Watch Twinkling Stars Descend on Earth at the Fireflies Festival in Maharashtra
Tags: Best Places for Firefly Spotting near Pune and Mumbai, Bhandardhara Fireflies Festival, Ecotourism Experience in India, Family getaway, Fireflies Festival in Maharashtra, New Ways of Holidaying, Offbeat Weekend, Places to See Fireflies in Maharashtra, Rural Travel Experience, Weekend Getaways, Weekend Getaways around Mumbai
Right before the monsoon showers bathe the Western Ghats, the breeding season of the fireflies and glow worms that are found in this region results in the illumination of the landscape at night. Trekkers and tourists travel to Maharashtra at this time of the year to witness the swarms of twinkling fireflies near Pune. This year, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has decided to promote this event as the Bhandardhara Fireflies Festival, in an attempt to make this experience even more wonderful for the travelers.
Bhandardhara is an idyllic hill station in Maharashtra which is blessed with enthralling scenery throughout the year. However, if you visit this beautiful spot during the pre-monsoon season then you will get to witness a rare natural phenomenon. Fireflies, creatures that were quite commonly found in the villages of India a few decades ago, are extremely hard to come by in an urban environment. Fortunately, the climate of Bhandardhara is ideal for these fireflies to flourish and they sparkle due to their bio-luminescence when the darkness of the night falls over the Sahyadris. The mesmerising sight created by the stars that twinkle overhead and the insects that act as natural fairy lights is hard to describe in words, it needs to be experienced in person.
The Fireflies Festival or the Kajawa Mahotsav is an excellent opportunity to revel in the natural glory of the hills of Maharashtra and to escape your daily routine for a midnight adventure. Tourists set up camps on the hill slopes to enjoy the light show put up by the glow worms and the fireflies. What makes this experience even more surreal is the pristine breeze, the dense greenery, and the serene environment of Bhandardhara. Although the Fireflies Festival at Bhandardhara has gained the most popularity, there are several other locations in Maharashtra that offer a similar display of natural lights. Here are some of the other best places for firefly spotting near Pune and Mumbai.
Sandhan Valley: The Sandhan Valley is a popular name among the enthusiasts of rock climbing and trekking. What many do not know is that this valley surrounded by majestic forts and mighty cliffs is also a great spot to witness the dance of the fireflies. As the sun plunges into the horizon, the darkness is shattered by the glowing creatures that create a magical atmosphere.
Rajmachi: The forest patches of Rajmachi are yet another abode of the fireflies. Other places worth visiting in Rajmachi include the crystal clear lake, the local temple, and the Rajmachi Fort. It is a popular picnic spot among tourists but the secret to spotting the fireflies is to stay close to the vegetation.
Malshej Ghat: Malshej Ghat not only provides the perfect habitat for birds but is equally well loved by the fireflies. As the birds huddle in their nests for the night, head into the jungles to enjoy a painting created by bio-luminescence. It is recommended to take a guide along with you to traverse the forest terrain with ease.
Igatpuri: Igatpuri has a humid climate, and plenty of waterfalls, conditions that are favoured by fireflies. The population of these luminescent creatures is so large here that you might even spot them around your hotel. You can also head over to the Igatpuri Ghat to get a closer look at these magnificent insects.
Naneghat: Naneghat offers a chance to explore some ancient caves that are perfect camping sites for a night stay. Hike up to the top during the daytime and set up your camp near the trees to witness the twinkling display at close quarters. The caves and the fluttering lights create a mystical environment like no other.
Bhorgiri & Bhimashankar: Bhorgiri the village is an undiscovered mythical land in the North Western Ghats and blessed with the most scenic locales being in the Sahyadris. Bhorgiri & the adjoining Bhimashakar wildlife sanctuary house a marvel of nature that is right out of Pandora’s Box is a perfect ambiance created by the synchronous twinkling of millions of fireflies.
The firefly spotting destinations around Pune and Mumbai are a mix of rustic rural places as well as famous picnic spots but the secret to spotting the fireflies is to stay close to the vegetation. You can experience the ballet of the fireflies at night while staying on a serene Farmstay adoring the wonders of nature in these twinkling beauties. These farmstays are best places to stay around Bhimashankar and Bhandardara which offers a unique blend of enjoying the natural beauty along with the rustic village life.
The Firefly Festival, Maharashtra is one event that no nature lover should miss. It is an excellent way to spend the weekend, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This offbeat getaway can be enjoyed by the entire family and is also a great way to inculcate an appreciation for nature in children. If you are tired of the run of the mill outings and picnics then head over to the hills this weekend to surround yourself with the most beautiful lights created by nature.