Bhandardara Fireflies Festival

Imagine yourself passing through a dense forest in the middle of a quiet, dark new moon night. Apart from the rev of the vehicle engine, only thing you can hear is the chirping and the buzzing of the insects in the night. And from the woods, around the trees, you observe a glitter, which leaves you spell bound and make you think about the magical world we live in.

Lampyridae is the scientific name for family of winged beetles, which are commonly known as fireflies, are the lovely creatures which use bioluminescence to attract their mates. When 1000s and 1000s of fireflies, or ‘jugnus’ as referred to in Hindi, hover around your head in search of their mates, emitting glittering light, it creates a mystical and beautiful phenomenon, one which remains in your mind for the rest of your lives.

The fireflies are found in large quantities in and around the forests surrounding the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. Year on year, it draws large number of tourists and adventure enthusiasts from all around the country to witness this limited edition spectacle. Rajmachi, Purushwadi, Prabalmachi, Malshej and Bhandardara are the famous locations where firefly sighting is the highest in the months prior to the onset of the monsoon.

As the night sky took charge and the mercury dipped, all the eyes were now fixed on the windows as the bus took the serpentine turns up the hill towards the firefly sighting point. A thrilling experience in itself, roaming out in the pitch dark night, using only the sense of your judgment for the next step you take, out on trees, you see 100s and 1000s of fireflies, glowing and glittering at specific intervals as if they are practicing a routine in excellent synchronization.

After 3 dozen clicks and mud slain shoes, as we looked around the woods where we had set up the camera, we were left mesmerized and spell bound by the harmless little glowing insects, merry-making all around us. All that glitters is not gold, but this glitter definitely brings a smile to your face, sanity to mind and peace to heart.

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