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Best Places to Eat & Things to do in Matheran 2019 ghistovid foods

Matheran Hill Station


Matheran is a very popular hill station for weekend getaway trips, mostly for people staying near Mumbai and Pune urban cities, it is one of the smallest cutest quaint hill station in India, located on the Sahyadri range on the Western Ghats, it is at an elevation of around 2,625 feet above sea level. If you are from Mumbai living in a fast pace polluted and noisy city life, multitasking each day going through different levels of personal and professional stress and then you can't even take a long week vacation because obviously your company doesn't allow you to breathe very often. Then what choices do you really have? 

Atleast in Mumbai what i have generally seen is work life is challenging and it's nobody's fault. We are all trying to achieve more in life and i do wish that alot of systems change and value of life and humanity increase overtime. But before starting my awesome life as a freelancer (where i am my own boss) i have worked in a few 9 to 6 actually 9 to (no particular time formats) , where people are kind of made to feel guilty when they ask for a short vacation leave with family and even when they do take a leave, our amazing techy smart phones keep buzzing all day with business calls and requirements and highlight of it all is, if you are added to one of those work what's app groups, then God bless you guys.  But luckily there are few places in Maharashtra which are beautiful, where you can actually escape from all this mess and my favorite best short distance Hill station is Matheran. 

All you need to know about Matheran

What i loveee about Matheran is that it is Asia's only automobile-free hill station which means, all you breathe is pure fresh air and trust me you can really feel the difference. Few years back when i had gone to this hill station there was lot of liter on the streets people were throwing garbage and spoiling the beautiful hill station, but this time when i visited i saw such a great change where each local is like a garbage police .They have removed plastic out of the hill station , you are not supposed to through anything on the roads or you will be fined Rs 1000 , even if you buy something local to eat , each shop keeper makes sure to take the garbage back from you and dispose it off in the garbage cans. These steps have made the place even more beautiful and pollution free zone. Cold breeze, fresh air, historic ancient locations, mystic views, early morning fogs, sahyadri mountains, natural wildlife ,lakes and forest greenery all of it is just perfect. 

Matheran, is one of the most popular tourist attractions and it literally means "forest on the forehead" (of the mountains) .It is about 90 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune making it the ideal destination for weekend getaways, short trips with family and friends. The roads are reddish soil clayey natural earth, the only drawback is, there is alot of dust when horses pass and even your shoes and clothes get covered in this red dust , just wear proper shoes and keep a handkerchief handy to cover your face. It's no big deal really.

For fun fact's in 1850's the British developed Matheran as a popular resort to beat the summer heat in the region. The state government has built a monument in the name of Veer Bhai Kotwal a famous freedom fighter who's birthplace is Matheran. This amazing trip can be covered over a weekend. Now i can't really promise that you will reach a state of Nirvana and it will be happily ever after for you but what i can promise is you will definitely get a well deserved refreshing break.  

How to travel and reach Matheran? 
Mini Train Matheran

Best way is obviously to ask our problem solver guru Google - check directions on the Google Maps, for Matheran. You can even ask questions on the map and any of the #GoogleLocalGuides will answer your questions. You can also check travel websites like TripAdvisor .From Mumbai you can take a train from Dadar station till Karjat which is also convenient travel. If you are in Mumbai or Pune , i would recommend even driving till Neral Station and from there you can take a tourist cab or even a Matheran bus is available. It's important if you are really good in driving on the ghats, only then you can take the risk of going all the way up till the Matheran ticket counter pass, because it is a high risk narrow road. The roads are currently being repaired and it's really incredible that now the edges of the roads have proper brick blocks to avoid any accidents. I am glad that finally the security and health of the tourists are being taken care of and it's all because of the local people of Matheran taking these initiatives. 

Once you reach Aman Lodge you can either take a Mini Toy train (Fun Fact: Matheran Hill Railway was built in 1907 by Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy) or start trekking where you can hire union coolie's to carry all your luggage or you can take a horse ride or a hand cart. Before you leave you must check all the timings of the mini toy train and make sure to reach the counter on time or else you will miss the train and it can be a problem for those who don't have that much stamina to walk. The locals are always around to help you and you can negotiate a price with them. For us we choose to trek because honestly if you are going for short 2 days trip, just pack smart so you dont have heavy loaded bags with you. 
Hand Cart Matheran

The problem that happened with us was, we had an unplanned trip and decided to drive by car and leave for Matheran at 5 pm in the evening so by the time we reached the Matheran ghats it was 9:30 pm in the night , it was very dark there was no street light and it can be dangerous but we were determined so we kept moving forward on our journey and let me give you some lessons learnt from that. Incase you reach the Aman lodge station at 10 pm in the night like us, then you can try these options , either call your local contact from the place you have booked your hotel rooms with or just start trekking but definitely make sure you have the rooms booked for the night. When you start trekking in the jungle it's really scary there are tigers around and wild animals so just make sure to play loud music and on a flash light on your phone and carry something like a stick or a rock for safety this option should only be used if you guys are in a big group. Incase you guys are not a big group i would suggest to stay the night at Neral station or places near by and then next day early morning you can start trekking. But definitely don't do what we did, luckily for us there was alot of local help so we were safe. 

There are multiple options of travel choose which one is best and reasonable for you. 
Matheran Monkey

*Important Note: Before i tell you which are the good places to eat you should know that Matheran is home for Monkeys and they love what you eat so make sure not to roam on the streets with a pack of chips, cold drinks, snacks or any food item in your hand because they can come from anywhere and snatch the food from you. You will spot a tiger soft toy placed in every other household and shops to get rid of the monkey menace. Also never ever try to hit them , if you hit one with any rock or anything, there will be a gang of 10 more monkeys who will come and attack you. Just let them be in their space and co exist.
Me (Ambreen) with a Tiger soft toy which is used by the locals to scare the Monkeys

 Also animals are little crazy here take care of random horses running in your direction, few crazy street dogs gang running around to bite each other and cows which go and bump into anyone at anytime it's really hard to believe and it's funny for me to even tell you this, but in short you will know exactly what i am saying when you reach there and witness with your own eyes. Don't go out after 10:30 pm or max 11:30 pm in the night there are wild animals, so be safe and enjoy the nature around you.

Best Places to Eat in Matheran

Local Street Food Stalls 
Matheran Vada Pav

There are lot of inexpensive street food stalls and even restaurants in the market which serves a whole variety of decent delicious food, Snack items, Maggi, Sandwiches, Pizza's, Dosa ,Chaat, Corn, Munchies etc.. It does get very cold out there so a hot maggi is what usually people eat, also lots of people have Natural Gola made from Mala's pure syrups and fruit crush, right opposite the beautiful mosque in Matheran market. Below i have listed a few which are really good in the main market area and what i tried and liked. 

1. Kadam's Famous Vada Pav: Rs 10 each
Matheran Vada Pav, places to eat in matheran

Kadam's Famous Vada Pav was started in 1992 and the place became an instant hit with their secret vada pav recipe which is so so delicious. According to me i think it is one of the best Vada pav's at least in Maharashtra. The flavor actually stays with you. They serve the vada pav with this amazing green freshly made unique thecha - which is a mixture of whole crushed spices and green chillies, it is spicy but i would still suggest you try it out. The stall starts at mid day for few hours and evening after 6 pm for few hours, why for few hours? because people start standing in ques just when they are about to prepare the vada's and everything get's over in few minutes, so they prepare in batches. It's made and fried right in front of you , super super hot and super super delicious. Advantage of having a friendly mom who love's talking to all the locals is that i had the opportunity to know this vada pav owner since my childhood day's and Mr. Kadam has now grown old and his son help's him continue the business. They are really sweet people and i would highly recommended this place. A must try!

2. Chikki and Mala stores
Nariman Chikki

There are many local chikki store's in Matheran serving a variety of Chikki's. The most finest and popular high quality delicious variety of chikki is served at Nariman which is a very old brand existing in the Matheran market since 1949. The rates of the chikki's are little more expensive because of the brand name and trust earned over the years, some of the products are definitely over rated here so shop smart. You will also get delicious fruity jelly and candies here, even roasted chickpeas, along with yummy Mala's product which were started since 1958, they are natural fruit syrups, juices, melties, jams, sauce, crush, jelly etc...you will love them all. 
Matheran Market Chikki

But if you are looking for something more less expensive and still decent good taste in chikki's, then you can even try Jolly shop for chikki's. This uncle is also very friendly and talkative, he is so passionate about his chikki's that he will make you taste each and every flavor he has to offer, irrespective of whether you buy it or not. Personally i did like few flavors in his shop which was unique. There are more shops to try chikki's but i couldn't taste more of jaggery there which is a natural sweetner used in these chikki's. Hence , these two are my best pick so far. 

3. Dinesh Uphargruh - Pisarnath Market
I am not a person who enjoy's having milky tea outside and that too at any road side stalls, i am personally very picky about my tea choice and like it in a particular way. Not too milky not too watery and thank God i found these guys at Matheran. They are really good at making delicious tea. I always have ginger masala tea here it's really good on cold night's. So for good Chai experience this is the perfect place to go.  

4. Hot Corn 
There is a lady who sells hot corn right opposite the garden in the Matheran market, she also gives options of butter and cheese it's for Rs 30 each. The only thing is she tends to make the corn a little spicy so you can tell her how you would like it , otherwise the butter corn was really yummy served with a beautiful organic leaf spoon. 

5. Candy Floss
The market has lots of places serving candy floss. I found this uncle making some beautiful candy floss. I am not too much of a candy floss fan so for this you will have to try and judge for yourself. 

6. Fresh Natural local fruits - Local ladies in the market get raw fresh farm picks and fruits which are delicious and served a a nice spice - there are Cucumbers, Carambola or star fruit, Peru, Ber (Jujube fruit), Totapuri (Fresh Mango), Amla, Imli etc... 
Matheran Market

Matheran Market

Matheran Market Amla
Matheran Market
Matheran Market

7. Street Chaat and Snacks
You can easily get decent sandwiches, juices, pani puri, chaat ,bhel , pav bhaji , dosa etc... 
Garden View Restaurant Matheran

8. Sunday Market place - Sunday Bazaar starts around 11 pm ends by 1:30 pm. If you are in Matheran on a Sunday do catch this Sunday market for a sweet experience.
Matheran Market

Matheran Market

Nariman chikki Matheran

Matheran market

Matheran market jewellery

Matheran market
Matheran market
Matheran market
Matheran market

Matheran market

Matheran market
Matheran market
Matheran market

Matheran market

Matheran market

Matheran market pompret

Matheran market prawns

Matheran market prawns

There are more options in the month of March and April where you can get fresh delicious Honey and actually see some live honey breeding too.

Good Restaurants to Eat in Matheran

Again there are many restaurants to eat in Matheran but i have liked only a few for good meals - If you are looking for Non Veg - Shabbir Bhai is good, this amazing place is known for serving delicious authentic biryani since 1984. Shabbir bhai is very famous in Matheran and you can definitely eat good non vegetarian food here. In his old age even today the owner Shabbir bhai is still determined to serve his customers with delicious food. 

Shabbir Bhai Matheran

Shabbir bhai biryani Matheran
Shabbir bhai biryaniwala Matheran

Garden View Restaurant 

For vegetarian lovers there are more options but i really liked Garden View Restaurant which is located right in the market. Here you can get good tasty vegetarian food, the place is run by Chowdhary family, most of the time you will find 2 brother's who take care of the business both are very approachable cool people to talk to, one of the owner Kiran is super friendly and very helpful, he even served us food at around 1 am in the night when the entire Matheran was asleep. You can really sit at the restaurant and have a chilled out conversation, enjoy the meals and chat. You must try the dal tadka here it is heavenly i loved the taste and highly recommended. 
Garden View Restaurant Matheran

Veg Kadai Garden View Restaurant
Chinese Soups Garden View Restaurant

Manchow Soup Garden View Restaurant Matheran

Dal Tadka Garden View Restaurant Matheran

Matheran Garden View Restaurant

Chinese Fried Rice , Garden View Restaurant

Chinese sauces, Garden View Restaurant Matheran

A Park View is a recently opened restaurant replaced by the old Khan hotel in Matheran, there is also Alankar, Hakimi, Kumar plaza which are close options, For Fish lover's there are few new joints which have started in the main market place, i haven't  personally tried the fish options to suggest whether they are good or not. Each shared meal for 4 to 5 people will cost around Rs 800 to upto Rs 1,500 depending on the place you choose. 

Places to Stay in Matheran 

Top 7 best Luxury Places to Stay in Matheran 

There are plenty hotels in Matheran - Luxury Resorts, many old Parsi bungalows, many heritage hotels with British style architecture, local lodges and even budget stays. Below i have listed top 7 luxury hotels / Resort which even the locals recommend:

1. Adamo Hotels

The resort is a confluence of landscaped lawns, cobbled pathways, an emerald swimming pool and cozy villas with rich interiors.This hill resort also offers a range of activities to relax and recharge, including an Ayurvedic Spa, a beautiful swimming pool, a health club, a games room, a skating rink and more such recreational options. Indulge in the calmer side of life with a trained Yoga teacher and therapists. For those who believe that there’s nothing like too much luxury, the resort offers magnificent setting combined with prompt service. Experience a journey that depicts the grandeur and romance of another century. Choose from lavish bungalows, spacious villas, airy suites and practical executive rooms- the resort has 42 different options.

2. The Verandah in the Forest  

Dune Barr House is 170 year old British mansion in Asia’s only pedestrian hill resort near Mumbai. Located in the lush Matheran hills, Dune Barr House is a 170 year old British mansion built by Captain Barr in the 19th century, and is Asia’s only pedestrian hill resort. They offer rooms individually furnished in grand heritage style with high level of comfort. They are named after the famous British families of Bombay, the Parsis and the Bohras. A refined mix of heritage furniture fused with modern bathrooms and amenities will make your stay enjoyable. The restaurant «The Verandah In The Forest» offers Indian and European fusion cuisine and some Parsi and Bohra specialities. They are committed to the environment and hence have no air conditioning, no TV, no minibar and they use solar hot water systems, LED lighting and organic linen and bathroom amenities.

3. Westend Hotel 

Another good luxury hotel with all the amenities there lots of activities you can do at the hotel, Spa, swimming pool, Wifi with limited access, you can even play - Table Tennis, Badminton, Carrom, Children’s Play House, Horse Riding, Jungle Treks and Camp Fire Nights etc... 

5. Usha Ascot 
This resort has all the facilities that one could ask for they have a Restaurant which serves only PURE VEG meals.
Cuisine with all varieties ranging from Indian, Chinese, Continental food, a Swimming Pool , Conferences and Banquet hall, a Open Restaurant, Permit Room, Health Club with Steam room, Sauna, Jacuzzi, and Massage facility, Indoor recreatino like Table Tennis, Carrom, and Badminton in the outdoor and newly added AC Pool Parlour and Discotheque, In-house Laundry and bakery and a full capacity stand by Generator to avoid power failures etc. Every room has all the modern amenities like Color TV, Telephone, Running Hot & Cold water in bathrooms, well furnished interiors and a personal sit-out balcony.

6. Byke 

Is one of the most luxurious resort offering you enchanting cottages nestled amidst the green hills of this quaint hill station. Spread across an expansive 7 acres, The Byke Heritage, Bungalow is the first property to be built by the discoverer of Matheran Mr. Huge Malet, the then collector of Thane in 1854. This Resort is a Heritage property which stands majestically in all its pristine glory.

7.Lords Central Hotel  

Is one of the oldest heritage hotels. From one guestroom in a single bungalow, the hotel is now possessing 4 sprawling bungalows with 23 well-appointed guestrooms with a beautiful flowering garden. Then, there's a beautiful valley-view swimming pool, a badminton court, floor chess etc. Candlelight and hurricane lanterns have given way to modern electric conveniences with full generator back up. Thankfully, what your grandparents enjoyed all those years ago hasn't changed: the food, the atmosphere, the hospitality and the bonhomie you share with the host. The 4th generation Lords borrows directly from the old stock- chatting with you, showing you the interesting sights, sharing a drink or a meal with you or even a joke or two. All in all, it still feels like an inn than a hotel.

If you know a local contact you can also check for old heritage bungalows on rent if you are going in large groups.

Budget Stays in Matheran: 
This is one of the rooms from a local village lodge - Pramod Lodge Matheran located in Matheran Market
If you love trekking and you are not going to spend much time in your room, which i am sure you wont then you can even choose a very budget friendly cost effective stay in small lodges, which are located in the Matheran Village near the Matheran main market area.

Even the local village ladies can cook some decent home food the way you like, you just need to get them the veggies or meat from the market whatever you wish to eat , a simple dal rice, veggies, rotis, breads etc... morning breakfast and tea will be taken care by them.They won't allow you to use the kitchen so whatever you need you can tell them. 

Activities and Things to do in Matheran
Matheran Garden

Matheran is famous for its viewpoints. It has a total of 36 viewpoints from where you can enjoy amazing views of the Sahyadri mountain range, the most popular of them being Echo Point, Sunrise, Sunset point, Charlotte Lake, Alexander Louisa Point- Prabal Fort, Panorama Point, One Tree Hill Point, Heart Point, Monkey Point, Honeymoon Point , Rambagh Point, Porcupine Point and more. 

There are some points even located near Matheran market area like Khandala Point, Madhavji point inside the Matheran Navroji Lord Garden some points are at walking distance and some are really far. It's a good idea if you apply your sun protection lotion, carry a hat, bottle of water, proper trekking shoes and your backpack with important items. Make sure to put any food item inside your backpack and don't eat anything on the way, when you reach these points you will find some food , snacks and cold drink stalls there which are safe places to eat.
Matheran Points

Matheran Points

Echo point Matheran
Echo Point Matheran

Apart from Points there are some activities you can do , adventure sports, there are also Game stores, Horror and Mirror Houses , if you are staying in a resort they have many indoor activities and even some private parties in bungalows and fire camps arranged, you can even go horse riding and the best part about horse riding is reading all these unique funny names of horses - you will find a horse named facebook, twitter , instagram, Bombay etc... you can even go shopping in the local market , try out Akashganga observatory for star gazing, you can even explore and join trekking groups. 

So hope you enjoyed reading my blog, in this article i tried to cover most of the things about Matheran but purely from my perspective and what i could get from the locals, which will help you be more aware about the place , for amazing fun experience with family and friends. If you have recently visited the place and know any more facts about Matheran and would like to tell me about it and contribute to this page content.Then do feel free to write to me - Email - foodhist.journey@gmail.com , so that we can help other travelers.

If you would like to read some recent restaurant reviews or recipes then do check out these links, i will also be soon sharing my other travel and food experiences so do stay tuned for more.

Keep the positive vibes alive! 
Lots of Love 
Ambreen Shaikh aka 
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Have a Safe Journey 💖Happy Travelling 💖

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