Maharashtra has some real gems when it comes to travel. You have beautiful vineyards in Nashik, Buddhist caves in Aurangabad, Strawberry farms in Mahabaleshwar, untouched beaches on the Konkan coast, cool hill stations of Lonavala, Tiger reserve in Tadoba; the list goes on and on. But there is one hidden gem that is yet to get its due. Just four hours from Mumbai is the small village of Purushwadi. You may wonder what is so special about this village. Well… you get to see millions of fireflies light up the night. Now doesn’t that sound magical?
Every year, the village of Purushwadi becomes the home to fireflies around the months of June and July. The natural festival lasts only for around six weeks in a year and is dependent on the rains, which are highly unpredictable given the changing climatic conditions due to global warming and other humanitarian reasons.
The Fireflies festival begins during the pre-monsoon period and ends with the first heavy shower. These couple of months are the mating season for the fireflies, wherein the males emit a luminescent light as a sign to woo female fireflies. Now imagine thousands or rather millions of fireflies lighting up together. It’s like Christmas in June, and this is no exaggeration.
Modernity hasn’t completely taken over the town of Purushwadi, so as the sun was setting down, we did not have much, but the solar lamps that were given to us for our tents. With the light fading away and the night setting in, we took a stroll around the area and thousands of fireflies lit our path. They were everywhere, but the highlight was when we reached a clearing and we could see trees that just shone with more fireflies than leaves on its branches which lit up everything around.
Purushwadi is a glowing destination to visit and an opportunity to understand and learn a little more about sustainable living. Meals served by the locals are mostly vegan, and until some years ago, barter was a way of trade for the - goods for goods, groceries for goods, goods for groceries. On spending the day at the village you will learn how their day progresses and also get an opportunity to be a part of it, cutting wood, plowing the fields, picking vegetables, climbing mountains and breathing the fresh air.
Note: Keep your modern ways to the minimal and enjoy the rustic life. Avoid the car, as the headlamps are extremely distracting, and walk around to fully experience the beauty and biodiversity of the fireflies festival.
How to Reach:
Mumbai is the closest airport to Purushwadi village which is about a 4-5 hour drive from the city. Guided tours are available that plan the entire itinerary for you from travel and stay to meals.