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Fireflies in Maharashtra

Thick hilly forests of Maharashtra are India's best spot to observe lightning bugs

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Last updated: by Olha Savych
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There are eight firefly species in India, and they are the most abundant in the humid forests of the Sahyadris area that is a part of the Western Ghats mountain range. It is a perfect place for nighttime firefly-watching excursions. In just a couple of hours of drive from Mumbai, you can find some amazing natural landscapes that get even more beautiful after dusk, illuminated by thousands of miracle bugs. Some villages have started to hold annual firefly festivals during a few weeks before the start of the monsoon season (mid-May to mid-June) when fireflies are glowing to attract the opposite sex for mating. These extraordinary beetles live most of their life as larvae, throwing a short-lived but magnificent light display to reproduce and then die.

Purushwadi Firefly Festival

A tiny village of Purushwadi is located in the mountains of Akole Taluka, about 118 mi (190 km) from Mumbai. It's a great spot for trekking during the day and firefly watching at night. Purushwadi Firefly Festival is held during a few weekends in late May and early June. The village provides camping facilities near the beautiful lake, food for visitors, as well as various games and activities, like swimming in the river.

Bhandardara Firefly Festival & Camping

Bhandardara is a picturesque mountain village in the Western Ghats, located in about 103 mi (166 km) from Mumbai. Waterfalls, emerald lakes, and lush forests make it a wonderful getaway. At night Bhandardara campsite by the lake is surrounded by fireflies that are attracted to the waterbodies. A magnificent nature's light show unfolds nightly during pre-monsoon season. Millions of them cover the trees and bushes. The most amazing view opens up from Kalsubai mountain (1,646 m or 5,400 ft).

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