In Japan, visitors actually have to buy tickets to enter firefly sanctuaries during the summer Hotaru festival. Gurung sees no reason why Pokhara cannot do the same.
“Why should mountains be our only attraction?” he asks.
Indeed, the Back To Nature Resort on the western edge of Phewa Lake is already doing just that. One humid monsoon night this week, the blinking lights of hundreds of fireflies made the forest glow, while the lucky few who had heard of the place gasped with awe.
“We have tried not to publicise this too much, we want to practice sustainable eco-tourism,” says the resort’s Dambar Pun. “In fact, we now have domestic tourists who come here from all over Nepal, and even extend their stay. They cannot get enough of the fireflies.”
The firefly’s blinking glow is a mechanism for mating and scaring off predators, and only happens a few weeks in a year in June-July. It therefore can be a part of a package of attractions for Pokhara visitors during the monsoon, Pun says.