The tiny hill station of Matheran is a far cry from the peace and serenity that its British founder Hugh Poyntz Malet yearned for. In the 1850s, Indian Civil Service Officer Malet was the Thane collector and while camping below in the village of Chowk, he climbed up the hill-top to explore the region finding it lush green with clean air and water springs, an ideal spot for a vacation. In love with the place, he frequented it with friends and family. Soon, the then Governor of Bombay, Lord Elphinstone, visited the place to make it as a site for his bungalow (still known as Elphinstone Lodge). The rest is history.
Today, over 160 years later, Matheran has lost much of its peace to commercialisation, but it retains some of its charm and character. It remains an eco-sensitive zone with no motorised vehicles, allowing only for horse rides, carts and cycle rickshaws. Though paver blocks have surfaced much of the red soil is intact, and it remains a quick getaway from fast-paced Mumbai. Read More