Monsoon has started to set-in in the southern part of India and it is one of the best seasons for the nature-lovers, trek-enthusiasts and road trippers. The pre-monsoon showers, sky, clouds are dramatic and extremely photogenic. Today’s post is about the magic of nature, the show of lights, the game of mating, the biological marvels. I am talking about the luminescent wonders – The Fireflies.
Did you know? Fireflies have dedicated light organs under the abdomen.
This post is the combined experience of our three time visits, first in 2013, to experience the natural wonders. Pitch dark and a small light hovering around us near our houseboat during the Kerala trip. So fascinating. I was amazed as in how can something like this exist? and that was my first visual memory of Fireflies.
Did you know? Some fireflies species blink on and off in sync!
Pre-monsoon or post first showers of monsoon you can experience these little critters spreading light of love in the dark nights of the forests. You can see them in any dense forest but it can be risky sometimes.
Where to see::
There are several popular destinations as well where you can see the fireflies….
All these destinations are well connected from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik.
When to go:: After the first few showers of Monsoon i.e first couple of weeks in June.
Some of these destinations have camping options as well. If you are well equipped and in group with professional guides, watching the fireflies on a starry night is a lifetime experience. But it is the game of fortune. Sometimes you are lucky enough and sometimes there is next time!
Did you know? Fireflies are beetles and put on the light show to seduce prospective mates.
After I saw the first firefly in Kerala in 2007; in 2013, I read in a newspaper about a place called Bhorgiri where fireflies can be seen. Memories recalled and we immediately planned a spontaneous trip without much research and honestly no one knew about this place. One reason to zero down on Bhorgiri was its proximity from Pune. With no deep knowledge and prior experience of ‘fireflies watching’, we still planned it anyway.
Bhorgiri is around 97 kms from Pune but it takes around 3 hours because of the bad road condition.
One Saturday, marked Bhorgiri on maps and accordingly, we started at around 3 pm. It was slightly drizzling and the best time to drive. We carried water and some snacks in anticipation to have dinner at some restaurant when we would reach at 6 pm. It was long, tiring but a fun drive. Because of the peak traffic hours, photographs on the way, we took longer to reach.
At around 7, we reached the village and to our surprise there was no one with whom we could ask for any information! We were clueless as in where to go ahead, where we can see the fireflies. We could see some of the rustic houses with only a couple of lights on.
We were starving as on the way we could not find any food joint. Hesitatingly, we reached out to a house and asked if they could serve anything. First they politely refused but then agreed and asked for half an hour to ready the food. Until then we had a little conversation about the fireflies habitat, location and timing. We also strolled around the house and we could see a few fireflies in the bushes. What a view!
Our food was ready and blessed to have the basic village food – Pithala-Bhakri and Rice. Nothing can beat the satisfaction of eating such delicious rural food! We paid for the food and asked them for the directions to the trek. We could see another family come, park and go into the forest. Initially, we were hesitating but “there was nothing to worry about but do not go deep into the forest”, said the locals.
We sauntered in the pitch dark jungle with our flashlights on. Some of the bushes started getting lit. It was 8 PM and slowly and gradually we could see the lights twinkle on one tree then another and then the whole forest got lit. I could not believe my eyes! It was like a magic show, just out of the fairy world. We stood in the middle and all the trees around us were twinkling. It felt like we were sitting under the star-studded sky. I could feel the universe. Can’t forget that experience ever!
The fireflies show gets intense as the night sets in. As usual we didn’t want to leave but had to so at around 10 PM we trudged back to our car. I looked back and snapped the landscape in my eyes for a lifetime. This was my experience from the first visit but in the other two visits, the show was not as intense then because of the weather conditions. We managed to click some skyscapes though.
Here are a few things which you need to carry if you are planning a trip to Bhorgiri….
- Food and Water. Refrain from plastic use.
- Extra pair of clothes.
- Camera and extra batteries.
- Mosquito repellent cream
- First-Aid Kit
- Energy drinks
Always try to stay in the groups. Connect with some locals for a better experience.
I hope you liked this monsoon getaway experience. Please stay connected and I love to read from you people. It brings a smile on my face!