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What to See and Do in Matheran - From Ayurvedic Spas to Paragliding and Rock Climbing

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The hill station of Matheran (which means “forest on top”) offers Ayurvedic spas where you can enjoy natural healing and adventure sports which will get your adrenaline pumping. You can choose between relaxation and thrill-seeking or, in the yogic sensibility of balance, try a little of both. Either way, the town's car and bicycle-free streets make it a peaceful place to stay.

The Toy Train

 

Matheran has many distinctive attractions. The fact that you can only get to this scenic hill station on horseback, by train, or on foot is certainly one of them. If arriving by train appeals, climb aboard the narrow-gauge Toy Train in Neral (75 km from Mumbai), then sit back and enjoy a 20-km ride up the winding mountainside. Since 1907, this train has shuttled eager travellers up to Matheran for dramatic views of mountains and waterfalls. On arrival, a sign near the Matheran station reads: "Arrive as a guest… leave as a friend."

 

Ayurvedic healing

 

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest systems of natural healing. It began some 5,000 years ago in India, with a focus on wellness as a balance between mind, body, and spirit. Visiting The Ayurvedic Village, outside nearby Panvel (64 km from Matheran), offers travellers the chance to experience a range of treatments drawing on ancient philosophy. From rejuvenating massages to medical therapies, treatments at the village make use of healing properties found in plants, trees, and roots from the local mountains.

 

  • The Ayurvedic Village, Morbe Village, Panvel Taluka, Off Panvel - Matheran Road, District Raigad, Maharashtra; Tel: +91 750 6650605; Website: The Ayurvedic Village

 

Trekking and rock climbing

 

Hiking to any of the approximately 38 viewpoints around Matheran makes for a vigorous outing with awe-inspiring views of mountains and valleys far below. The scenery is particularly striking after monsoon season (June to September) when plants and trees turn gold and green, and waterfalls expand. Trek Mates India offer challenging guided treks including an overnight climb to Matheran via Garbett Point. You can also try rock climbing in many spots including Shivaji’s Ladder, an ancient series of steps that wind from the valley floor all the way up to One Tree Point.

 

  • Trek Mates India, Shop No 5, Krishna Building, Dada Patil Wadi, Near Thane Station, Thane (W) 400602; Tel: +91 829 1139993; Website: Trek Mates India

 

Zip-lining and paragliding

 

If you don’t feel alive unless your feet are dangling hundreds of meters up in the air, Matheran has you covered. Head for Echo Point and strap in for the Matheran Valley Crossing - a literally breathtaking 600-meter zip wire with your feet hanging above the valley floor, 800 meters below. To take your thrill-seeking even further, Indus Paragliding, just 74 km away in Kamshet, offer tours that will send you soaring and spinning high above the hills.

 

  • Indus Paragliding, Opp. Bora Greentech, Kolwadi, Govitri Village, Kamshet, Pune, Maharashtra, India; Tel: +91 77 98111000; Website: Indus Paragliding