Have you ever seen fireflies in a count of thousands ? Yes, I am talking about this huge amount of fireflies.If no then you must attend fireflies festival. we had never seen a single firefly before,so we CRAZYUS decided to attend this never ever seen festival. We chose Bhandardara location which is a beautiful hill station in a Maharashtra.It is a village situated in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra. Located about 185 kilometers from Mumbai and Pune. We started from Pune at 7pm evening on 2nd June 2017 and reached Bhandardara at 1am in the night.
Fireflies are insects which actually throw out fluorescent green light from the body to attract their mate. This phenomenon is so mesmerizing that at times you can experience thousands of fireflies flashing the light which is one of the best natural sights to behold. It feels like million Stars have come on the earth and they are blinking on trees. These fireflies can be seen in the forests settled mostly on trees that are fruit-bearing. The trees such as mango, hirda, behda, java plum and country fig are few on which fireflies reside.While exploring fireflies have patience.Sometimes you may notice few fireflies and sometimes you will see a whole big tree lightening as Christmas Tree. Dont flash torch on those trees and keep your vehicle’s lights off.Be safe while exploring forest area.
We were amazed to see this kind of phenomenon.Its just so wonderful to explain in few words.We all are trekkers , we walk together,we climb those mountains together and all we know is we gonna make it happen.We reach our destination and bring back loads of beautiful memories with us.
You can check out this amazing fireflies phenomenon here : https://www.facebook.com/gouri.suryawanshi.14/videos/717808901741726/
With the awesome memories of fireflies we returned to the base village Samrad, where on huge Plateau we fixed our tents and had just one hour rest we woke up in the early morning around 5:30 am.
The view outside the tent was so heavenly that no one could realized the night before that this place can be so beautiful.It was so foggy and mountains were getting visible slowly.
After getting fresh and having delicious homemade Poha for breakfast we headed towards Sandhan Valley.
Sandhan Valley is located in the Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra in the Akole taluka. It can be reached from base village Samrad .It is approx 30 Kms from Bhandardara. Sandhan Valley is known by many names like Valley of Suspense, Valley of Shadows, and Grand Canyon of Maharashtra. However, Sandhan is no comparison to the Grand Canyon ,Sandhan valley is barely 2 Kms long. Sunrays reach the ground only for a short span of time during the day when the sun is directly above the head.
We reached on top of valley and got prepared for one of those adventures from bucket list-rappelling ! Its always scary to try new adventurous things but the feeling of accomplishment is much greater than fear.
We did it successfully !!After loads of clicks (Which is mandatory task of every trip :P) we started walking in the valley. Its very rocky patch and you have to climb big rocks , sometimes you have to roll down to pass those rocks.At Some places water is present on ground so you need to cross that patch carefully. After walking and climbing those big rocks for an hour you get to see that awesome view for which you come far so long.
After Reaching on top rock we did craziness as usual! You can check our craziest comedy song on this youtube link :https://youtu.be/0fVuaIpRr0M
Best time to visit Sandhan Valley is during winters from November till February. Sandhan valley is inaccessible in the monsoons as the area witnesses heavy rainfall.
How to Reach?
#By Rail – The nearest railstation is Igatpuri. Any long distance train bound towards Nasik from Mumbai halts at Igatpuri. From Igatpuri public transport is available to Samrad which is about 60 Kms.
#By Road –
From Pune – From Pune, Bhandardara is about 175 km. You need to take Pune–Nashik road (NH# 50) upto Ghargaon. From Ghargaon, take left on the SH# 21 and continue driving up to Bhandardara. At Kotul, SH# 21 turns slightly left and becomes SH# 44 which takes you to Bhandardara.
What to eat?
You will get local Maharashrian homemade food like Bhakari,Bhaji,Dal,Rice,Pithale and Pickel. In Breakfast you can get Poha or Upama. There are no shops or eateries at Samrad. The villagers are very friendly, hospitable and helpful people, alongside farming they earn by making food and stay arrangements for trekkers and picnickers at a very nominal cost.
You will get to eat wild fruits named Karvand in samrad. It’s a different kind of experience to eat those fruits directly from plants.
Things to carry for Night Camp & Trekking :
Good trekking shoes,Packaged Drinking Water(atleast 3 Litre,Mandatory),Essential personal medicines,Torch(Mandatory),Bedding & camping tent(Optional),Extra Clothes,Little food items like biscuits,energy bars.
Places to visit around Sandhan Valley
Bhandardara – is a popular hill station 30 Kms away from Samrad. It is less crowded compared to other hill stations in Maharashtra.
Amruteshwar Temple – It is an 11th century Shiva Temple in the village of Ratanwadi 10 Kms from Samrad. Ratanwadi is also the base village for a trek to Ratangad.
Check out pics of this temple below.Hope You liked this travel story.Do not forget to like and share with your buddies!