Fireflies Festival or Kajwa Festival or Kajwa Mahotsav काजवा महोत्सव is new trend across Mumbai & Pune where people gather to enjoy thousands of blinking fireflies like twinkling starts across Maharashtra. By the year 2020 there are hundreds of trekking & travel companies advertising and arranging fireflies spacial camping & treks!
Many locations are emerging up as tourist attractions even fetching foreign nationals to India.
I am enlisting here the locations and schedule dates for this year which will help you planning your trip. Also as per tradition of my blog, I have added how to reach, food, stay information on all these locations too.
Most of these places are near to Mumbai, Pune & Nasik, within reach of one weekend. So it is possible to plan your trips & picnics on Friday evening till Sunday late night return to Mumbai.
Your selection depends upon how many fireflies you want to see, if hundreds go to nearby places, if thousands go till Lonavala – Rajmachi .. if in millions then only one place Purushwadi.
Although I have enlisted places where you can see fireflies in thousands to millions, there are places near Mumbai where you can spot fireflies easily including Marve Beach, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Yeour and Agashi area in Virar.
Tentative dates June-July 2020 : My visit to Rajmachi fireflies festival
Today I had been to Rajmachi fireflies festival … After Della adventure I travelled only 1.8 kms and there is huge parking made. I saw almost 25 cars and 4-5 buses parked there … it was like a festival .. so many people there at 10 PM night time … enjoying lacs of fireflies just near parking area .. trees blinking with fireflies . WOW ! it was good to see them … It was so crowdy there !
Road is not so good (kaccha rasta with mud) so be careful if you are going in your car to this point. Good thing is that you need not travel till Rajmachi .. but can see fireflies well before that .. till Della adventure the road is good .. so no issues .. even you can park car near Della and walk for 2 kms to see the fireflies …
I tried to capture the fireflies into my mobile camera but the shooting is no so good .. once has to go there and experience the glowing trees …. its like programmed LED’s glowing in synchronized manner …
Here is video I captured with my mobile (not so good but will give you an idea at least, on mobile you can get only brightest stars!]
Things to know about fireflies before you visit
- Fireflies lifespan is only during monsoon beginning in India
- Lifespan availability is only for two months, May and June
- Fireflies flash their bumps to attract, mate & lay eggs, they immediately die after laying eggs !
- Generally they need a couple of showers to start flitting around and flirting with all the females.
- If the rains become too heavy, they will die.
- The fluorescent green light from the body to attract their mate is bioluminescence light and is cold !
- Firefly light can be yellow, green or orange which varies among species.
- It’s very difficult to capture them on camera, but if you wish to do so turn off your flash and click at low shutter speed with tripod in place.
2020 Fireflies festival schedule
2020 Fireflies festival in Maharashtra, India will begin at 10:00 PM on Saturday June 02 and ends on Sunday, June 30
Purushwadi and Wanjulshet fireflies festival 2020 –
Fireflies festival tentative schedule dates : 26 May 2020 to 30 June 2020
This location is so special that you will be able to see literally millions of fireflies lighting up in the forests and the valley all around Purushwadi and Wanjulshet. In fact anywhere around these villages or on the way to these villages you will be able to see fireflies .. even the roads will light up during nights.
Naturally the area has become a biodiversity hotspot for fireflies.
I think its all in one trip, experience the village life, rural area, rivers, waterfalls and local cuisine.
- Mobile network is very poor or almost not available in these villages, so be careful, study your route and inform friends / relatives about network issues.
- Electricity will be a big problem, so do not forget to carry powerful torch with space batteries too.
- Mostly you are visiting during rains, so there will be insects available all around, so wear proper cloths (full sleeves and full paints) Suggest to carry sleeping bag if possible.
- Carry toilet paper, soap, sanitary handwash.
- There will be lot of mud around, so make sure that you have good quality footwear that can sustain the walk through mud.
- It will be raining around, carry good quality umbrella or a poncho for you.
- You can stay in tents
[Do read my Tent Section Guide for India, you can get 6 person Chinese tent for about 2-3K]
- Choose home-stays in any village with basic amenities (Plz do not expect 5 star luxury arrangements)
- Mostly you will get Indian toilets (may be western toilets near tent areas by Grassroutes)
- Cloth changing tent will be a boon for you, to have personal mobile toilet.
- Traditional food arrangements are available during home stays
How to reach
Purushwadi and Wanjulshet are just 4 hours from Mumbai and Pune.
Note : Remember that the road from Rajur to Purushwadi is very narros and steep at some points. Drive slow, Drive Safe.
- Mumbai to Purushwadi (Google Map Link)
Mumbai – Igatpuri – Rajur – Purushwadi (total 191 kms)
- Pune to Purushwadi (Google Map Link)
Pune – Rajur – Purushwadi (total 171 kms)
- Railway : Nearest railway stations are Igatpuri and Nasik
Over 90% of the reviews about grassroutes are rated below 2 stars! However my friend Ashish went with Grassroutes last year i.e. 2017 and his experience was rated GOOD with them.
I am giving Ashish experience below in his own words [no changes have been done]
- For person like me and family (specifically ladies who need pukka toilet and safe place) it was absolutely fine and worth it …
- Food at place of villagers. Sitting in their kitchen on floor and eating was delight. That Puran Poli and sugar syrup no where we can get
[Point to be noted that Ashish is well known respected FOOD EXPERT in India and being called by various hotels for writing their reviews]
- That free and unlimited supply of village mangoes etc Black tea, Bhel etc was fabulous.
- Kids wanted milk they got
- My friends one kid only ate Maggy that time. We got gas and vessels to cook and eat maggi at campsite.
- One local person was there all the time. when we went out to see fireflies also hill climbing and dam.
- While coming back they gave us return gift like beljodi made from clay
Grassroutes organizes fireflies festival every year, generating local employment.
For more information and Bookings visit grassroutes website
Bhandardara fireflies festival 2020
Fireflies festival tentative schedule dates : 26 May 2020 to 30 June 2020
Situated by the Pravara River, Bhandardara is one of the most famous location across trekkers in Mumbai and Pune.
This is the junction of treks for the Kalsubai trek, Ratangad trek, Harishchandragad trek.
Also the most famous Sandhan vally is here.
And all these places are a home to millions of fireflies during monsoon.
How to reach Mumbai to Bhandardara ?
You have to travel via the Mumbai Nashik highway, Take a right turn at Ghoti. Take the Ghoti Shirdi road upto Sai Mahima Hotel. At that junction take a right turn to a smaller road called as Bhandardhara -Ghoti road… Drive till you reach the ‘Warangushi Naka“from there ask for Shendi village. You will reach Bhandardhara dam.
Mumbai to Bhandardara distance is around 165 kms
Ghoti to Bhandardara distance is around 30 kms
Mumbai to Bhandardara By Train :
Mumbai to Igatpuri : By Train 107 Km
Igatpuri to Bhandardara : By Taxi 28 Km [ You can get ST bus from Igatpuri to Bhandardara]
How to reach Pune to Bhandardara ?
Take Pune-Nashik road (NH 50) upto Ghargaon. From Ghargaon, take left turn on the SH 21 road, continue driving, till Kotul, now SH 21 turns slightly left and becomes SH 44 which takes you to Bhandardara.
Pune to Bhandardara distance is around 175 km
Rajmachi Kajwa Mahotsav
firefly festival tentative season : 26 May 2020 to 30 June 2020
Rajmachi fort trek is one of the most famous trek near Lonavla.
Remember that road is not that good for cars, hence recommend to get there with your SUV or hire a jeep from Lonavla railway station.
Plenty of options available for stay and food at village Rajmachi, so no issues.
You will get to see fireflies in thousands (not millions like Purushwadi), however if you do not have time to go to Purushwadi, then Rajmachi fort is best and last minute option.
Mumbai to Rajmachi distance is around 95 kms.
How to reach
- By Train : Mumbai to Lonavla by train. Get down at railway station and catch private jeep service to Rajmachi.
- By Road : Drive till Lonavla from Mumbai, remember to take left turn to Rajmachi well before Lonavla (use google maps or ask locals)
Prabalmachi Kajwa Festival or Kajwa Mahotsav
Fireflies festival schedule tentative dates : 26 May 2020 to 30 June 2020
Prabalmachi is the base village for the most famous treks of Kalavantin Durg & Prabalgad Trek.
The machi is good flar huge plateau provides best camping base.
However in this case remember that you really has to trek till village PRabalmachi and should have prior experience, so this will not be a picnic but a proper trek and camping. If you are not used to such kind of long walk, goto Rajmachi where you can drive through SUV till end.
Bhimashankar Kajwa Festival
Located around 213 kms from Mumbai, this beautiful and famous place for temple of Lord Shiva is blessed by deep forest around. During monsoons you ought to see fireflies here.
Since Bhimashankar is a Wild Life Sanctuary, before entering into the forest, you should seek permission from forest department.
Bhimashankar forest is full of endemic species of flora and fauna including the Indian giant squirrels.
You have plenty of options for stay including hotels and dharamshala (you can opt for forest or local lodges too).
Located about 284 kms from Mumbai, located in the hill station of Saputara, on the border of Maharastra and Gujarat.
This is paradise of birds, showing you sighting of parrot, hornbills, Indian woodpeckers, sparrows, mynahs, drongos, egrets, kites, owls and eagles.
As this forest is untouched by tourist, you will see plenty of fireflies beginning of monsoon season.
Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary Kolhapur fireflies festival 2020
Aadhanagari kajwa mahotsav राधानगरी‘ काजवा महोत्सव
This year that is 2020, Bison nature club has organized Fireflies Festival or Kajwa Festival.
|Dates for fireflies festival Kolhapur||: 19 May 2020 to 31 May 2020 (tentative)|
|Time||: Evening 7 PM to 10 PM [Limited entries, FREE of cost]|
|Location||: Kalamwadi Road till Pharale Gaon|
|Programs||: Lectures, Guidance seminars will be organized|
|Contact numbers||: 9604113743 / 9730886354 / 9503181855|
How to reach
- By Railway
- Nearest railway station is Kankavli (54 km/1 hr)
- By Road:
- NH17 to Tarele via Chiplun and Rajapur. Take a left turn at Tarele for Phonda Ghat (18 km) – Dajipur (12 km)
- You can also drive down via Pune and Kolhapur.
Note : I have given this information as Social responsibility only and have not connection with the organizers. Any bookings you do on your OWN RESPONSIBILITY.