Fireflies: Lighting Up the Jungles of India
“The stars form a blanket akin to eternity…it wraps up in an embrace locked with blinding light!”
Imagining the thought above makes you wonder at the beauty of light amidst a dark endless expanse. If Nature surprises you, then it must be by way of throwing up a scape you least expect. In that case a trip to the firefly hubs of India could be the best deal.
A Firefly Tour — Seriously?
Fluorescent light bearers, these tiny bugs have had a powerful connotation across myth and fact – never failing to instil a sense of intrigue. How would you feel if you caught thousands simply buzzing by in the night sky while you find it hard to blink, lest you miss the dreamy scene?
Come hear the fireflies light up the jungles in these extraordinary places in India:
This tiny Maharashtra village is home to millions of fireflies, so much so that the organization Grassroutes has made a record, organizing tours for travellers willing to explore the sights of mating fireflies here, Well, this is the time when they mate in the kingdom of fireflies. The male fireflies attempt to attract the female it fancies by creating intriguing light patterns. What a way to woo the lady!right before the arrival of the monsoons. Located about 190 kilometres from the Mumbai Nasik highway, Purushwadi is a tribal village with no electricity at that! The package at Grassroutes has the Rajur petrol pump as the start-off point and includes a welcome lunch, accommodation, refreshments – and walks through jungles buzzing with the ‘light’ bug!
Grassroutes is also hots to the unique Firefly Festival – an annual hotsport of travel, hikes, jungles, interactions with the warm and welcoming village folk – and of course the fireflies. Catch the festival that is hosted every year from the last week of May to the first week of July roughly. You won’t regret it!
Kondana Caves, Karjat, Maharashtra
Karjat – one of the precious few hubs for fireflies in India – involves a trek that begins from Dadar in Mumbai. The fireflies here do not throng in zillions as in Purushwadi. This firefly tour is generally organised by Trek Mates India to Karjat—specifically Rajmachi. Around the famed Shrivardhan Fort and the Manoranjan fort is a firefly haven best seen to be believed.
Fly into Mumbai, Nasik or Pune and Dadar via road. You may chart out other routes via Kondivide or Lonavla.
The place is two hours from the famed Kaziranga region in Assam. While the Agnigarh Bioplantations is well known for offering organic tea, tourists are gradually realising that this place is also one of the firefly hubs in India. Thanks to the large firefly colonies around, you can simply breathe under specks of light at night time. This is all the more possible because of the plantation’s no-pesticide policy.
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The Farmstay Experience
You could snuggle into the comfy swelling of a local villager at these destinations or house up at the farm – a rejuvenating break from our jaded urban lives. Just remember though that heavy rains have a good chance of playing spoilsport to your camping plans. However, the mating season of the fireflies doesn’t wait for you to get your umbrella!
The Mating Season
The first two weeks in June brins out so many fireflies that tourists are ready to battle bugs and slush for a mere glimpse of these magical lands. Wonder why? Well, this is the time when they mate in the kingdom of fireflies. The male fireflies attempt to attract the female it fancies by creating intriguing light patterns. What a way to woo the lady!
Useful Tip: Remember to never flash torchlight at the trees or rocks – to take an innocent closer look at these flashing beetles! An artificial beam of light is confused by the bug for an alpha male bug with an all-sweeping light pattern. The males go all mad and rush off in a jiffy.
In case you are planning a trip to the firefly hubs in India, make sure you are ready to camp. No fancy hotels or inns here! You might even have to stay in humble huts or a camper’s tent with threadbare amenities. Amid the mud, challenges and toil of village life, for city dwellers these place offer a slice of heaven under the heavy night skies. Go get amazed!
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