Purushwadi should expect an influx of tourists and campers this month, for its spectacular festival, The Festival Of A Million Fireflies, organised by Grassroutes.
Located in the Akole block of Ahmednagar, the village of Purushwadi is situated 220 km from both Mumbai and Pune, en route to Nashik. This tribal village is inhabited by the Hindu Mahadeo Koli tribe, renowned as rice cultivators and skilled animal herdsmen.
Firefly flashes are part of a complex system of insect attraction. While male fireflies in the air signal females of their species by using distinctive patterns of flashing and flying, females respond with a flash, after a set interval signalling they are of the same species.
This year’s edition has already started. It began on May 3, and is slated to happen every weekend till the start of July, depending on the rains. The next few weekends have already been booked at the time of writing, so do keep a check on weekend spots in the future.
The itinerary for the festival is well laid out. Grassroutes has really put in efforts all these years to educate the urban populace on how people in villages live their lives. The efforts are pretty visible, with organic vegetarian lunch being prepared by the locals in their homes being served to festival attendees, for example. A fun touch to all this is the inclusion of village lifestyle activities and games, so that you can have a little fun with the locals and even hear their stories if you’re lucky.
For those who’d like to try out more labour-intensive tasks, there are activities like ploughing the fields and sowing seeds, so that you get a true insight on local farming, and even a bit about the hardships they face. It’s a really good time to really connect with the farmers and other locals, and you’ll surely have some knowledge to take home once the festival ends.
Being a weekend festival in a remote village, there are three options when it comes to stay: camping on the campsite, camping near the lake and staying at a villager’s house. The weekend rates are as shown in this picture.
There are options available for weekdays too, with a 25% discount on rates.
The brainchild behind the festival, Grassroutes is an organisation that aims to bring rural and urban India together with their initiatives. They conduct off-grid, rustic and authentic holidays with rural people and tribes so that people from across the world can experience Indian villages in their most authentic forms.
If you want a quiet getaway from the bustling city, The Festival Of A Million Fireflies is definitely for you. There’s nothing like watching a number of fireflies adorn the trees with all their natural luminescence.