Now Is The Best Time to See Fireflies Near Mumbai & Pune
It's the last few weeks to catch fireflies: Check out the best options, below!
The little critters mate just before monsoon, and they attract / communicate to potential mates with a glow, which happens due to a chemical reaction. The males try to attract females with a 'light show'. If the female is sufficiently impressed, she lights back. Yup, 'you light up my life' has literal meaning here.
Mumbai & Pune are ideally placed to watch them!
The Sahyadris are teeming with wildlife, and fireflies are some of the most found inhabitants. There are several spots where you can find fireflies, anywhere from 2 to 5 hours away from Maximum City. What's more, there are different types of experiences for different types of people!
Trekking: For the active ones
There are several night treks this season that combine a good sweat, terrific panoramic views and of course, loads of fireflies. Being tougher to reach, the crowds are often smaller as well, and the chances of stray light coming in (from a nearby car or resort) is much lower, too.
Where: Rajmachi, Irhalgad, Peth, Harishchandragadh, Bhimashankar, Kothligad and Prabhalmachi are the who's who (where's where?) of firefly-oriented trekking.
Go if: You're in good shape for a decent trek, want to get away from people.
Typical cost: INR 750- INR 2000
Kothligad: A supremely rewarding and scenic trek
Camping: For those who want to chill
There are many scenic spots near Mumbai / Pune where you could drive to with your family (yes, even kids and elders), soak in some views and then take a short walk later to view fireflies. You can go by yourself & pitch your own tent, or go with one of several groups that will organize this for you.
Where: Bhandardhara is one of the most popular options. Others are Rajmachi, Paachnai and Sandhan Valley.
Go if: You're not keen on trekking, want to go with kids / elders, you don't mind mid-sized groups, the idea of being detached from an actual toilet / cellphone connectivity worries you.
Cost: INR 2000-INR 4000
Camping at Bhandardhara Lake is surreal!
Village Stay: For the ultimate experience!
The ultimate fireflies experience is at village homestays, and Purushwadi has become synonymous with this in recent years, and for good reason. Apart from the bright bugs, you also get to experience village life.
Go if: You have the whole weekend at your disposal, and don't mind spending a little bit more for a truly unforgettable experience.
Cost: INR 1500-12000
A word (or 200) on photography
Sorry, but your mobile phone (yes, even that new iPhone) won't cut it - you need the 30 second exposures that come only with DSLRs.
- Mount DSLR (with any lens of your choice) on a tripod, in a decent spot (where people won't bump into you).
- Use a long exposure (15-30 seconds), maximum aperture and ISO depending on natural lighting (stars!).
- Take multiple photos of the same spot with the camera in the same position.
- Don't show anyone your photos. Yet. They're not ready.
- At a computer, use Lightroom / Photoshop to stack the photos or use this excellent free tool called StarStaX.
- Share with everyone and sneer at those who even tried attempting taking a pic with a phone.
Some more pictures from Bhandardhara!
Looking for something else?
How about some awesome trekking? Or if you're hydrophobic, some comedy and music events, workshops and food experiences in Mumbai. Or just stay in and check out some Insider-recommended comedy videos and TV shows.
Photographs by Chuck
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