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Night out with fireflies

Mumbaikars get set to see millions of fireflies light up the Western Ghats in a ‘once in a year’ phenomenon.Mumbaikars are gearing up for nature's special show. Come May end and through June, millions of courting and mating fireflies will light up the Western Ghats and everyone’s invited to watch it.

india Updated: May 27, 2011 15:45 IST
Sneha Mahale

Mumbaikars are gearing up for nature's special show. Come May end and through June, millions of courting and mating fireflies will light up the Western Ghats and everyone’s invited to watch it. Grassroutes, an organisation that promotes rural tourism, is organising special trips to the area to ensure that you do not miss even a single moment of this magnificent event.

“These magical nights are welcome signs to the villagers, signalling the change of season and the beginning of the monsoon,” says Darren Lobo of Grassroutes. He adds that though everyone knows how fireflies got their name, not many people know how the insects produce their signature glow and this is their opportunity to learn. As part of the phenomenon, tourists and visitors will get to see fireflies emit their glow over a valley of darkness where they court their mates. “Firefly flashes are part of a complex system of insect seduction. This display of love in order to find the right mate only makes it luminously beautiful and picturesque,” says Lobo. Firefly light is usually intermittent, and flashes in patterns that are unique to each species (there are about 2,000 different species).

After witnessing this natural splendour, you can also participate in a fun-filled afternoon eating ripe mangoes and jamun’s by the river with the local village Purushwadi, which is the house to Mahadeos (a koli tribe). There will also be water-based games that will be conducted by the riverside in addition to a hike to witness the sun setting behind the peaks of the Western Ghats. And if that’s not enough, people can also indulge in activities like ploughing, sowing rice, milking goats, chopping wood, drawing water from the well and learning about medicinal plants while staying at the village. “The idea of seeing millions of fireflies lighting up an area is fascinating and it is a trip that I would like to undertake to understand how it actually happens," says Sneha Thakur, 26, banker.

The trips are scheduled between May 28 - June 19. There are special guided trips on the 4th-5th, 11th-12th and 18th-19th weekends of June. The trips are also run at discounted rates during weekdays.

Cost: Rs 2500 per adult on weekends and Rs 1300 on week days. The cost includes travel to the village and back, accommodation, food, takeaways, water-based activities and village activities.

Call: John Nogueira: 9769784547 Darren Lobo: 918108133016 or Vijay Khanna: 919820128208