Firefly Trekking | Phase I | Prabalmachi

Just before the first rain in end of May or start of June you can see the Bioluminescence of firefly in some places in Maharastra. 



To see the tim-tim lighting have to trek 2-3 hours to reach a plateau for fort to get the wow view.
Mostly all of us are familiar with fireflies, but do you know that these insects are actually beetles, nocturnal members of the family Lampyridae. The common names of firefly in Bengali: jonaki, Hindi: Jugnu and in Marathi: kajwa.

Most fireflies are winged, which distinguishes them from other luminescent insects of the same family, commonly known as glowworms. These insects live in a variety of warm environments, as well as in more temperate regions, and are a familiar sight on summer evenings. 



By nature the diet of firefly is Omnivore i.e. they used to have anything both beg and non-veg. Their life span is about 2 months only and size relative to a paper clip.

Fireflies have dedicated light organs that are located under their abdomens. The insects take in oxygen and, inside special cells, combine it with a substance called luciferin to produce light with almost no heat and that’s we called as Bioluminescence
Firefly light is usually intermittent, and flashes in patterns that are unique to each species. Each blinking pattern is an optical signal that helps fireflies find potential mates. Scientists are not sure how the insects regulate this process to turn their lights on and off.




We trio trek to Prabalamchi plateau (marathi Machi) to experience the firefly at mid night. What else are required once you spent a night under a full glorious night sky? Yepp.. We were under the sky on top of the plateau and luckily it was not a completely deep sleep as when I was opening my eyes can see the lights of start, can hear the symphony of Crickets. 



Once I reached after 1 hour and 40 mins of trekking from the base village Prabalgad to the top of plateau become completely dazzled to get the marvellous view of Kalavanthi Fort (Durg) with help off crimson red’s light of Sun.



An open sky view with glorying stars, a lighting base village, mild breeze, Bioluminescence of fireflies and besties talk were the artefacts of a mid-summer weekend.


The trekking route from base village to the plateau. 

The 'johoola' on the way of the trek. It's difficult to ride those.
Our journey was started by a super-fast train till Panvel from Pune. From there we travel by small vans till the base village and after that our trekking started to reach on the plateau. 




There are some resting places on the way of trek and I met Haris Chandra with his family at one of that place. He is studying in standard 9 at Panvel’s school and staying in hostel. He came to home for the summer vacation.



There are some villagers who provide you the tent, food to stay on the plateau.

The place to have dinner or lunch on top of the plateau, made by villagers.

The only Home stay and fooding area.
The Kalavantin fort aka Prabalgad fort, Muranjan or Pradhangad is located between Matheran and Panvel of Raigad District in state Maharastra, India.


The fort with base village.


The fort stands at an elevation of 700 m in the WesternGhats. The fort was previously known as Muranjan until it was taken over and renamed by the Maratha forces under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's rule. Its sister fort is Irshalgad.
The History of the fort is also quite interesting for its handover from different rules. Chronologically the Kalavantin Fort was built by the Bahmani Sultane to keep an eye on the Panvel Fort and the Kalyan Fort. After the collapse of the Sultanate, Shahaji moved to Muranjan along with his wife Jijabai and son Shivaji for a brief period of time. Chhatrapati Shivaji conquered the fort from the Mughals in 1657 CE.

During the attack by Chhatrapati Shivaji, the fort was governed by "Kesar Singh", a Mughal sardar, and was the only fort to put up a strong resistance. Singh died during the battle in October 1657 Kesar Singh's mother hid herself and her grandchild during the attack. Chhatrapati Shivaji, in an act of kindness made sure the lady and the child were allowed a safe passage out.

In the year 1826, Umaji Naik, a freedom fighter and his associates were believed to stay for a brief period of time.


The night view of the base village from plateau.

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