Camping under the stars is an other-worldly feeling,
But when the stars come down,
And twinkle around you
It’s an inexplicable feeling!
Read on to Know About Our Experience of Having Witnessed Nature’s Nocturnal Spectacle
Maharashtra, my land, is a treasure trove of the extra-ordinary and its country side holds so many marvels! So on a warm weekend we set out on an exploration, one that had been on our list for far too long.
About 160 kms from Mumbai near Bhandardhara, inside a reserved forest area is the village of Udawane. After a 4 hour long drive on the Mumbai-Nashik highway, we made it to our destination well past our intended sunset time. Our host Sanjay, had already opened his home to travellers who had thronged to witness the twinkling phenomena.
Were we disappointed with the crowd? A little!
But the campsite more than made up for it.
We were served a hearty local dinner of bhakri, jhunka, dal, thecha, rice and potato/chicken curry cooked traditionally on a chulha (cooked over coal fire). Tummy’s full and eyes wide open, we moved towards our camping ground, a mere 500 meters from Sanjay’s house.
There, in a clearing between the forests was our camping ground. The tent set up was well done with enough distance between groups. Our host had explained to us all about these almost magical creatures and the phenomena we had all gathered to witness. With strict instructions of what not to do, we moved into the denser part behind our campsite.
A few steps into the forest thereabouts, we stopped in our tracks and adjusted our eyes to the darkness. In pitch darkness, we were greeted with sights of trees sparkling; as if done up for Christmas!
Hundreds of Fireflies adorned the trees,
twinkling in absolute symmetry!
We sat around the trees and watched them for a while, amazed by the synchronized twinkling. There was nothing quite like sitting in silence and darkness, witnessing those lightning bugs going about their unique mating ritual. After a while, we made our way back to the campsite with the odd lightning bug buzzing around us.
For us life-long city dwellers, a sight like this and a night like this, stays on for a long time in our minds. We revisit these views and feelings when we are stuck behind the wheel, when life paces too fast and when the thought of yet another Monday dreads us.
Was there something that could make this day any better? Yes, there was!
We weren’t by ourselves on this trip. We were sharing this experience with our favourite bunch of travel enthusiasts whom, believe it or not, we meet on Instagram. They’re basically our InstaFam!
Being from the city, we planned this weekend together and rode out in two cars.
We chatted about our Bhutan adventures, about slow European holidays, driving in other countries, places we’ve been to and places we wish to see. Eventually, the night caught up with us and were off to sleep in our tents.
Breakfast was at Sanjay’s house under the Jackfruit tree in their courtyard. We had the sweetest chai and a serving of poha, a huge dose of laughter and photo session before setting out again for home.
A Little About Fireflies
In the day light, fireflies look far less glamourous. The glowing is attributed to their mating season. A few weeks before and after the first rains is the season. The males produce a glowing bio-luminescence to attract the females, who may reply with a glow of their own.
As tourists, not affecting their ecology is foremost. So be a good traveller. Don’t use flashlights or camera flashes around them
Don’t make loud noise
Don’t waste too much time trying to click pictures (unless you’re some kind of pro!)
Be mindful of your surroundings and don’t accidentally squish or flick them
This was a self-planned trip. You can reach Sanjay Giri at 7744 92 4693.
When we got back from the trip and shared our experience with family, Rahul’s mum recollected how she remembers seeing these lightning bugs in her yard around the first monsoons. Back then, the city wasn’t as lit up, was far greener and quieter.But that’s from a while ago.
Today from the 10th floor of our high-rise, surrounded by 40 storied buildings, we can’t even see the sky! And so, we travel….