Velas Turtle Festival 2019
It is nothing but a local effort that combines environmental conservation with village tourism to protect the endangered Olive Ridleys from mass casualty.
Kasav Mitra mandal carries out this conversation activity and each year this festival is organised by them with the help of local villagers.
A turtle has so many predators that out of 1000 only one survives till the adultry.
Don't miss this chance to witness hatchlings taking there first steps towards the sea and do help in conserving this endangered species by spreading awareness.
Turtles lay their eggs(about 100to 150 each) at the shore during November to January. These are then carefully relocated in a protective nest/ fence by these environmental activists.
Depending upon this the hatchling time is detected and the festival dates are declared.
One may find various operators organising one day overnight visit to this festival from Mumbai and Pune.
Every day at 6am and 6pm Kasavmitra checks whether the hatchlings have came up to the surface from the egg pit. The ones who make it to the surface are taken carefully to the shores and are released protectively 50- 100 m away from sea shore.
It's a magnificent sight to watch these cute tiny hatchlings take there first steps towards the sea.
Note: Hatchlings coming to the surface from their eggs is natural phenomenon, so one can not be always lucky to witness the same. It is suggested to plan multiple visits to the nest for witnessing the same.
How to reach...
1) Via mandangad.. aroad takes place all the way to velas
2) via Harihareshwar then to bankot vide ferry boat ride across the Savitri river. A fun experience.
Actual turtle nesting sea shore is away from the Velas village. One can take vehicle upto certain distance only,where ample parking place is available. From there it is a one km walk towards the beach.
The event is organised with help from villagers. During the festival season one can stay in homestays, where a seperate room is provided by the villagers in their home. A typical package includes 1breakfast,One lunch ,one dinner and Tea/coffee in the evening.
It is better to book the homestay in advance as a last minute accomodation will be difficult to find , especially on weekends.
One can find the homestays
Please watch full video on YouTube