Matheran train service. 3 services per day.

(Matheran toy train does not operate during the monsoons. Services shut down on 15th June and re-start only in the second week of October)


Neral departure

  • 9.10am
  • 10.15am
  • 5.05pm

Matheran departure

  • 7.30am
  • 12.50pm
  • 4.25pm

Toy train services schedule changes from time to time. Please check timings with the latest train TIMETABLE)

The railways have permanently stopped advance bookings for the Neral Matheran Toy Train.

Advance bookings cannot be done for the Neral Matheran Toy Train in any way – Railways website, reservation centre etc.

Ticket window opens 45 minutes before departure at Neral/ Matheran station.

Newly introduced Train (Shuttle) services are run daily between Matheran Station and Aman Lodge Station (Near the Dasturi car park) (Approx every hour).

For both: Matheran - Neral service and Matheran - Aman Lodge (Shuttle) service Current booking window opens 45 mts before train departure time.

HORSE RIDING

For a package trip to 5 or 7 points Rs 400 to Rs 600. Please fix the rate in advance and specify whether it is per hour or per package.

Please wear a pair of trousers while riding. Shorts or a skirt will result in a painful case of totally bruised thighs.

Try not to go horseback riding for more than a couple of hours a day. More than this and you will probably regret it the next day.

HAND PULLED RICKSHAW

Rates for this vary from Rs 500 for an hour to Rs 800 or more for a package of points.

PORTERS

Both women and men are available as porters. We would recommend that you use the services of the lady porters; they are genuinely poor and need the income.

INTERNET

Lords has wifi but the connectivity is not very good so an internet connection is not guaranteed.

CELL PHONES

MATHERAN is not directly covered by any of the cell phone providers except BSNL.

BSNL subscribers can expect a full network signal.

However many parts of Matheran get a weak signal of IDEA and BPL and on the western side VODAFONE cell phone providers. If your cell service ties up with any of the above you should be able to make and receive calls on roaming. There is almost no signal of Reliance or Airtel.

A fairly good Tata Indicom/ Docomo signal is available.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE

Foreign currency is only exchanged by a few hotels and then again only against their hotel bills. Trying to change currency at the only Bank in Matheran is a hit or miss affair as sometimes the person concerned is not available. No hotel or shop will exchange foreign currency for cash over the counter.

CREDIT CARDS

Only a few hotels accept credit cards against their hotel bills. No establishment will give you cash on your card.

ATM

Matheran has only one ATM at the Union Bank of India in the main bazaar area near the railway station. Do not depend on this for cash as it is quite often out of order or out of money. It is best to carry with you sufficient cash in Rupees for your stay here.

TRAVELLER'S CHEQUES

The Union Bank will exchange cash for Travelers Cheques. But the bank is open only a few hours a day and not on weekends.

HELPFUL HINTS

If you are a foreign tourist, please ensure that you are carrying with you sufficient cash in Indian Rupees. And at least a few currency notes of $10 or $20 for emergencies. Large denomination foreign currency notes are looked upon with distrust and may not be accepted. (better still- Carry enough Indian Rupees).

If you are a foreign tourist please ensure that you are carrying your passport with you as all hotels ask for passport and visa details.

Matheran is extremely tourist friendly and safe, but it is not idiot proof. Please exercise caution when walking along cliff paths.

Ensure that you have a flashlight if you intend to walk about after dark as only the main roads have street lights.

Do not carry food items in plain view, as this is fair game for monkeys who will snatch it away from you. Keep your hotel room door shut at all times.

TIPPING

At Lords and at most smaller hotels in India it is customary to tip the staff only at the end of your stay. Usually a tip to each of the staff who has personally served you and a combined tip that can be given to the hotel for all the other staff like the kitchen etc.

Alternately the full amount can be given to the hotel gratuity box.

There is no fixed rate or percentage for tipping. As a rough guideline the total tips usually are about Rs 150 to Rs 200 per room per day of your stay.

SWIMMING

The Charlotte Lake supplies drinking water to the hill, so any form of water sports or swimming is prohibited.

WEATHER

November to Mid March between 22° C to 28° C.

Mid March to mid June 26° C to 32° C.

Mid June to end September is the Monsoon period. Heavy incessant rain and a Temperature between 20° and 23° C.

October 22° to 29° C.

POWER FAILURES

Matheran experiences power failures several times a day. Before checking into any hotel or lodge ensure that it has a backup power supply and that this will work every time the power fails. Lords has generator backup facilities.

WATER

Lords central has Aqua Guard ultra violet treated drinking water. Though foreign tourists should consider sticking to drinking bottled water which is available everywhere. More often than not it is the change in water that creates a problem rather than whether the water is safe or not.

Most of the better hotels have running hot and cold water. (Hot water for bathing is available for a few hours each morning). Avoid any establishment that does not offer at least running cold water.

MEDICINES

Currently   (March 2014)   there is only one chemist shop (Pharmacy) dispensing over the counter medicines. They do not usually stock prescription medicines. It is advisable to bring any necessary medicines along with you.

The local hospital has only rudimentary facilities.

There are a couple of general practitioners   (Doctors).

AMBULANCE

Ambulance services are available for the more serious patients. Examination by the Local Municipal Doctor and his certificate is necessary to avail of ambulance transport. This is not a taxi.

GARBAGE

Matheran was earlier voted the second cleanest town in the western region. This year we expect to be first. Please do not litter the forest.   PLASTIC BAGS ARE BANNED.

ILLEGAL LODGES AND HOTELS

As with any other tourist destination, Matheran is teeming with illegal unlicensed lodges and hotels.

While they provide cheap accommodation it should be noted that these lodges are situated in the few slum pockets in Matheran and unfortunately attract a very down-market, undesirable, rowdy and sometimes criminal element.

It is a pity that such places are allowed to exist, but rampant corruption in the local council allows such places to flourish.