In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara..

Tripoto
15th Jun 2019

In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara!!!

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

The Search for Light in Darkness – Fireflies Festival 2019

I had heard about the fireflies festival from a friend and since then I had always wanted to witness this beautiful sight with my own eyes. Unfortunately, the lifespan of a firefly is very short and they only appear for a month before monsoons around the month of June.

Fireflies are basically insects which display bio-luminescence character!! In simple words, they produce a chemical reaction inside their bodies when oxygen touches them and that allows them to light up to attract their mates. This phenomenon of natural lighting is so mesmerizing that when you experience thousands of fireflies flashing their light at the same time is one of the best natural sights to behold.

To see this beautiful sight, one has to travel into the countryside away from light pollution. Around Mumbai, there are many destinations to spot Fireflies like Rajmachi Village, Siddhagad Wadi, Prabalmachi village, Bhandardara, Ghatghar, Kothaligad, Kondane Caves, Purushwadi and many more.

I have always been missing this opportunity every year due to the busy lifestyle that we live in the cities. But this year I finally made it on 15th June 2019 with my friends to experience this beautiful fireflies festival at Bhandardara.

On 15th Jun 2019 at 3 pm, we left from home in my friend’s car with the hope of seeing at least 1 firefly. Since the past 2 days it had been raining quite heavily in Mumbai, so chances of seeing fireflies were almost zero. We were determined to go. We traveled almost 165 kms from Mumbai to Bhandardara.

This was not the first time that I was travelling to Bhandardara, but yet the feeling was magical. The rain, cool weather, breeze hitting my face and running through my hair made it a very special experience. The journey was proving to be as exciting as the excitement to see the fireflies at our destination.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. 1/1 by Snehali

I did things that I had never done before in my life. It may sound silly but it was the most satisfying feeling. We stopped on an empty road which seemed never ending with fields on both sides and the mighty Kalsubai mountain peak right behind us. We got few amazing pics here with rain clouds hovering over the mountain peak and us sitting on the car roof. This was the first time ever that I climbed and sat on any car roof. My friends thought that it would be impossible for me to climb the roof. But I surprised myself as well with the ease in which I climbed the car roof and sat there so comfortably. Thanks to my friend too for allowing us to do such stunts on his car.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

For the first time ever, I sat outside on the car window frame along the long winding road enjoying the fresh air wishing that this journey never ends.

After 5 hours of driving, we reached our destination. The weather was beautiful, full moon night and very windy. The moon was playing hide and seek with us most of the time hiding behind the fast moving dark clouds. There were few stars twinkling bright in spite of the cloudy sky.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

Fireflies are visible only in certain areas so one has to travel another 5 kms in the interiors of the jungle. The forest rangers charge a fee of Rs. 100 per car and Rs. 20 per person. Forest officers are posted at certain points where you can see fireflies so it’s quite safe even inside the forest.

We started our drive inside the forest. Luckily we had a car, else we would need to walk all the way inside. We had to literally put off all the lights of the car to spot fireflies. For around 1 or 2 kms, we could not see a single dot of light. We did not give up hope. It had not rained there that day so we had a slight chance of seeing fireflies. We went further into the forest and in few minutes, there it was. Our search was over!!! Trees full of fireflies showing off their light patterns stood in front of us. It was such a beautiful sight. Something that could not be captured in pics and videos, but will be stored in our memories forever. The moonlight shining in the sky through the trees and the fireflies blinking their light was such a magical experience.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

There was one spot in the jungle where trees full of fireflies on both sides of the road, covered the road like a tunnel. We walked uphill behind the trees in the jungle and it was an amazing sight. We saw the maximum fireflies here. We just turned off the car and watched nature’s wonders for almost 30 mins.

I even managed to catch a firefly that just flew by me. When I open my fist, the little fellow seemed so comfortable on my palm and just didn’t want to fly away. It crawled to the tip of my finger still displaying his light and not ready to fly away. I got a pic of the firefly on my finger but obviously the camera could not capture the lights. The kids around were so amused to see the firefly on my hand. Finally I passed on the firefly to a little girl and her face lit up with happiness just like the light of the firefly.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

Being in and around nature truly makes your soul happy. Such a satisfying feeling. Time just flew by. It was getting late and we had to head out of the jungle.

It was so windy that we decided not to hire tents as they would not be able to sustain the strong wind. At one point of time I felt that I would fly away with the wind, it was so strong. By the time we would wake up in the morning, either the roof of the tents would have flown off or else we would have flown off with the tents itself.

So, we took up the next best option. We slept in the car. Another thing that I did for the first time in my life. We kept the windows slightly open for ventilation, turned off the car and enjoyed the natural AC of the cool wind blowing. We managed to save petrol as well in this way.

For dinner, we ate yummy masala rice packed for us with lots of love by my friend’s mom.

I could not fall asleep very soon. Sitting at the window seat, I watched the moon hiding behind the clouds and then quickly showing up again. Such a beauty, I just love the moon. I don’t know when I fell asleep gazing at the moon.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

We were all slightly restless during the night, woke up a couple of times, but overall we all slept well. We were woken up in the morning with the sound of around 7 to 8 dogs playing near our car and they wanted to play with us too.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali
Day 2

We freshened up and headed out for breakfast at Wilson dam. A cup of hot tea, delicious Maggie and bhajiyas was completely refreshing.

Maggie was swiped out before the pic :p

Photo of Bhandardara Dam, Shendi, Maharashtra, India by Snehali

I had never imagined that Wilson lake was sooooooooo huge. Normally, the lake water is visible right up to the road near the dam gate.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

But today we had to walk about 1 km to reach the water. The walk was like a hike on a mountain with huge stones and dried mud. It was then that I realised how deep the lake would be at it’s full water capacity and the sudden dept to which it falls after certain intervals.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

The wind generated strong waves in the water. The dark clouds passing across the huge mountains in the background and hiding the sun at times, made the climate very pleasant.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

We sat there for about half an hour just admiring nature, clicked few pics posing on a half cut tree trunk. I wonder if this tree trunk is visible in the middle of the lake when it is at it’s full water capacity or does it get submerged in the lake. I would surely love to go back to this place once the rain has filled up the lake.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

On our way back to the car, there was a lady from a nearby village selling tiny local mangoes. We bought 10 mangoes for Rs. 20 and the lady was so happy with the little earnings she had made. It was the first time that I tasted a local mango that too in full local style.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

Now it was time to take few drone shots. We drove to the other side of the lake on a bridge with the dam view. We got a beautiful shot here with the dam in the background. An old local couple riding by the bridge, stopped their bike in amaze to take a look at this weird flying object. They were captured in one of our footage while standing with us and they clicked a pic with us too. They exchanged phone numbers with my friend for the pics and videos.

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

We got an awesome asteroid shot as well with the drone here.

We are on the bridge near the arrow...

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

On an empty winding road, we got another shot of the drone following our car. We stopped at another spot where we captured ourselves sitting on a wall and the drone zipping above us towards the beautiful lake scenery in front of us.

Drone following us....

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

Below is the pic of the drone zipping past us towards the beautiful scenery ahead...

Drone zipping past us towards the beautiful scenery ahead...

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

With all this fun, we lost track of time. It was 16th June 2019, India Pakistan match at 3 pm and the boys wanted to desperately reach home to watch it. We quickly finished lunch and left for home. The internet network on our phones were fluctuating a lot and in spite of that we dared to watch the match live on Hotstar. Even while driving through the jungle we were getting slight 4G network and struggled to watch the match while it buffered all the time.

In the rush to reach home, we decided to take another route which would be slightly long but would avoid the horrific traffic. After we drove few kilometers on this route, we saw the sign board “Road Closed”. We still went ahead as travelers coming from the same road said that the road is open. It was a total off-roading experience and there was a certain patch that my friend described exactly like a road in Ladakh. It seemed like a mini Ladakh road track was prepared there.

Off-roading experience...minus the water...

Photo of In Search of Magical Lights at Bhandardara.. by Snehali

We finally landed on a proper road, which was a blessing after the long off-roading. Surprisingly, we reached home faster than expected. Memories of this weekend road trip will last forever. And to top it all, India won the cricket match against Pakistan.

To see the gist of our entire trip in a minute, check the video created by Destination Rides on the below link…

Like Share and Subscribe:

Be the first one to comment