Yes, you read it right !
I saw a couple of fireflies videos on Facebook and I couldn’t stop thinking about the same for the rest of the day. I enquired about it with my friend and after a day I found a group on Facebook who were organizing similar event at Andharban. Without wasting any minute, we booked our seats 🙂 The journey started from Pune on Friday night with the same group.
At 12:30 AM IST, after some basic instruction and introduction, we started walking towards jungle.
Andharban is also known as dense forest situated near the Mulshi dam on the Tamhini Ghat road. It is 13 km hardcore jungle trek and a major portion of this trek route involves walking through denseness. Western Ghats jungles twinkle with a small light during the mating season of fireflies i.e pre-monsoon.
We walked for about 15 minutes and folks in our group started sharing freshly self made horror stories. Trust me if you are in dense forest at night where you can’t even see sky or the other person, its scary to listen to such stories. Ignoring all this, I kept walking and some leaves fell on me, it might sound very light right now but it was one of the scariest moment for me in the dense forest.
As we walked more into dense forest, we were becoming familiar with trees and the sound of dry leaves being crushed by our shoes.
Watching fireflies was our sole motivation of midnight walk in dense forest. I was quite excited 😀 We, all were quite excited. As we crossed the jungle, trek lead pointed towards a tree and said – Ye rahi fireflies. I was little disappointed after realizing that there was just ONE tree having fireflies and it was different from online videos. When I went close to them, they started flying here and there which made me forget everything and I was happy again 😊 At least I saw some 😊😉
After walking some more minutes we reached Hirdi village , locals served tea and snacks. While everyone decided to take rest for some time, I wanted to go back to the fireflies point. My friend and I went back, as we were going back it was getting cloudy !
We clicked couple of photos and rushed back to village. We thought of capturing stars but clouds were not in mood to collaborate.😫
After crossing Hirdi village, our trek leads said we are LOST !! Some panicked, some were discussing..While two members from group were searching right trail, I grabbed a spot and enjoyed watching the game of clouds and moon. Once trek leads found right trail, we started moving ahead. The rest of the trek was just downhill. The sun was bored watching hide and seek of clouds and moon so it came up, and we reached Bhira dam. The view was heavenly 😍 I tried to freeze the moment and dragged myself into bus with some fun memories.
We ate breakfast on our way to Pune and reached Pune at 10 AM
Places To Stay
It is usually done as one day trek. If you have plans to stay then you can stay at one of the lodges in Patnus village or enjoy overnight camping or lakeside camping at Bhira Dam. Alternatively, you can return to Lonavala or Pune and find a variety of budget stays and hotels . There are several forest lodges and resorts near Andharban too.
Where to eat?
For us, everything was planned by the group. We ate our dinner at home and left for adventure. The organizers distributed energy bars, juices and snacks to everyone. You can eat dinner/breakfast in Pune or Lonavala depends on whichever city you’re travelling from.
If you’re coming from Pune side, you can stop at Mulshi before Pimpri and enjoy eating authentic Maharashtrian food in nearby dhabas.
How to reach Andharban forest
As per last year news, permit is made mandatory to enter the Andharban jungle trek. One can also apply online by registering at Tamhini Wildlife sanctuary website. Government imposed some restrictions to ensure our safety and avoid heavy crowd.
You can reach Andharban trail point by searching on Gmaps and follow trail. This forest is quite dense so you should prefer joining some groups who plan such treks.
Trek Time: Approximately 5 hours (13 kilometres trail)
Difficulty level: Easy
Base Village: Pimpri village
Duration: 1 day
Time taken: 4-5 hours
Best time to visit Andharban forest
Plan a trek to the surreal Andharban during monsoon and winter to enjoy the beauty of Sahyadri at its best. This trek is considered as easy trek. In spite of being downhill, the extreme humidity and slippery route make it slightly tough. It takes 4-5 hours to cover this trek
Expenses/Budget for Andharban forest
This event was conducted by a group who charged 800 pp with below inclusions
Pune – Andharban – Pune travel
Dinner and breakfast
Thanks for reading 😊😊😊😊😊