Matheran: Bombay’s Paradise Found
Like so many magical places on this earth, Mumbai’s most-loved hill station became one purely by serendipity. Just 50 km from the heat and chaos of the big city, Matheran has been offering a sweet respite to weekenders and day-trippers, all because a British officer decided to stretch his legs and take an evening stroll 170 years ago.
The officer, Hugh P Malet, Collector of Thane, was on his way back from Pune to Thane on a sultry day in May 1850. He was camping in a bungalow at Chauk, not far from the base of the Matheran hill, in the Sahyadri range in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. Malet decided to take a walk up the hill. Halfway up, he was overcome by the unspoiled beauty of Matheran and the jaw-dropping vistas it offered, and thought it worthy of further exploration.