Velas Turtle Festival

The year 2023 will see an increase in the popularity of ecotourism as a travel option. It requires going to places that are extremely fragile biologically, protecting the environment there, and providing assistance to the people who live there. Ecotourism is becoming increasingly admired in today's society as an increasing number of individuals become aware of the role they play in the protection of the environment. The Velas Turtle Festival is a wonderful illustration of ecotourism in its purest form.

What is this festival all about?

Velas, a serene village in the Konkan area of Maharashtra, India, hosts the annual Velas Turtle Festival. In March and April, Velas draws a large number of visitors who have come to see a stunning event. It is common knowledge that the world-famous Olive Ridley Turtles nest on the beaches of Velas every year during their mating season. The Velas Turtle Festival is held annually by the villagers of the area in conjunction with Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to environmental protection, to raise awareness and funds for the turtle's protection. The Velas Turtle Festival is unique in that its focus is on conservation rather than entertainment. The view of hundreds of Olive Ridley Turtles creeping in close proximity is a breathtaking sight for tourists. Turtles gather in large numbers on beaches to lay their eggs, and then, a few days later, the hatchlings emerge and swim back out to sea.


Everything about the beautiful Olive Ridley turtle

The green turtle is the second-smallest species of marine turtle in the world. They measure about 35 kilogrammes (nearly 2 feet) in length. Five sets of scutes on their back create a distinctive tent form. At peak nesting seasons, female turtles can produce up to one hundred eggs. The turtles have many egg-laying periods spaced apart by anywhere from 20 to 28 days. There is a 40-45 day incubation period for turtle eggs. The eggs of this species are laid at night. Unfortunately, due of the prevalence of predators, the species' egg-laying ability is threatened. The Velas Turtle Festival is an example of how local communities are working to protect their turtle population.


How to Get to Velas Village.

Distances from Mumbai and Pune to Velas are around 250 and 200 kilometres, respectively. A train station can be found in Khed, which is roughly 80 kilometres away from Velas. Velas, in the Mandangad Taluka of the Ratnagiri District, is the best place to arrive by car or local bus to visit the Bankot Fort.



Things to Do In Velas Turtle Festival


Velas Beach celebrates the rare Olive Ridley turtle hatching. Here are some of the things you can do at the festival:

  • Seeing baby turtles hatch and swim to the sea is the festival's main draw. The festival organisers hatch and release baby turtles in a beach enclosure.
  • Cultural programmes: The festival features folk dances, music, and traditional games. Discover the region's culture and customs.
  • Velas is a picturesque beach community with a rich history. Explore the village, meet residents, and experience rural India.
  • Visit surrounding attractions: Visit the Bankot Fort Harihareshwar Temple and Konkan coast beaches during the Velas Turtle Festival.
  • Volunteer to conserve endangered Olive Ridley turtles: The festival is both a celebration and a conservation endeavor. Beach cleanup, turtle monitoring, and conservation awareness can be done by volunteers.
  • Velas' cuisine is wonderful, as is Maharashtra's. Local specialties include modak, kokam sharbat, ukdiche modak, and solkadhi.


Attractions near Velas:

Bankot Fort

Bankot Fort is an ancient structure that may be seen in India's Maharashtra state, specifically in the Raigad region. In the 16th century, the Portuguese constructed the fort, which was later taken by Shivaji Maharaj. Location-wise, it marks the point where Bankot Creek meets the Arabian Sea.

As a result of its rich history and picturesque location, Bankot Fort attracts many visitors every year. From the fort, you can see as far as the eye can see, including the Arabian Sea. Furthermore interesting is the city's intricate architecture, which is a mix of Portuguese and Marathi influences.

There are a variety of buildings within the fort, including a temple, a palace, a mosque, and several homes. Many worshippers make their way to the Lord Ganesh temple located inside the fort. There is a freshwater well within the fort that was likely constructed by the Portuguese.


Harihareshwar Temple

One of the most visited temples in all of Maharashtra, this one is devoted to the Hindu lord Shiva. It's often referred to as "Southern Kashi."

The temple sits near the bank of the River Savitri, where it meets the Arabian Sea, and is surrounded on all sides by lush valleys. The temple was constructed utilising ancient Hemadpanthi-style black stones. Both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu have their own sacred enclosures within the shrine.

Lord Shiva's idol in the temple is a self-manifested lingam, making it one of the holiest Shiva lingams in all of Maharashtra. Besides the main deities, the temple also features statues of Ganesh, Parvati, and Vishnu.


Velas Beach

Velas is gifted with a lot of serene beaches that are perfect for a classic beach day. The area is still not well known and is not affected by a lot of tourists, which makes it unique. The Velas Turtle Festival is a great chance to see nature in its most natural state. Getting to know the little turtles here is without a doubt a life-changing experience.


Anjarle Beach

About 15 kilometres from Velas is the stunning Anjarle Beach.

The beach is renowned for its tranquil ambiance, and betel nut and coconut trees adorn its picturesque beachfront.

Anjarle Beach is the perfect location for a relaxed holiday because it is less crowded over other beaches in the area. The beach is ideal for swimming, tanning, and taking lengthy strolls on the fine sand. The beach also provides breathtaking sunset views.

The Kadyawarcha Ganpati temple, which is situated on a hill overlooking Anjarle Beach, is another attraction there. The Lord Ganesha-focused temple is reputed to be among the most ancient and oldest structures in the area. The temple is made of black stones and has a distinctive architecture.


Harihareshwar Beach and Market

Coconut water, vada pav, and roasted corn are sold at beachside shacks and stalls. 

Visitors can buy souvenirs, handicraft, and local products including mango, cashew, and kokum at Harihareshwar's modest market. Bhel puri, pani puri, & vada pav are among popular street foods in the market.

On the beach sits Maharashtra's most respected temple, Harihareshwar. The Shiva temple draws thousands of worshippers each year.

With its stunning scenery, religious significance, and vibrant local culture, Harihareshwar Beach & Market are two of Maharashtra's most popular tourist spots.


TreksandTrails, India invites you on this journey from the nest to the sea, which makes tourists ooh and aah as they gather on the beach to see this natural miracle.