Pre-monsoon beauty: Ready to watch fireflies shimmer at night? - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Pre-monsoon beauty: Ready to watch fireflies shimmer at night?

By Ismat Tahseen
May 29, 2024 05:42 PM IST

Before the rains arrive, head out on trails in Maharashtra to catch this beautiful spectacle.

Each year, before the monsoon makes its way into big cities, many enthusiasts grab their backpacks and head out into the outskirts and smaller villages to catch a shimmery spectacle that doesn’t last forever. We’re talking of pretty fireflies or lightning bugs that light up the night in green places around Maharashtra. It’s said that the most beautiful things are short-lived and that is the case here as the time for viewing these little insects is only between May-end to early June.

Before the advent of the rains, groups of people head out into smaller villages and other spots to view millions of fireflies lighting up the night (Shutterstock)
Before the advent of the rains, groups of people head out into smaller villages and other spots to view millions of fireflies lighting up the night (Shutterstock)

What the lure is about

The stunning bioluminescent phenomenon is about millions of fireflies that shine bright in large groups around trees and in thick patches and they twinkle during their mating season.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

The glow of the fireflies is beautiful as they turn the surroundings into a visual spectacle(Shutterstock)
The glow of the fireflies is beautiful as they turn the surroundings into a visual spectacle(Shutterstock)


For those who have been there, seen that, it’s simply unforgettable. Nikhil Bagul, avid photographer, who’s been capturing the sight since 2016, says, “Post sunset, the surroundings turn magical because of the fireflies. You’ll see them around trees and the glow is beautiful. I’ve been taking pictures of them for the last eight years at Bhandardara and Tamhini Ghat and over time, more people are coming here to see them.” 

Fireflies adding beauty to the night at Tamhini Ghat (Nikhil Bagul)
Fireflies adding beauty to the night at Tamhini Ghat (Nikhil Bagul)
Use a tripod to take pictures of the fireflies, do not use a flash (Nikihil Bagul)
Use a tripod to take pictures of the fireflies, do not use a flash (Nikihil Bagul)


He adds, “What people must remember is not to use a flash or any other light while taking pictures. Because of the artificial light, the fireflies can’t use their natural light to attract females, which may also be causing the decline of this species. To capture fireflies, you can use DSLR as well as a mobile phone with a tripod for stability.”

 

Bonfires, music nights and a few rustic experiences add to the fun

Watching fireflies has become so popular over the last few years, that tour planners are now adding other activities to this. And camps have chalked up the fun with bonfires, storytelling and more.
 

A group making its way into the forest for the fireflies trail (Grassroutes)
A group making its way into the forest for the fireflies trail (Grassroutes)

Says Inir Pinheiro, director of a community-based rural tourism service that takes groups to Purushwadi, “Nine years ago, we had just 30-40 people signing up to watch fireflies and now that has grown to 90-100 people per night over the three-week period.” He adds, “Now, people don’t just view fireflies, but also get a very rustic, rural experience alongside partaking in a village activity like staying with a local family, taking up farming, playing traditional village games or even taking a dip in the river. In the evenings, after preparing and eating local food, it’s time to do a small uphill trek to view the fireflies.”
 

A guitarist adds fun to the night during the camp (Looneytunes Adventure)
A guitarist adds fun to the night during the camp (Looneytunes Adventure)

Jigar Mandvia, Mumbai resident, plans to take a group to Bhandardara for a fireflies’ lakeside camp. He adds, “We will go into the forest at 7.30pm and leave by 10pm as that is the rule. Once back, there will a few ice-breaking games as fireflies trails are also a great way to bond, with a guitarist act and some jamming.”


Advice: Be on time

Sarfaraz Baghdadi, founder of another treks and trails group, has some advice, “It’s easier to embark on a fireflies’ trail in a group rather than go solo as groups offer amenities like food and shelter."

Fireflies camp at Rajmachi(Treks and Trails)
Fireflies camp at Rajmachi(Treks and Trails)


He goes on to say, "Over the last few years, Bhandardara Lake, Prabalmachi, Pawna and Rajmachi have become popular for Mumbaikars, while Pune folks prefer campsites around Panshet Dam and Malshej Ghat, where if you park near the highway, you can easily see fireflies. A short drive away, Khireshwar village is another hot spot for viewing fireflies.”

He adds, “Just ensure punctuality as many places are in forest areas, so you need to enter here on time. Also, in case there are pre-monsoon showers, it can get slushy like in Rajmachi, unlike Bhandardara, (which is a tar road), so my advice is to make this trip before June 8.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, June 14, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On