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Maharashtra’s Most Famous Fireflies Treks

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Glow-worms love water and they live near or in places that get a lot of rain or have moist, marshy areas with water bodies present close by. Be it spending a romantic evening, or delighting in seeing your kids’ faces light up in joy and fascination, you are sure to get thrilled seeing thousands of fireflies’ flicker across the forest creating an amazing display of lights.

Firefly-spotting is a popular activity among nature lovers in Maharashtra and the insects can be spotted in flocks across several hilly and forested ranges in the outskirts of the Mumbai or Pune. A few travel and adventure groups conduct firefly camping, festivals and treks just before the monsoon to witness the open air “light shows” by the fireflies. There are some places in Maharashtra where you can enjoy this spectacle that will give you sheer joy this monsoon.

Rajmachi Fort

One of the most historic forts and popular spots to witness the beauty of fireflies, Rajmachi is located in the rugged hills of Sahyadri Mountains. So, if you want to witness the gorgeous fireflies twinkling in the dark, then an adventurous trek up to the Rajmachi Fort in Maharashtra is a great option. Perfect for a long weekend, this trek has a very scenic trail where you pass through silvery waterfalls, streams, lush green forests and meadows. Once you reach the summit of this trek, an old fort with a spectacular view awaits you. Leave behind the city chaos and lose yourself to the mountains by spending some fun time with the glowing fireflies.

How to reach:

  • From Mumbai – 5.5 h (314 km) via Bengaluru – Mumbai Highway – Pune Highway and AH47
  • From Pune – 3 h (171 km) via AH47
  • Road route – Head towards Panvel > Expressway > Lonavala > Nandgaon > Fanasrai > Valvand > Udhewadi
  • Lonavala is the nearest railway station

    Rajmachi Fort
    Source: Keen Venturers

Bhandardara Trek

Easily accessible through roadways, Bhandardara is a hill station nestled in the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra where one can witness lush greenery, waterfalls and high mountains. Sitting by the Pravara river, the untouched area hosts a perfect harmony between the elements of nature away from the hustle bustle of city life. The best place to view fireflies is from the top of Kalsubai Peak. A day’s trek up the peak and a camp in the night will be the perfect setting for a quiet weekend in the lap of nature. Your trek begins in Samrad and takes you to Kokan Kada through dense forests of the Western Ghats. On the trail, you will see the joyous dance of the fireflies all around you.

How to reach:

  • From Mumbai – 3 h 30 min (165 km) via NH160
  • From Pune – 4 h 33 min (172 km) via NH60
  • Igatpuri is the nearest railway station

    Bhandardara Trek
    Source: Thrillophilia

Purushwadi Trek

Visit the remote village of Purushwadi, tucked in the folds of Sahyadri hills, and witness the swarms of fireflies dotting the village. You’ll get to experience a quaint lifestyle, traditional hospitality and friendly locals. As the evening turns to night, you will spot bright yellow fireflies lighting up all around you. During the first week of June, the place is filled with tourist’s and visitor’s camps who are in the village to view hundreds of beautiful fireflies. In fact, certain organizations conduct the Purushwadi Firefly Festival, where they curate this whole experience by providing all that you need to stay for a night.

How to reach:

  • From Mumbai – 4 h (190 km) via NH160
  • From Pune – 4 h 35 min (165 km) via NH60
  • Igatpuri is the nearest railway station
Purushwadi Trek
Source: Travel Trikon

Prabalmachi Trek

Home to unexploited nature, this hillside village provides fantastic weather, lush green slopes and clean fresh air. It is a perfect destination for a quick weekend getaway since it features rocky cliffs and hilly terrain – a great spot to explore nature from a height. Trek  through dense wilderness to explore the trees, shrubs and bushes of the Western Ghats. En route, you’ll spot several bright, yellow fireflies that nestle in the monsoon-fed forests of Prabalmachi. A sight to behold, especially in the darkness of the night, these twinkling fireflies will adorn your trail to Prabalmachi. While you can watch the male fireflies light up to woo the belles, it’s also a good place to enjoy the simple rural lifin the base village.

How to reach:

  • From Mumbai – 1 h 25 min (50 km) via Bengaluru – Mumbai Highway/Mumbai – Pandharpur Rd/Mumbai – Pune Highway
  • From Pune – 2 h (120 km) via Bengaluru – Mumbai Highway/Mumbai – Pune Expressway
  • Panvel is the nearest railway station
Prabalmachi Trek
Source: Travel Trikon

Kothaligad Trek

The night trek to Kothaligad is a dreamlike experience of stars in the sky as well as on the trees in the form of fireflies. These tiny glowing creatures are found in abundance on the trail to Kothaligad fort. At one moment you can see a swarm of fireflies, and in the blink of an eye, they are gone. You will be astonished to see how each male firefly radiates a distinct light of its own to woo the lady firefly. You won’t need torches to view the route because the light emission of the fireflies is enough to guide you. The deep forest of Kothaligad is the ideal place for these dazzling creatures to perform this ritual and in this exact moment, one can experience synchronous buzzing of hundreds of fireflies which is indeed one of the most fascinating phenomena of nature.

How to reach:

  • From Mumbai – 2 h 40 min (90 km) via Bengaluru – Mumbai Highway/Mumbai – Pandharpur Rd/Mumbai – Pune Highway
  • From Pune – 3 h (134 km) via Bengaluru – Mumbai Highway/Mumbai – Pune Expressway
  • Karjat is the nearest railway station
Kothaligad Trek
Source: Events High

Click here to read about Fort Treks in Maharashtra!

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