Places to Visit in India That Glow in the Dark
India is a country that is renowned for its rich heritage and countless, breathtaking visuals. Are you aware of the fact that there are some incredible places in India that glow in the dark? We have prepared a list of destinations in India that glow in the dark for you to add to your bucket list.
There are several reasons why India is considered as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, from lush green mountains to ancient monuments, beautiful beaches and much more. This land of cultural diversity also astounds visitors with several exciting natural phenomena as well.
Mother Nature has bestowed upon us some wondrous things and one such phenomenon is bioluminescence. Bioluminescence means the emission of light by bacteria, fungi, algae, insects, and aquatic animals like jellyfish, which results in the places lighting up. The phenomenon occurs due to a chemical reaction that generates light energy within an organism’s body and for the reaction to occur; the species must contain luciferin, a molecule that reacts with oxygen to produce light. Bioluminescence is usually observed in marine waters, in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, and in forests, in some fungi, bioluminescent bacteria, and terrestrial arthropods like fireflies.
What better than the fact that you can witness this fascinating phenomenon in India? India is truly a land of mysteries, right?
You require India e-Tourist Visa (eVisa India or Indian Visa Online) to witness the amazing places and experiences as a foreign tourist in India. Alternatively, you could be visiting India on a India e-Business Visa and want to do some recreation and sight-seeing in northern India and foothills of Himalayas. The Indian Immigration Authority encourages visitors to India to apply for Indian Visa Online (India e-Visa) rather than visiting Indian Consulate or Indian Embassy.
Bangaram Island, LakshadweepBangaram Island
Do you love looking at the fairy lights in your room or the city skyline in the evening? Well, Bangaram Island has something more magical to offer. Bangaram is a tiny teardrop shaped island included in the Lakshadweep cluster of islands. Located in the Arabian Sea, the island is covered with palm trees and surrounded by serene blue waters. However, the pristine beach is not the only fascinating feature of the island but it is the bluish-white light that the sea waves emit during nightfall that leaves the visitors awestruck. It is due to the presence of phytoplankton, algae and other aquatic creatures such as jellyfish in the waters, that the waves sweeping up the shore glow with a radiant light. Aquatic animals like the jellyfish are washed up to the edges of water during high tides and gleam like jewels during night creating a spectacular view. Visiting the Island from September through November would be ideal as the ocean has the brightest glow during these months. This ‘milky sea’ phenomenon makes the water look like a sea of stars and adds to the charm of this uninhabited island resort in Lakshadweep making it an ideal destination for a peaceful getaway.
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Purushwadi, a tribal village in Akole Taluka, Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra attracts a large number of visitors during summers. The reason behind the tourists flocking to this village is the presence of a million fireflies. Fireflies are the best known bioluminescent organisms. As summer makes way for monsoon, male fireflies arise from their slumber and disperse light at twilight to attract mates. During this breeding season, the male fireflies create distinct patterns of flashing light as a means to send signals and the females use their own ways of signaling as a response. The real treat is in store for the visitors as this exchange of light creates a spellbinding visual for the onlookers. A special organ in their lower abdomen causes them to emit colors like orange, green, and yellow, making it a unique mating call.
The ideal time to visit the forest is the pre-monsoon period or summer where you can witness over 2000 species of fireflies creating a kaleidoscope of color. Every year, in the months of May and June, a Firefly Festival is organized in Purushwadi for the tourists to witness the beauty of these fireflies in all their gleaming glory. The magnificent sight of trees dotted with fireflies, dazzling with blinking patterns in an attempt to attract their mates makes Purushwadi a perfect destination for the ones that love the serene nature. Apart from this visual treat, the visitors get an opportunity to explore beautiful villages, interact with villagers, and feast on local food in their homes. This place is a paradise for photography enthusiasts as they can capture the scenic view as well as the unique traditions of the villagers. Camping is also allowed in Purushwadi, so you can enjoy the majestic view of the fireflies from your tent or while sleeping under the sky full of stars. If you want to live your dream of being a part of a fantasy novel, a moonless night, thousands of fireflies and the beautiful Purushwadi forest is all that you need.
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Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, GoaMhadei Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Sattari taluka, the North Goa district; near the town of Valpoi in the Western Ghats of South India. This protected area is thickly forested with moist deciduous vegetation, sacred groves that protect rare and indigenous trees, and evergreen spices. The Sanctuary is a paradise for wildlife lovers as it houses Bengal Tigers, Black Panthers, parakeets and flycatchers. However, it is during the monsoons that the real attraction of this reserve lights up, quite literally!
The Western Ghats are home to bioluminescent fungus called Mycena genus fungi or bioluminescent mushrooms that grow on decaying logs, twigs, and stumps and glow in the forest trails. The fungus renders this glow to the forest in the monsoon season spanning the months of June to October. It is due to the moisture in the air during the monsoon season that the mushrooms are able to put on a light and special effects show for the visitors. When the sun goes down, the greenish-yellow or violet light emitted from their mycelium and fruiting bodies creates a warm glow. James Cameron was probably inspired by this place while creating the sci-fi movie Avatar because this glowing jungle looks straight out of the movie. Imagine a green landscape covered with glowing mushrooms, you wouldn’t want to miss this nature’s wizardry. Goa is definitely a LIT place, right?
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Mattu Beach, KarnatakaMattu Beach
Mattu Beach is a secluded beach situated near Udupi in Karnataka right by the scenic route from Kaup to Malpe along the Arabian Sea. The 30 km long beach is a hidden paradise and attracts the tourists with its alluring beauty of pristine waters and swaying coconut and palm trees. The beach is famed for picnics, walks and awe-inspiring sunset views; however, the major attraction is the glow up at night. It is quite natural to see a night sky lit by stars but what if it’s the water body that glows at night?
As a result of bioluminescence caused by microorganisms called Noctiluca scintillans, the sea is lit up with a mesmerizing blue shade. It is commonly referred to as ‘sea sparkle’ which means the emission of light by free-living, marine-dwelling species of dinoflagellate that exhibits bioluminescence when disturbed. This phenomenon has turned this beach all the more stunning as the explosion of blue neon lights that illuminates the waves as they touch the shores is a heavenly sight. The visitors can also engage in water sports and other adventure activities as Mattu beach is a non-commercial one. You can visit the beach for a relaxed evening and quality time with your loved ones while gazing upon a glowing water body. The tranquil and untouched beauty of Mattu Beach will leave you spellbound.
West Jaintia Hills, MeghalayaWest Jaintia Hills
West Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya is the home of one of the major tribes called ‘Jaintias’ or the ‘Pnars’ and several other sub tribes such as the ‘Bhois’ and the ‘Biates’. Meghalaya, which In Sanskrit means the ‘abode of the clouds’ is a hub of everything beautiful and natural, from the undulating hills to the natural springs. The culture of the Hills is intriguing; however, it is the presence of ‘electric mushrooms’ that attracts travelers towards this place. The mushrooms that are found growing on dead bamboo are the new species from the genus Roridomyces phyllostachydis and emit light on their own. The stalks of the mushrooms are used as natural torches by the locals at night to navigate the forest, due to its brightness. It is believed that researchers from India and China visited West Jaintia Hills after hearing reports from locals about ‘electric mushrooms’ to know the reality. A local person guided them towards a bamboo forest. They did not expect to witness the magic they did when the locals asked them to switch off their torches. They were amazed by the sight of tiny mushrooms that emitted light. The emission of light occurs as a chemical reaction in which the energy is released as light, mostly green light. This enchanting phenomenon is surely a sight to behold that you must not miss out on.
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Betalbatim Beach, Goa
Betalbatim Beach, located between Colva Beach and Majorda Beach in South Goa is known for its pristine golden sands, clear water and shacks. However, there is another treat for the visitors. Adding to the copious natural beauty of Goa, you will be able to witness gorgeous blue bioluminescent sea when you are hanging around on the beach at night. The presence of bioluminescent phytoplanktons in the water is what results in the phenomenon of bioluminescence When these living organisms that live in the tides of the water hit the shore, their flow gets disturbed which results in the secretion of light-emitting pigment which causes a bluish glow, sometimes a green light as well. The beach is also popular for dolphin spotting, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. It’s time to add this ‘glowing beach of Goa’ to your list of places to visit on your next Goa trip and witness this eye-soothing and heavenly sight of the sea.
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