The Biodiversity of the trek route between Neral to Matheran make it an all-time favorite both with naturalists as well as outdoor enthusiasts. To climb from Neral to Matheran maybe the pathways that lead away from the town into wilderness offer beautiful waking experiences.
Its best initiation to adventure for any trekker, but even the multitude of tree-lined.
– Mountain Trekking
ABOUT THE TREK : –
The climb of Matheran is best tackled in the months from November to March, when the weather is balmy. The trek is of 21 Km and is fairly moderate in terms of difficulty level.
TREKKING ROUTES :-
- One to climb up to Peb fort from Neral and then follow the railway line into the Matheran.
- Another popular route start from Bhivpuri station and then goes via Thakurvadi up to the Garbett Plateau and finally into Matheran via Garbett Plateau.
- From Chowk village , you can trek to Varosa village and then climb up to Matheran via Shivaji steps.
This trek was not planed, Usually most of our trip’s are not planned. The idea of the trek was suggested by one of my colleague Subho Sankar Basu, and i was ready in one second.
He showed me the link pasted below, and we followed the route as per described in there. Most of route details I am taking from that post.
Directions for trekkers:
As you come out of the Neral station take your right and start walking till you get a small climb and come to a green open land. From there you will see the electricity tower on the top of the extreme right. That is the Peb mountain on the right. On the left is Matheran. Between the two there is a prominent “V” shaped merging connection. On the green open land follow the road along the towers and reach the Peb top point and progress towards the left to reach Matheran.
There are 2 ways to complete this trek:
1. The one quite known to everyone – From the Peb mountain, climb the first ladder to enter the Peb fort. From the fort keep walking straight along the path in the direction of the second ladder and climb down to reach the V shaped merging. Reach the Matheran mountain and keep walking straight along the path towards the rail track (point 154).
2. The second trek route goes around the Peb mountain. Instead of climbing the ladder to reach the Peb fort keep walking along the rocky path and a small path which is covered by grass during monsoon. This road around the Peb is too narrow with rocky surface on your left and deep valley on the right. During rains take special care as it gets bit slippery on this route.
HOW it Start: –
It all started in the morning, nearly around 5 A:M. WE have to go to the PUNE station to catch some the train to Neral. We started from Hinjewadi, Pune at around 5:30. Got a shared tata sumo to the station. So reached aroud 6:AM to the PUNE station. We checked for the trains to Neral.
Shayadri express is the only train available that is taking us to the Neral without changing the trains.
So taken the tickets to Neral , Hoped to reach there till 9:00 clock.
The way was awesome the scenic beauty outside the trains and the waterfalls around the route are totally amazing at that time. A must take route in monsoon season.
Reached at around 10:00 clock. We waited for two other friends of Subho to come Indrajit and Madhumita. They were coming from Mumbai. They reached around 10:30. After having some breakfast we were ready to start the trek.
LEAVING FROM NERAL:-
We started from Neral at around 11:30 AM. As we come out of the Neral station we have taken right and started walking till we get a small climb and waited for a green open land as described in the directions. We found one but not sure about which one to take. We consulted some local people. They just made us confused.
At last some villager told us the other route to went till the open field. We followed the instruction and found the right way. From there we can see the electricity tower on the top of the extreme right. We feel good actually we found the way as described in that blog.
As written in the post “the Peb mountain is the one with the electricity tower on the top on the right. We needed to follow the road along the towers and climb upwards“.
So we found the electricity towers and started following it. We walked past a river and then we need to cross a green fields and climb up till the first tower. I just went ahead and reached the tower first. Along the way need to wait for others to come. Also the rain also came in short burst’s. But overall the weather is awesome.
We move forward and reached the second tower with a big cement base. Now we have to go through a small jungle patch and climb upward to a rocky terrain the base of the top tower.
As we have no guide we are only following the way painted on the stone in the jungle.
After walking for some half an hour we found water stream, Till that time we were tired and the water we are having is already over. So we ate some food there and filled the water bottles.
So now the trek ahead was rocky, at some places we have to climb rocks having a slope of 80.
At one place we lost the way as there were two painted stones and we picked the wrong one. After a hike of 10 min we found that there was no route ahead. We have rocks perpendicular to the point where we were standing. So we went back and found the correct route and again we were back on track. As we were climbing up the rock. At one point we have to climb a long rock and we need to grip the rock and push forward over the rock. As me and Subho went ahead and climbed some rock Indrajit slipped over the rock. So Subho went back to see what happened and help them.
Looking below i saw the terrain was too much dangerous. We need to go back to help them. But there was no such worry nobody was hurt.
After taking small time we started back and this time slightly faster than before. The climb was straight up and taking a lot of effort on our foot. But the route was easy. So we managed to reach the “V” shape before Peb mountain.
The view from there was amazing. You cannot compare the view from any other place. The biodiversity was amazing. The air was bringing back the water flowing down back to you.
We had to walk further left to reach the top most point of Peb. There was some simple climb to cover to Peb fort for some time. Then there is a huge rock there and its difficult for a single person with a height less than 6 ft to cross that point in a single attempt without anyones hand and help.
But we have no other choice we did not have any expert with us and we cannot get back from that point. So we tried to climb that rock. the rock was hard to climb but with the help of rope already in place first I and Subho climbed that rope. After that Subho helped other to climbed that rock.
When we all safely climbed that rock we saw a group also coming from behind. It feels to see some people after two or three hours of journey alone.
The way ahead was more tricky and slightly slippery due to continuous rain in past days.
So we followed the way for some more time and lastly we found the shivaji ladder which was mentioned in the post. But the way to reach those ladder was slightly risky. There was some steps to keep foot but due to slippery conditions it pretty much hard to climb.
We have done so much hard work to reach that place at least we have the right to have some snaps taken.
After clicking some pictures at that location we climbed up to the plateau. There was only forest and forest. The place look like plantation of some kind also it looks like that some one will be living there. Most of us were tired. Its almost 6 hours since we started walking from Neral, and after such a trek our feet’s were hurting.
There was a hope that we actually find someone at that place, to give our self hope that we were going on correct way. We found a way of some kind and we followed it. At some distance we found a hut in the forest and thought at least we found someone at that plateau. But not the hut have some animals only. There was no sign of any man activity there. So we carried on. After long walk we found a vast green fields and on one side there was a huge stone wall has been in place.
It looks good weather feels cool. But there is only one thing wrong. We are able to see that we need to go to a “V” shape ridge but we were not being able to see the route to got there. The only option we have right now was either to search for a new route or to sleep in the hut with animal. We serarched very hard and in the end we were able to find the way.
We need to descend a ladder and then go through a narrow way close to the rocks with water continuously falling all along the way.
Now we just crossed the the v shape way and now we were on the plateau just below the Matheran . The way from there was easy as compared to rest of the way. All the stones were properly aligned and a way of typically one foot wide was created. So we did not have any problem to reach the “Ganesha temple .”
Just Few more steps and we were on the railways trek. You cannot imagine how much happy i was at reaching that place.
So we were on the trek no 154 and the we went along the incrementing way within the treks.
We went and went along the railways trek.
It was a total walk of around 2 hours along the rails.
Till the time we reach Matheran it was almost night, 8:00 PM.
Your legs feel like fried bacon after a day of climbing and descending. It’s a roller coaster ride, but no one is pulling you up the mountain. You’re headed toward Matheran more than 4,000 feet of pounding the pedals. You are aware of every movement because your thighs feel tender with a sensation of pain. You push on, toward the final ascent into the valley. In front of you is a monster —Matheran. Your eyes grow wide. You take a deep breath. Suddenly, you feel only wonder.