When the city feels too crowded, the air too dusty and the surroundings feel the same, turn your eyes to the lush sweeps of the Western Ghats. Green, glorious and crowned with a thick coronet of clouds. Where rain gently patters and waterfalls twist and slip down. Where every shade of green is a revelation and delight.
It is this glory and green that many city-dwellers seek when they travel to the tiny hill station known as Matheran. In a small spot of the earth, where cars and other motorised vehicles are banned, the sky, water and air are free from pollutants. In this tiny town, where quiet takes precedence over a city’s busy rhythms, your mind is free to wander.
With over 28 look-out viewpoints, forests, streams, waterfalls and more, Matheran is a beauty to behold - all made possible thanks to the glorious weather. The rain, clouds, wind and sun play integral roles in helping Matheran show off its best features. Each season brings a different side of Matheran alive. So, if you’re wondering what is the best time to visit Matheran, let your decisions be swayed by the seasons.
To help you make that decision, we’ve put together a handy guide to Matheran climate, weather and seasons.
So, take a look, turn your calendar and choose your dates for your next Matheran trip!
Peak Seasons: Winter and Summer
Off Season: Monsoons
Temperature: Matheran experiences an average of 34 degrees high to 18 degrees low during winter.
Weather: Although the average temperatures of winter are quite friendly, the temperatures can drop precipitously to 10 degrees Celsius. Matheran during winter, involves days that are gently heated by the winter sun, and nights that are chilly and cold. The hill station is completely revived by the heavy wash of the monsoon, and both the skies and the ground will compete for your attention.
Significance: Winter brings many treats for travellers. Step out into the misty hills and let the cool breeze dance around you. This is the season for long walks and quiet contemplation. Go hiking and trekking around the hill station and rediscover the meaning of the word verdant. Follow the trail of a burbling stream, the silky stream of a waterfall flow through your fingers. Go camping under the stars. Snuggle in a blanket. Lie back and watch the icy stars illuminate a winter’s night.
Why you should visit now: Matheran draws many visitors from neighbouring cities and towns during this season – and with good reason. The rainfall transforms the hill station, and this season allows you to enjoy the fruits of the monsoon. Many believe that this is the best climate to visit Matheran. Moreover, the months that bookend the winter – October in the beginning and January towards the end – are sparse tourist seasons for Matheran, which means you’ll have the luxury of this quaint little hill station to yourself.
Things to know before you visit: Winter is the best time to spot the wildlife in Matheran – particularly the different types of monkeys in the area.
Tips: If you’re on a tighter budget or are looking for a bit of peace and quiet, October and January are the quietest and least busy months of this season. You might find great deals on hotels during these months in winter.
Temperature: Matheran experiences an average of 33 degrees high to 24 degrees low during monsoon.
Weather: On average, Matheran receives around 150 inches of rainfall annually - a bulk of which is reserved for the monsoon season. Thick heavy clouds let loose a million raindrops, soaking the place in heavy showers. Waterfalls and small lakes and streams are swollen and full and every ounce of summer dust is washed off to reveal Matheran’s natural beauty. The air is light and cool, and lacks the heavy humidity.
Significance: Matheran is breathtaking during the monsoon. However, there aren’t too many people around to experience this natural glory. And with good reason. A heavy curtain of rain can dissuade the most ardent and experienced trekker and the view is usually shrouded by clouds and mist. However, if you were looking for a quiet little corner to tuck yourself into, this is it.
Why you should visit now: First, the spectacular beauty on display. If all you see are buildings and skyrises, the thick grey clouds and green hills make for a nice change. Secondly, some forests are still open for exploring and if you’re searching for waterfalls, you’ll come across plenty of them during the monsoon season. You can also enjoy the Ganesh festival in Matheran, as this festival is revered by Maharashtrians across the state. Nature lovers, poets, artists will find new inspiration this season.
Things you should know: You’ll be exploring Matheran on foot (as motorised vehicles are banned in this hill station), so it is important to tread carefully to avoid any accidents. Also, if you’re a photography enthusiast, Matheran will provide all the beauty you need. Just make sure you waterproof any equipment you have.
Tips: Invest in a good raincoat, umbrella and windcheater if you’re planning to visit Matheran in the monsoon. Make sure you buy a sturdy pair of boots, with a good grip, in case you decide to go walking in this weather.
Temperature: Matheran experiences an average of 34 degrees high to 22 degrees low during summer.
Weather: While other cities heat up when the summer comes around, Matheran is slowly warmed, making summer pleasant and warm. There are days where the temperatures soar over 35°C. Thanks to the general steadiness of the temperature, you can indulge in a variety of activities without breaking a sweat or feeling too drained.
Significance: Winter and monsoon, though beautiful in their own way, usually cover Matheran in mist and rain. Summer clears everything from the air, opening Matheran to inquisitive eyes. Matheran during summer is the perfect time to visit iconic areas in the hill station, like Louisa Point, Charlotte Lake, Prabal Fort, One Tree Hill Point, Alexander Point, Irshalgad Fort and more. You can trek, hike and even zipline to your heart’s content during this season. Take a ride on the toy train, go horse riding (it’s one of the main modes of transport in Matheran), rappel down the Dodhani waterfall and explore the surrounding hills during this season – Matheran will keep you and your loved ones busy.
Why you should visit now: This is cycling season in Matheran, so grab a bike and explore the different trails in the surrounding areas. The morning and evenings are enhanced by spectacular sunrises and sunsets. If you’re in Matheran during the summer, you can enjoy the Matheran Mahotsav – a mega festival spread over 5 days. Enjoy performances by local artists as they put on a variety of cultural shows that showcase Matheran’s wide talent pool.
Things you should know: Matheran can get a bit dusty during summer, so make sure you bring a pair of boots in case you decide to go exploring.
Tips: Summer is a popular season in Matheran, with tourists from Mumbai and Pune retreating to the hills to avoid the heat. Make sure you book your hotel and transport in advance as prices will rise during the season.
As you’ve seen, it becomes difficult to answer what is best time to visit Matheran, as each season comes with its own merits. It all depends on what you want to do and what you want to see. If this has whetted your appetite for a trip to Matheran, then visit our Holiday Packages page to book your trip to the hills.