They say that the unplanned trips are usually the best ones. My trip to Velas - a quaint beach in the Ratnagiri district of Konkan, Maharashtra - was one of them. Apart from the soothing beach and calming waves, this beach is known as one of the very few conservation site for endangered Olive Ridley Turtle.
Prior to the intervention of Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM), an NGO based in Maharashtra, the eggs of these Turtle were either consumed by villagers, dogs and other wild animals roaming around the beach. However, the villager are now vigilant about it and take active participation in ensuring that the eggs are safeguarded from the venturing predators on the beach.
While browsing through for places to go near Pune, I came across the Turtle festival that was ongoing in a beach near Ratnagiri - Velas. After going through few sites and posts, my friend and I decided to take part in it.
From Mumbai: 218 kms.
From Pune: 194 kms.
Nearest railway station is Khed.
Nearest airport is Pune/Mumbai.
You can either book a cab from Pune or Mumbai and take the road or take the State Bus from Pune or Mumbai Depot.
We had taken the bus from Swargate depot of Pune to Velas. There is one direct bus from Pune at 10:30 AM (please check the timing with the depot as it might have changed now. You can also book your ticket in advance on their website). Other option is to take bus till Mandangad and then change at Mandangad for Velas. If you reach early, you can share a shuttle that runs between Velas and Mandangad. Last bus to leave from Mandangad to Velas is at 6:30 PM. Velas is 36 kms from Mandangad and can take 60 to 90 mins to reach in the bus. It took us 8 hours to reach from Pune to Velas.
Bus Fare: INR 280/ticket