Do You Know About The Glowing Forest In Maharashtra?

Nature is shrouded in mysteries. It never fails to mesmerise one with its believable and sometimes unbelievable phenomenon. There is no denying how the nature works in mysterious ways. In a land where nature abounds in nooks and crannies, so does their magical ways of being. 

Panoramic hills, refreshing backwaters, stunning natural bounties, and scintillating starry nights, there is everything. Most of it is experienced during the day, but there are some rare things which glow only at night.

The Western Ghats in Maharashtra are one among the few places in India where season travellers embark on journeys during monsoon. Their beauty is something else only when drenched in monsoon showers. The Bhimshanakar Wildlife Reserve nestled here is a unique experience to behold. 

A rare sight, forest in Bhimshankar Wildlife Reserve illuminate mildly often during night. This is caused due toa bacteria called Mycena. Unlike from its tribe, it has a very different quality where it glows under high amount of moisture in the vicinity and air. 

These Mycena can be found settled on the twigs and trunks, leaves and branches sprawling across the forest. Due to this, after a heavy rainfall, one might be lucky enough to venture into a night walk and see the magical forest come to light.

This phenomena, scientifically speaking, is called bioluminescence and this is something not merely restricted to land. These bacteria are also found in water bodies and there are few glowing beaches in India as well.

In the Western Ghats, along with bacteria, fireflies are also a common factor that make forest twinkle.

Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary has an area of 131 km and is a part of the Western Ghats (Sahyadri Ranges), which itself is recognised as one of the 12 biodiversity hotspots of the world. The sanctuary was notified by the state government of Maharashtra in 1985 with the total area of is 130.78sq. km., under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

The sanctuary includes nine tribal villages. The area's bio-diversity has been retained as it will be preserved as a cluster of sacred groves for generations. These sacred groves act as gene pools of this area, from where seeds were dispersed. In Ahupe - a tribal (Mahadev Koli) village's sacred grove in the sanctuary, a climber Khombhal - Xantolis tomentosa was found to be 800–1000 years old in 1984.