Up the hills goes the merry little train…
We hear the whistle, see the flag, waving about in the feisty breeze.
Oft the thin tracks they swag, the train lets on a gentle wheeze.
Cheery birds of the hills they call, the mountain streams they gleam.
Steep stones stare – unsmiling all: but to everyone we beam.
On snaky rifts we thence stop, and watch the toy train crawl.
At Matheran station out we hop, our luggage then we haul.
What lies in the forests of Matheran?
In the land of horses, we stay, written in the Horseland book.
So horsey indeed is our way, as out we go to look.
We see the sun arise, and yawn: from his stony bed below.
orange robes he’s quick to adorn, and a bright golden glow.
Canopies green the trees host, dense is the forest around.
In a lurid house a white ghost, lurks without a sound.
Our horses gallop, their eyes grub, sharp rocks deter them not.
They stop to nibble: a stray shrub, and sigh as it gets too hot.
We return when darkness falls, the sun under his quilts.
A dinner hot at the resort calls, and sweet sleep she sits.
Back to the merry little train, that goes down the hills…
Chimps wake us up, their frolic loud: the market place alive.
Sandals stare: strappy and proud, here they seem to thrive.
Back in the train, tunnels go past, the morning is now noon.
We descend a curve: without ado, and decide it came too soon.
The city arrives, out we peep, the vehicles rise in number.
Matheran hides, in silence deep, unfazed, in eternal slumber.
* * *
How to go: Take a train to Neral from Pune station – a local train to Karjat (a 15 minutes ride) – and finally the toy train that takes you up to Matheran in two beautiful hours. You can always take a cab but you stand to miss the views then…
You can’t take a private vehicle for they aren’t allowed inside. Unless you have a personal horse of course.
Where to stay: Horseland Hotel and Spa – perfect location, nice rooms, good food. And comes reasonably priced too.
When to go: Anytime. (except the monsoons)