Glowing up the night!

This enchanting experience won’t break the bank or eat into your annual leaves.
Glowing up the night!

Tired of the same old hill stations and waterfalls for your monsoon getaways? How about a unique experience that’s off the beaten path? Every year, just before the monsoon arrives, fireflies put on a dazzling display in Maharashtra’s Sahyadri. These bioluminescent beetles use their glowing lights to attract mates, creating a mesmerising spectacle in the night sky.

While some fly and a few others crawl, each of these glowing insects with their own distinctive blinking patterns boast up to 2,000 unique designs. When a male firefly flashes its light, the female responds with her own pattern, leading to a magical dance of lights in the darkness. The best part?

This enchanting experience won’t break the bank or eat into your annual leaves. Surprisingly, this quick weekend escape is just a short drive away from Mumbai and all you have to do is go into the countryside, away from the glare of city lights, where you can witness thousands of fireflies lighting up the night.

Rajmachi

Nestled near Lonavala, this region offers the perfect weekend getaway for trekking, camping and exploring firefly country. The Rajmachi Fort, perched at an elevation of 2,750 feet, provides majestic views of the Sahyadris. The fort is enveloped by beautiful flora and fauna, waterfalls and lush green valleys. The fortification of Rajmachi comprises two forts, namely Shrivardhan Fort and Manaranjan Fort. Upon reaching the campsite, there is a halt midway near Tungarli Dam, with the rest of the journey on foot to witness the enchanting fireflies. The itinerary includes a trek to Shrivardhan Fort, followed by a return to the base village for breakfast. Afterwards, the trek continues to the Tungarli Dam, completing a fulfilling and picturesque adventure.

Kothaligad

Commonly known as the fort of Peth, Kothaligad is named after the village of Peth situated at its base. Located approximately 2.5 hours from Ambivali, the fort stands at a height of 3,100 feet and the pinnacle can be seen from the village. Upon reaching the top of the fort, visitors can explore caves carved into huge rocks. Steps are carved along the Bhairoba cave which lead to the top. The fort also is scattered with small water tanks and cannon balls. The caves include the Goddess cave, a water cistern and the spacious Bhairoba cave. The latter features a flat floor and well-sculpted pillars. Visitors can enjoy the sunrise before exploring the fort.

Purushwadi

Nestled near Pachnai village, a popular starting point for the Harishchandragad Trek, Purushwadi is nestled in the forested Sahyadri, between the Kurkundi and Mula rivers. As zillions of fireflies emerge after sunset in the stark open meadows of Purushwadi — the spot draws campers from across the country. Visitors can experience the quaint village lifestyle, enjoy the traditional hospitality of the friendly locals at homestays and relish delicious home-cooked food. Renowned for its handicrafts, particularly the traditional warli paintings created by local artists — the village near the Kalsubai Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of flora and fauna where one can embark on a safari and spot animals like leopards and hyenas.

Samrad

Experience a fairy-tale setting at the Sandhan Valley Fireflies Festival in Samrad, located 187 km from Mumbai. Known as the Valley of Shadows, this destination transforms as the sun sets, with countless fireflies illuminating the environment against the backdrop of one of India’s most dramatic canyons. The two-day trip includes overnight camping, team games, campfires and dinner. On Day 2, enjoy a short trek, breakfast, relax in lake waters and go boating. This tribal area, situated by the River Pravara, offers a tranquil environment. You can also spot famous landmarks such as the Kalsubai Peak, Ratangad Fort, Ajoba Fort and Wilson Dam.

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