06 Mar 2015

Marvelous Matheran

Matheran homestay

Hill stations are always the best escape routes from the scorching heat of the summers. With the summer vacation of the kids thrown in, one looks forward to spending cool times with one’s family and this year was no different. The only difference was that this time we chose to explore the Western part of India with a place called Matheran. I had heard about this hill station but didn’t know much, so I resorted to Google. When Google wielded results, it came to my knowledge that Matheran is Asia’s only automobile-free hill station. Now, I had all the more reason to visit it.

But finding an accommodation was the most difficult part since the hotels were totally booked. I was thinking of dropping the plan when someone recommended homestays and since, I was greatly interested, I went for one, though reluctantly. We landed there with apprehensions but the hospitality floored us instantly. Johnny, the dog came to greet us with the host. Our four-day stay here was nothing short of heavenly. We walked a lot as automobiles are banned and it did lots of good to our health. My kids were supremely delighted as they could run unhindered and play around as much as they liked.

The hosts were great and we enjoyed the homely Maharashtrian cuisine. We made it a point to visit all the famous spots of this hill station. The breathtaking views of the mountains, lakes and the Prabal fort from the look-out points made us realize what gems lie in the Western Ghats. My photography loving husband clicked hundreds of pictures and thanked me several times for having insisted on Matheran.

Apart from the hills, we visited the temples, where the playful monkeys made it more fun-filled. The kids loved the trail and when it was time for horse riding, their joy knew no bounds. They were equally ecstatic at the Monkey Point too where the echo resounds many times, loud and clear. The kids screamed at the top of their voices and also egged us on to join the game. It was momentous as we felt completely close and carefree as a family.

We had sufficient time in hand and since it takes 3 days to cover most of the delights, we were totally relaxed. I loved the restful strolls in the green, which I am sure did great wonder to my mind and body as I always felt more energized after coming back. After all, where on earth do you get such a pollution-free atmosphere?

The last day was reserved for shopping which proved to be a great exercise as I managed to bag cool bargains. The specialty of the region, Kolhapuri chappals, found me buying as many as 4 pairs along with several glass birds and dried flowers. The kids and their father feasted on the local sweetmeat, chikki. Sweet and savory, it was in every way like Matheran, whose taste lingers on for long and something that you can never have enough, no matter how much you partake.


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