By the Grace of God it is the curiosity & gigantic efforts of the duo, father & son i.e. Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy & Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy, that Matheran, the tiniest Hill station of the world has seen the light of the day. Although the discovery of this Hill Station is by Mr. Malett, the then collector of Colaba (now Raigad) Yet the credit of putting it on the world map goes to the Peerbhoys.
Matheran Light Railway, which was an impossible task, centuries ago,as there was no aerial survey & proper communication system, this gigantic feat was completed in 7 years to the tune of Rs.16 Lakhs, when Gold was Rs.18/- a tola (10 grams), which is still one of its kind in the history of surface transport i.e. Railways. For this unbelievable amazing task the then British Govt. was overwhelmed & honored Mr.Adamjee Peerbhoy with the title of Knighthood & henceforth he was called SIR ADAMJEE PEERBHOY. His son Hon’ble Mr. Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy who took the initiative of this gigantic task with the permission of his father Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy, undertook a journey to Germany & bought 4 Engines from the company “Orenstein & Koppel”.
These engines served Indian Railways for 75 long years & were retired in the year 1982.
It is a little known fact, that, in order to develop Matheren, Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy’s second son Mr. Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy constructed 105 bungalows in Matheran, of which “The Way Side Inn” which is owned by Shri Hussain Adamjee Peerbhoy (the Scion of Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy) was originally owned by Mr. Abdul Hussein Adamjee Peerbhoy & the “Green Hill Resort” is also an ancestral property which is converted into a resort by Hussain Adamjee Peerbhoy.
Not to forget the pride of Matheran is the Toy Train (Matheran Light Railway), the unique initiative of the Peerbhoys. So much so, that even till date, the train halts at “Aman Lodge” Railway Station & whistles thrice as a mark of respect to the great soul. Just above the Aman Lodge Station, is the bungalow of Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy known as “Chalet” which has exemplary architecture value on the table land. The Station “Aman Lodge” is named after Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy’s late wife Amina.
On the completion of Century year i.e 2007 of Matheran Light Railway, the Ministry of Indian Railways honoured the descendants of Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy for such an invaluable service to the nation with a miniature momentous of Matheran Light Railway. The Philatic Society also issued a first day special cover & stamp to grace the occasion.
Lastly in the memory of Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy, his great grandson has started a free English school known as “ SIR ADAMJEE PEERBHOY ENGLISH SCHOOL” in the footsteps of Matheran for the villagers of Damat & Bhadwal.
Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy was the First Indian Sheriff Of Bombay. To know more about this philanthropic person , please log on to www.siradamjeepeerbhoy.com
While at Matheran please visit “The WaySide Inn” to see the exhibition of the historical photographs of Matheran Light Railway & the life sketch of its pioneers.