Fireflies, Mother Nature’s string lights, are now out in their millions, and the best places to see them are in Maharashtra.
The firefly festival has just started in various places in Maharashtra and will continue till the end of this month (June).
Places such as Rajmachi Village, Siddhagad Wadi, Prabalmachi Village, Bhandardara, Ghatghar, Kothaligad, Kondane Caves and Purushwadi host camps for the month-long event. Those who are interested can get the 1D/1N package and enjoy trekking, hiking, camping and night walks with fireflies.
Some of the festivals to look out for are: Purushwadi Firefly Festival – Treks and Trails in Purushwadi Village (until June 26)
Rajmachi Fireflies Trek & Camp – Treks and Trails near Lonavala (until June 25)
Rajmachi Bike Ride and Firefly Festival near Lonavala (June 4-5)
Firefly Photography Training Camp – Bhandardara (June 4-5)
Bhandardara Fireflies Camping (until June 18)
Malshej Ghat Fireflies Camping – Hikes and Trails at Malshej Ghat (until June 25).
Firefly viewing is best when away from the city’s light pollution. Much peace and quiet can be expected, and at least light and sound disturbances in the area. Sounds like the start of a really good short getaway from the city.
The Western Ghats region is an exceptionally good habitat for these bioluminescent beetles. Yes, fireflies are beetles. The gentle, rhythmic flickering of these fireflies are actually the communicating insects, to attract the opposite sex and react.
These insects start coming out in their millions just before the monsoon, and for about two months they live to mate and lay eggs.
What to keep in mind: The population of fireflies is decreasing due to habitat loss. Once their habitat is paved over or disturbed by human intervention, they simply cease to exist. Fireflies are non-migratory, so when you visit these places to watch them in action, be careful not to disturb their habitat.
- Are fireflies harmful?
Fireflies do not sting or bite and do not harm local vegetation. However, they are inedible.
- When is the best time to see fireflies?
The fireflies start coming out during the pre-monsoon months of May and June. June, however, is the best because that’s when they actively mate, which means an intense light display.
- What is an ideal habitat for fireflies?
Fireflies can be found around ponds, streams, rivers and swampy areas. Good forest areas away from human habitation are a good place to find them.