Head to These Places For A Unique Year-End Celebration

The moment you hear year-end holidays, the first few images that come to mind are twinkling lights, strings of illuminated stars and gifts wrapped in shiny paper. And while you might enjoy the beauty that the holiday season brings, it wouldn’t hurt to bask in a completely different type of lighting. And there are a bunch of places in India that can offer you exactly that!

So, if you are looking for something to make the last few days of this year a tad brighter, the fascinating phenomenon of bioluminescence might be just what you need. What is bioluminescence, though? It is the emission of light by fungi, algae and aquatic animals residing in marine waters and forests that create a one of a kind spectacle. Here are some places you can head to if you want to experience this lit natural wonder.

Bhimashankar Forest, Maharashtra

Hidden in the Western Ghats, Bhimashankar Forest is known for emitting a spellbinding display of bioluminescence. The twigs, branches and even rotting leaves absorb the increased moisture, becoming substrate to a type of bioluminescent fungi called Mycena. The profuse canopy and sultry climate in Bhimashankar Wildlife Reserve make for an ideal environment for Mycena to flourish. The result is a greenish light that is a scene straight out of a fairytale, giving you the illusion of a magical, glowing forest.

Bhimashankar is 95 km from Mumbai, via the Bangalore-Mumbai and Mumbai-Pune Highway. When driving down to witness this natural wonder, switch on the Cruise Control feature in your Ford EcoSport, and set a steady speed along the long highway stretch. You will not only enjoy the relaxing, comfortable drive but the as you enjoy the gorgeous scenic views as well.

Sasihithlu Beach, Karnataka

With silky white sand bordering azure waters, Sasihithulu is one of the prettiest and most secluded beaches adorning the coastline of India. But it offers much more than a chance to enjoy a tranquil sunset. When the sun disappears beyond the horizon, the beach reveals silver streaks of bioluminescence in the water, which is sure to leave you speechless. And as you walk along the shore, the plankton deposited on the sand and stones brighten and sparkle beneath your feet.

This pristine location and out-of-the-world experience are only a 40-minute drive from the city of Mangalore. So, pack up the essentials, fold back the power seats in your Ford Endeavour for ample boot space to store your belongings and enjoy a New Year picnic by the beach. And don’t forget to open the panoramic sunroof and soak in the crisp sea breeze.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa

A stroll through Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary’s wet trails in Goa on an inky black night will unveil gleaming Mycena mushrooms on dead logs and twigs. Carpeted in an emerald glow in a blanket of darkness, Mhadei is truly a sight to behold. And if you’re hoping to spot something just as magnificent during the day, a trip into the reserve might offer a glimpse of Black Panthers, Bengal Tigers and parakeets. It’s what makes this biodiversity hotspot a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. This dreamlike scenery is made even more special by the peculiar voice of Slender Loris and the croaks of Malabar Gliding Frogs.

Whether you are driving to Goa solo or with your loved ones, the road trip experience to one of India’s favourite tourist destination is unmatched. Besides, New Years is one of the best times to visit Goa, and with a great infotainment system, your Ford Aspire can set the perfect mood for the entire drive with some of the most popular carols.

Kumbalangini Backwaters, Kerala

A fluorescent blue-tinted glow glimmers along the backwaters of Kochi, giving it an ethereal look. Locally known as Kavaru, this wondrous phenomenon of a sparkling sea was immortalised in the 2019 Malayalam hit – Kumbalangi Nights. This magical radiance comes to life due to the high concentration of microplankton called Noctiluca scintillans in the sea. The mesmerising spectacle can be witnessed in the south-western region of Kumbalangi, which is just 7.5 km from Kochi.

So, tweak your year-end celebrations and strike out a must-see wonder off your bucket list. After all, the radiating lights of bioluminescence will make for a memory of a lifetime.