Matheran, the nearest hill station to Bombay, is 171 km. from the city via Neral on the Bombay to Pune railway line. The name means Jungle Topped or Wooded Head. Matheran sprawls north-south along the hilltop. On a clear day the view can be fantastic and it is possible to see, and even hear, Bombay from Porcupine or Louisa Point. Even in the hazy air of the pre-monsoon dry season, the eerie views of surrounding hills are fine. Porcupine Point is a good place for catching the sunset,but Panorama Point, at the extreme north, is said to have the finest views. The western side, from Porcupine to Louisa Point, is known as Cathedral Rocks, and Neral can be seen far below, straddling the central railway line. At the south, near One Tree Hill, a trail down to the valley below is known as Shivaji's Ladder.



GETTING THERE AND AWAY TRAIN From Bombay, only a few of the Pune expresses stop at Neral Junction. They include the Deccan Express and the Miraj Express. On the other hand, all expresses from Bombay stop at Karjat further down the line from Nepal. From here you can backtrack using local trains to Neral. Alternatively, take a local Karjat train from Bombay VT to Neral. From Pune, the most convenient express which stop at Neral is the Sahyadri Express. Alternatively, take any exppress to Bombay and get off at Karjat and then take a local train to Neral. If you are goiong back to Pune or Bombay after Matheran, it is best to take any local train first to Karjat after which you have a choice of all the trains running between Bombay and Pune. There are also the toy train from Neral to Matheran. There are no local trains There are no local trains between Karjat and Lonavla (for the Karla Caves) so you must use the expresses between Bombay and Pune if Lonavla is your base. TAXI There are plenty in either direction daily and the trip takes half an hour.

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