Once Upon A Time In Matheran | Office Trip
Yeah! You heard it right, Once upon a time in Matheran. An unforgettable office trip that was loaded with entertainment, thrill, and fun. We didn’t have any Sultan Mirza in our team but the time when we reached the Matheran, we found multiple. Here, we are reciting the story of our office trip to Matheran.
Hitting targets, deadlines, and business meetings is a part of any corporate team but, it needs a break. At Acquaint Softtech, our team members eagerly wanted a short break from keyboards, coding, and workload. Our cool management team has a bag of tricks, and this time they came up with an office trip to Matheran.
It’s quite common to be bored from daily life and feel down. Like any human being, our team also has the wanderlust to travel to a natural destination - a place where we can feel our soul, that is far away from city life, and moreover a place that charged us from the inner side.
Do we simply wish to time travel to a tranquil world? We don’t have a time machine. However, we are lucky to have Matheran, India’s lowest Hill station situated 800m above sea level in the Western Ghats in the Indian territory of Maharashtra (90 km from Mumbai).
Friday Morning At Work: We had whispering all day about what to carry, Googling the top 10 places to travel in Matheran, and above all checking the current temperature of Matheran for making the best out of it. Everybody shorted their workloads and left to pack early Friday. (We doubt anybody worked that day!)
OUR CHRONOLOGY: EAT. TRAVEL. FUN. RELAX. REPEAT.
24 January, The day when our journey started from Ahmedabad to Matheran. After, yummy dinner at our office, we laid down our bags and loaded on the bus with our belongings. As the wheels began to spin, it was almost 11 PM an hour late from the given schedule. There was nothing to call seat arrangement in the bus because nobody was in the mood to sleep that night.
Our journey started at 11 PM at night with a woo-oo sound, everybody started pulling each other's legs. Few were busy with their phone, few playing cards, and few lost in thought. The night was still young so were we. We declined to play Antakshari because playing Antakshari is quite obvious on any trip, and we decided to do everything unexpected. Later on, We started late-night intellectual talks on politics, web series, cricket, and horror stories.
The journey becomes more fruitful while you’re traveling with your best mates. Similar to our story, we enjoyed the whole night bus journey with our buddies, cracked PJs, danced, sang, played, and lots more. Slightly, everyone was rubbing their eyes, yawning loudly, which means we needed a tight nap to charge ourselves to enjoy the trip.
Unexpected Birthday Prank At Mumbai Morning
Good Morning Mumbai… In the morning, we reached Mumbai and had a much-needed breakfast at McDonald’s. Matheran is just 90 Km away from Mumbai so we were not in a hurry. While we all were busy with our breakfast, Mukesh Ram, founder of Acquaint, announced, “Hey guys, it is a very special day for all of us. Today is Bhupat’s birthday so wish him and make this day more memorable.”
Everybody started wishing Happy Birthday to Bhupat, and he replied politely with a thank you speech. We danced, enjoyed, and sang birthday songs, but suddenly Mukesh & Bhupat laughed out loud. We had no clue about what was going on. We were confused totally, so finally, they confessed that it was nothing more than a prank. Whoa! Totally unexpected. Everyone was thinking that if our first stop was this fun, then how about the whole journey will.
Phew! Finally, We Reached Matheran Hill Station
The time was right, and the weather was blessed. We were in awe stunning moment. We reached right on time at Neral. And started our journey to the climb top at the Hill… We booked local cabs to reach our destination. The short journey from Neral to Matheran was just adorable, nobody wanted to stop that ride but we had to. Phew! Finally, we reached Matheran.
The first and foremost shocking thing - we came to know that Matheran is Asia’s only automobile-free Hill station. The pollution-free condition as no engine vehicle is allowed inside the town. So, our local cab driver dropped us off at Dasturi Naka. After this point, no vehicles are permitted. You need to take man-pulled rickshaws or horses to get into the Matheran town (a toy train is the only vehicle allowed inside the town).
So, we took our bags, rolled up our sleeves, and started walking towards our resort. We decided to simply stroll through the beautiful woods. It took 30 minutes to arrive at the town from Dasturi Naka. To be honest, it is not a cakewalk, but we enjoyed it very much.
Misty Matheran Resort: Our New Home At Matheran
At last, we reached the beautiful resort at Matheran. Thanks to our managers who pre-booked that paradise – Misty Matheran Resort. We checked in our rooms, pulled over the luggage from our shoulders, jumped on the bed, and relaxed for a while. Woo! What a relaxation that was.
Right after 1 hour, our management team announced a dinner party inside the resort. We took a refreshing bath and collected for a group dinner. After the dinner, the DJ started buzzing around, and we all were invited to the dance floor. After some casual insistence, one by one, each one of us was shaking their body with their own style of dance. We did the Garba, free-style, Shaka-Laka, and above all Nagin Dance. (that was hilarious indeed!)
Everybody was in motion, and the word "enjoyment" cannot describe what we had that night. It was more than that. After a restless and breathless dancing performance, everyone was feeling dead on their feet. So we decided to sleep tight with our pillows. Few from our team wanted to night out in Matheran, so a small group (dreamer) went to market, a night walk, and chill out in the nightlife of Matheran. A few hours counted as wee hours of memorable things that went bump in the night.
Magnificent! The Sun Shine Like Magical Vibes That Morning
Usually, we wake up late at the weekend (or fall asleep throughout the weekend). But that day, we got up pretty early in the morning to make the best out of our Matheran trip. Our super active CTO - Alpesh Nakrani - knocked into each room and insisted everyone for a hike early in the morning.
Few of us said yes, and few wanted to sleep more. Thus, they refused a million-dollar deal. So unconditionally, we were divided into two groups, Inertia Dreamer (A group that declined to wake up) and Nomad Wanderer (A group that decided to travel). So we started our journey with our group leader Alpesh Sir.
Ohh! We had forgotten to mention, that day was special for our entire nation. It was 26 January, Republic Day of India… We were wishing each other with a proud chanting of "How’s The Josh". With a lot of excitement, we started our morning with snacks and Chai. (Yes! we are Chai lovers) There is approx. 30+ tourist points in Matheran. So it is tough to travel all in a day.
First, we visited Madhavji Point, Khandala Point, and Alexander Point. All of them are close to the main market. The sunshine was trying to kiss our souls, and we were obliged to observe nature closely. It was like someone free to fly, and we wanted to stay there for a while. At Alexander Point, it has some street food stalls that cater to fresh juice, soda, and Matheran special fruit slices to munch your hunger.
Hiking And Trekking In The Beautiful Forest of Matheran
For a while, we walked through the normal road. But later on, we refused to walk on tidy roads and chose to hike on the unparalleled hills. One of the best decisions after coming on an office trip to Matheran. This hill station is famous for hiking and trekking. Thus, we promised ourselves to make the best out of it. We were following our group leader to stay united in the breathtaking forest.
Our chronology was simple: Eat, Travel, Fun, Relax, Repeat, and most importantly, we always stuck to it. Our amateur photographers started to click every scene. Few were taking selfies with pout faces. Most of us were experimenting with different angles and photo effects to capture a variety of pictures. Few vloggers in our group were capturing every point with details.
After taking countless selfies and groupies, we started our hiking experience again. That experience gave us goosebumps imagining how enchanting the ride would be then. The forest was sampling the soothing sound. It was like meditation for us. Yesss! We stumbled multiple times, even a few curious got injured, but we stood every time. Above all, we enjoyed it a lot. That hiking experience was a life-long learning experience for all of us.
After walking, trekking, hiking, and talking with our team for a couple of hours, we reached a majestic location, one of the best travel points at Matheran: Charlotte Lake. Although the walk was a bit tiring and we were feeling thirsty, the astonishing view and cold breeze took away all the debility. Our group spent an awesome hour of mindfulness hearing nothing but the soothing sound of air and water crafting a parody, and we were enjoying all of this dramatic scene.
We were lost in the thoughts because the lake view left us rejuvenated like a rendering soul. It’s hard to explain the WOW moments we cherished together. Everyone felt like they belonged to that place. Therefore, we wanted to collect memories so captured every moment in our camera. The Charlotte Lake is a center of several points such as Louisa Points, Echo Points, Prabal Fort, Irshalgad Fort, Vikatgad Peb Fort, King George PT, Lord Point, and Pisharnath Temple.
We visited most places that could be reachable by our team. The best thing about every point is that it was natural, clean, and rarely crowded. After spending the best time of our lives with our colleagues, now we eagerly wanted to eat something. So we went back to the resort from the horses, like a king coming from the battleground, and eaten tightly. The lunch was too delicious, but we forgot to praise the cooking hand because everybody was busy filling their stomachs.
It was almost 12 PM, and the second group Inertia Dreamer was ready to start their journey. They already visited the marketplace while the first group was hiking in Matheran. So it’s time to go vice-versa for both the team. The first team went to visit the market, and the other one went for the Matheran point visit. Team Acquaint has so much in common that both teams refused to walk on the normal road. But, the only difference was that the second team chose horse-riding.
The second team visited the most popular places of Matheran such as Panorama PT, One Tree Point, Hart Point, Honeymoon PT, Malang PT, Little Chowk Point, Olympia, Mount Barry, Belvedere Point, and Porcupine Point. Like every Hill-station, there are two sun-related points, Panorama PT – Sun Rise, Porcupine Point Sun Set. As mentioned earlier, there are approximately 30+ visiting points in Matheran. Our team almost visited every point until the SunSet at Porcupine point.
The market also had so much to showcase, it brought the culture and tradition of Maharashtra. We bought Matheran special chikki fudge from one of the famous chikki shops Nariman Chikki Mart. Apart from the eatery, we came to know that many other shops labeled Matheran Special such as local Juti vendors shops, handmade bags shops, and plenty of mixed ones. We were very caring too much because we bought some chikki for those team members who had not come with us on the trip.
After mapping every possible route with the team, now we were all dead tired. So we returned to our resort and rested for a while. The second group also joined the resort. Everyone recited their own roaming experience with a sip of coffee, tea, and snacks.
It’s Hard To Say GoodBye But We Have To…
Nobody wanted to stop this trip, but it’s a part of the schedule. Thus, we had to say goodbye to beautiful Matheran. One thing we were all mesmerized about was the greenery and peace of this hill station. With a double face and refreshment in our mind, finally, we said goodbye to Matheran. We took horses to reach Dasturi Naka, and later on, again we booked public transport local cabs to go to Neral. Our bus was ready to pick us. We all were barely able to keep our eyes open. So we took our seats and slept until our next stop.
It all looked like a blockbuster movie. And unfortunately, we came closer to the climax of our movie, “Once Upon A Time In Matheran”. Ohh! How can we forget to tell the famous dialogues of our movie: -
Tu Mera Bhai He…
Bacha Le Re Deva Bacha Le…
How’s The Josh! Guys…
Bhokal Macha Denge…
Deewaar Pot Denge Aur Likh Denge Krantiveer
You might be wondering...
Who said all these dialogues?… Leave it. That is another story!
“Office trips are for refreshment and team building. This tour had ample time to make a strong bond in our team, and we did it. We lost together, laughed together, and above all, we learned together… It’s been a memorable time with my best mates, and I know everyone felt the same.”
– Mukesh Ram, CEO & Founder, Acquaint Softtech
Nostalgia For Our Remarkable Office Trip
Around 11 PM, everyone was feeling hungry. Thus we decided to stop at a roadside Dhaba. We ate food, but we were still lost in the Matheran. Therefore, our team continuously talked about the best experiences. We remain nostalgic about the Matheran trip. We were all mesmerized with good memories of the tour. At Acquaint Softtech, our team always believes in work-life balance. Therefore, we are always ready to roam, but this tour brought a completely different feeling.
Finally, the last bus ride of our trip rolled out to set back home. Everyone knew that tomorrow we all have to start our daily routine and attend the office. But we were not dull anymore. The Matheran office trip boosted up the whole team and elevated our creativity to the next level. Working at Acquaint is like staying with the family. Our cool team members always make the office environment super-duper cool, and fun-loving.
Want to know more? Check out our life at Acquaint Softtech.