"You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep"
This was the song playing on the stereo in the cab en-route Purushwadi. Extreme excitement filled us up as we got close to the village that boasted of having innumerable fireflies.
Our journey began from Thane when we boarded the local train to Kasara at 4:20 PM which was supposed to reach the destination at 6:03 PM but got there at 6:30 PM. As soon as we got out of the station, we were surrounded by taxi drivers asking us where we were headed. Surprisingly, none of them knew of this magical village because of which we had to fire up Google Maps to show them the distance and route. On examining the time and distance of the place, one of the taxi drivers quoted us a price of Rs. 5000 for the complete journey which meant he would accompany us throughout the night which turned out to be a boon later in the night. There were 7 of us and we were wondering if the amount quoted was apt but to our luck we found 3 others who were heading to Kalsubai looking for a taxi as well.
As the taxi got moving so did the conversations and we got to know each other as our group was mix of mutual friends. One hour down the line we were playing music that suited the taste of everyone in that taxi while carefully navigating the route. We started spotting fireflies along the way which got our hopes high about the destination. Before we even realized, we had reached Bari which was the base village for Kalsubai where the 3 who had joined us had to get off. We halted there for a while and said our goodbyes with a hope of crossing paths again the following morning.
Post that we continued on our journey to find the fireflies that we were so eager to see. As we were closing in on the village, the density and frequency of the firefly sightings started increasing. At one point we reached a strip of road that had trees filled with fireflies blinking in a pattern which made it look like the stairway to heaven. In that moment we decided to park our taxi and walk down that road taking in all of the beauty from the surroundings. Equipped with our torches covered with green cellophane paper we set out on a walk to remember.
NOTE: There is no specific spot to witness the fireflies, you will have to wander around the place and spot them.
After we had our fill of mesmerizing surroundings, we decided to pitch our tents that we had rented from Bragpacker for Rs. 300. We found a piece of flat land suitable to pitch but as soon as we were going to go ahead with it, a villager appeared and demanded money for the same. On hearing that we decided to skip pitching the tents over there and headed to the taxi to have the food we had carried for the night. Further we decided to head to Bhandardara to set up camp beside the lake as it was on the way back to Kasara. On arriving at Bhandardara, we were asked to pay Rs. 250 to pitch each tent which we found to be reasonable considering that it was a camp site and we wouldn't have problems with anything. We asked the driver to park the taxi and headed close to the lake where the volunteers helped us pitch the tent and arranged a bonfire for an extra Rs. 200 which was well worth it. The place was pretty windy and we had to keep counter weights in the tents to prevent them from flying away. Post that we gathered around the fire and enjoyed the starlit sky with some music in the background being played by other campers.
The night sky was too pretty to not click and that's what we set out to do. The sky was so clear as there was minimal pollution and the moon had set which enhanced the beauty of the stars and constellations. This also gave us the opportunity to witness the Milky Way Galaxy which was a soothing sight and made the night much more special than it already was.
We wandered around after clicking the pictures and reached the lake which was pretty serene and settled there for quite a while. By the time we got to the tents, the fire was at its dying stage, hence we decided to call it a night and retired to our tents.
The next morning we woke up and got moving by 7:30 AM with all the memories and a promise that we would return soon. While returning we came across a McDonald's on the Nashik Highway and decided to have breakfast there. The train to CSMT was at 10:10 AM for which we reached with a little time to spare and headed back home.