Matheran the smallest hill station in India located approximately 110 km’s from Mumbai. Its actual
meaning is a place topped by jungle.
If you are travelling from Mumbai the best option would be taking a Central Railway train from CST
Station or Dadar Station to Neral. The travel time by train from Dadar to Neral is 1 hour 24 mins.
Local Trains frequency to Neral is a bit of an issue, as there is usually 1 train or at times maximum 2
trains in an hour.
Local Train Fare is Rs 20 from Dadar to Neral.
If you don’t want to be at a mercy of Mumbai Locals, you can book your ticket in advance in the Deccan
Express Train which leaves CST at approx. 7am and reaches Dadar 7:13 am, This would drop you at Neral
at 8:28 am.
Once you get down at Neral, you would find huge queue, don’t worry these are people who are trying to
get tickets for Toy Train. One person is allowed to buy only 4 tickets. The tickets sales for the Toy Train
to Matheran usually starts 45 minutes before departure and more often you will find that the tickets are
sold out as this train accommodate only 110 passengers. Toy Train takes 2 hours to cover 21 km’s. I
found the Central railway employees very helpful as they gave they gave me quick update about Tout’s
and some important info in dealing with certain people around. There are also regular announcements
made on Ticket the availability and Train departure update.
Unfortunately, if you don’t get the toy train tickets and would like to reach Matheran early, Take a right
after you come out of Neral Station, from there you can take a cab to Dasturi Naka.
The charge per seat in this cab is Rs 70/-, they usually have 5 people in this cab and it is a Maruti Omni
or Eeco. The journey might not be comfortable or memorable. However it will help you to reach Dasturi
Naka within 20 to 25 minutes which is 2.5 km’s from the Matheran Station.
You can only take your car till Dasturi Naka, after this point cars are banned, since this is an eco-sensitive
Once you enter Dasturi Naka, you would have to pay a Capitation Tax of Rs 50/- per adult.