Going ‘green’ is the new trend with travellers opting for ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Here is an excellent example of combining rural, eco-friendly, responsible and adventure tourism, along with having a never-before encounter with ‘Million Fireflies’.
How about lying down below a tree in pindrop silence with total darkness, watching a million fireflies lighting up the sky and no artificial light to damage the view or experience? With Christmas still being far away, it was awe-inspiring to watch fireflies making trees look like glittering Christmas trees, not just one, but a whole jungle full of shimmering Christmas trees.
The option of spending your weekend in ‘Purushwadi’ (four-hour drive from Mumbai, near Igatpuri), may not sound enthusiastic at the first go considering the travel time. However, for me the trip turned out to be more adventurous, fun and exceeded all my expectations. Comfortable camping tents are placed in the middle of the jungle (about 0.5 km outside the village) on a mountain overlooking a valley, complete with a view of a river and farms. Meals at a local villager’s house, sunset treks, rural games, indulging in local dayto- day activities and taking a swim in the river are some of the highlights of the trip to this stunning rural corner of Maharashtra. But the little dancing stars completely stole the show!
Encounter with the Dancing Stars
After a thrilling sunset trek experience, we sat below a huge banyan tree right outside our tent site. The sun was going down and we were busy chatting with each other. Suddenly, everybody went quiet as they saw few beautiful fireflies on the tree. Watching fireflies is an enchanting experience, there is nothing comparable to an encounter with them in the middle of a jungle. A nervous excitement filled most of us as the darkness was quite thick at first. In a matter of moments, our eyes adjusted and the fairy like lights of the fireflies covered the sky.
With the campsite getting enveloped in the night shadow, more and more fireflies started dancing around. I watched their lights flicker on and off as they appeared and disappeared in the night sky. Their dance formed a forever moving painting with each passing flash of the firefly, cool undertones of beauty and serenity seamlessly blending with bold highlights of spontaneity and mysticism.
written by Anita Jain