10 things to know before meeting fireflies at purushwadi, maharashtra

these are ten good-to-know things before you make that trip to purushwadi, maharashtra where valleys twinkle with the little flashers aka lightning bugs aka fireflies… and some of them are things i didn’t know before i went there.. hope they are helpful!

1. there are more than 2000 species and each has a unique flashing pattern

2. they are alive for only 2 months of the year in india… may and june. they hatch from their eggs, become the cool flickering bulbs, attract a mate, lay eggs and then die. the eggs then hatch the next may! nature knows when the little larvae need to step out and see the daylight… how cool is that?

3. it’s a mating thing. yeah, it is… just like the peacocks showing off their beautiful plume. one likes to think it’s for the rains, naaahh, it’s for the very ordinary peahen! same thing here. the male fireflies blink their bums silly to attract the female firefly. guess the male with the bigger light is the winner here!

4. what do you think they are? flies? bugs? roaches? they are beetles! i think in my head it adds another dimension to them…

5. the males can fly higher than the females. the females stay perched on leaves and rocks. if a male passes by and they like the flashing, then they flash back. the male stops, their antennae touch (thats how they smell each other), they mate and the female lays the eggs. simple right?

6. best time for fireflies is the first two weeks of june. even that depends on the amount of rain. they need a couple of showers to start flitting around and flirting with all the females. if it starts raining very heavily, they can’t take the weight of the drops and you might find them by the roadside, dying… that’s the end of the season.

7. if you flash a torch on a tree full of fireflies, they go mad. they must think a beeeeeg firefly has arrived to steal their ladies…

8. the light is not warm. and is emitted by a complex process called bioluminescence…

9. you can let them walk on your hand, it doesn’t hurt, pain, tingle. you might just feel a little squeamish given that they look very similar to roaches from a non-scientific eye.

10. and lastly, you have to walk in the dark, through village roads and fields just after a shower, so expect mud, lots of squish-squash, and ‘euuus’ and footwear getting stuck in the mud! take good, sturdy footwear. we saw quite a few ‘delicate’ pairs of footwear break… women – man up! come on. wear those shoes i know you have, fireflies aren’t attracted to fancy heels unless they emit a glow!
Make this happen. Book your trip through Grassroutes.

And read my post ‘Meeting the Twinkling Bums: Fireflies at Purushwadi‘ for more details.

the anatomy of a firefly
the anatomy of a firefly (c) animal.discovery.com

23 thoughts on “10 things to know before meeting fireflies at purushwadi, maharashtra

  1. I’ll enjoy the sparkle of the lightening bug much more knowing they spread so much joy in such a short lifetime. Nice post!


  2. thanks dhruv. definitely get in touch with grassroutes towards the end of may to check what might be a good time this year… it changes with monsoons every year so… you don’t want to miss them!


  3. do you have any contact number of folks in purushwadi? i am based in pune and want to travel to purushwadi. so was curious. I am thinking of combining purushwadi with harishchandragad trek

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All required information regarding fireflies and the location you can get it here – Grassroutes.co.in


  5. Hey by any chance do you have a contact of any local person who can give inform about the status they being active as i tried in that area but i was before time and once i was late

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fireflies are always attract me since my early childhood, they are one of the best creatures of mother nature.


  7. Thanks for the lovely post. Also to add, with increasing amounts of urbanisation and use of pesticides we are losing our fireflies at an alarming rate. So any visitors to these areas please don’t harm the poor flies.dont try to catch them or trap them in bottles.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Do I have to go through grassroots because the tariffs are very high compared to what you get for it. Fireflies are of course nature. If there was something extra ordinary than setting up tents, home stays and local food, amounts from 5000 – 10000 per night seems extra ordinarily high.

    Is it possible to camp on your own and not pay anything to anyone, just voluntary donation to the villagers?


  9. hi rahul, i don’t know any other way to do it, only went through grassroutes. the tariff does sound really high now. i know some ppl had taken their own tents once when they went with grassroutes. maybe you can ask them if that is possible, the tariff might come down then! all the best. hope it happens. 🙂


  10. I’m planning a trip to Purushwadi soon so I came across your post 🙂 hehehe good to know about the fireflies. I decided to let my kid skip school so we can catch up with the phenomena. So excited!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello, is it possible for us to not go through Grassroutes – Basically go there at night, see the fireflies then drive back, without staying there. Grassroutes prices are high for us.


  12. Such a beautiful compilation of facts Bhavani!
    2 years ago, I took a bike trip to Purushwadi. The Grassroute madam made sure we should not pitch our tents anywhere in the village event after insisting on checking our bags for liquor and other stuff.
    Thats another story hehe.

    So, what we did is approached the sarpanch of Khadki ( a village just before Purushwadi), they gave us the whole temple premise to stay. An unused beautiful Hut and utensils to cook. Finally, our just a minute back friend Bhangre ji took us on an adventurous Crab hunt in the darkness along the river.
    You can read the full story here


  13. Hey actually i got to know about this happiness just now through fb… i want to go there by this Monday … Pls guide me or give me any info to go know or should i have to wait for next year….


  14. we stayed with one of the village families as the grassroot tents were extremely costly and not worth. it was a really a pleasant experience staying, eating and watching fire-flies with the help of villagers.


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