Velas Turtle Festival on 24th 25th February 2017
About Velas Turtle Festival
Maharashtra is blessed with 720 kms long coastline. Shared with Konkan, Thane, and Ratnagiri also Sindhudurg districts. Many marine creatures come visit. However, the exact count and type are unknown. As from what is believed there is not a detailed study available. In the year 2000-01, it was found that a species of turtle, Olive Ridley is a prominent visitor to the shores of Maharashtra for breeding purposes. Other species are the Green Turtle, Hawksbill and the Leatherback. A lot of the other information is already available online, like what does turtles eat, how a turtle looks like. The difference between a turtle, tortoise and a terrapin.
Why Velas Turtle Festival 2017 ?
Velas is a small fishing village on the western coast of Maharashtra. About 220 kms away from Mumbai, a little over a hundred houses on the coast of the Arabian Sea. It is that time of the year again - when a tiny grey head pokes out of the golden sand and takes a breath of the fresh salty air of the Arabian Sea. It is a culmination of a lengthy process, which started when, under the cover of darkness, it’s mother emerged out from the rolling waves to lay her heap of 100-120 eggs on the sandy beach. Oblivious to the world that awaits it outside it’s sandy cocoon, the tiny hatchling is soon followed by a hundred others, all crawling their way towards the brightest lights of the horizon- in this case, the sea. TreksandTrails, India invites you to this journey from the nest to the sea which draws oohs and aahs from tourists - each of whom is gathered on the shore to witness this miracle of Nature. The location is Velas, a remote village in Mandangad taluka in Ratnagiri district approx. a 6 hour drive from Mumbai.
- Hatchling sighting is not guaranteed.
- Maximum batch size is 25 travellers on first come first basis.
- Travel by private non A/C vehicle.
- Pick up and Drop at centralized locations only.
Event Details - Velas Turtle Festival 2017
- Event Type Tour
- Food Arrangement: Homestay with Veg food already arranged
- Transport: Travel by same private vehicle for the entire tour
- Height of Bankot fort: 500 ft
- Base Village: Velas
- Taluka: Mandangad
- District: Ratnagiri
- Region: Konkan
- Route from Pune: Pune – Banner – Khopoli - Velas
- Route from Mumbai: Mumbai - Panvel - Mahad - Loner phata - Velas
- Distance from Mumbai: 220 km approx.
- Distance from Pune: 195 km approx.
- Total time required for climbing Bankot Fort: None
- Total distance for climbing: None
- Minimum participants required: 6
- Maximum participants: 24
- Parking available yes
- Duration: 2 days 2 Nights.
Day 0: Thursday Night
- Meeting at Pritam Dhaba Dadar East 22:45
- Departure from Pritam Dhaba: 23:00
- Chembur Diamond garden pickup 23.30
- Vashi below main bridge pickup at 00.15
- Panvel ST Depot pickup 00:30 (Pune Participants)
- 04:00 Early morning arrival at Velas Village.
- 06:00 Visit to Velas Beach for Turtle sighting
- 08:00 Breakfast
- 10:30 Visit to Bankot fort
- 13:00 Lunch & Rest
- 17:00 Visit to beach for turtle sightings
- 20:00 Dinner and rest
- 21:00 Movie about Turtle Conversation at Conservation Office if available
- 06:00 Visit to Velas beach for turtle sighting.
- 08:00 Breakfast
- 10:30 Depart for Harihareshwar temple from Velas village
- 13:00 Lunch
- 14:30 Departure for Mumbai from Harihareshwar temple
- 23:00 Approx. arrival at Dadar – Mumbai.
- Accommodation in a typical Konkani homestay - Dormitory.
- Saturday: 1 veg breakfast, 1 Veg Lunch, 1 Veg Dinner
- Sunday: 1 Veg breakfast, 1 Veg Lunch
- Sightseeing as per the schedule
- Expertise, guide charges and TreksandTrails, India administration charges if any.
- Ferryboat charges. All entry tickets and permissions. Provision of primary first aid only.
- Non Veg Food, Camera or photography charges if any.
- Dinner on Friday Night and Sunday not included.
- Mineral water and any other item not mentioned in the inclusions list.
How to Register
50 % refund if notified via phone conversation 3 days prior to the event date
No refund if the cancellation requested is less than 3 days. No show No Refund.
Event Tickets cannot be transferred to another date against cancellation
Event Tickets cannot be transferred to another person against cancellation.
Velas Turtle Festival 2017 - Event Rules
- Smoking and Drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited.
- Advance 100% payment is necessary for booking
- If unable to contact, send a text or whatsapp message.
- Group leader decision will be final and binding.
- This is a group activity. Treks and Trails India reserves all the right to change/deviate/cancel the plans without prior notice.
- Swiming in Sea is not allowed at Harihar Beach or Velas Beach.
Please note - Velas Turtle Conservation Site Rules
- It is a conservation site visit and not a picnic.
- No plastic, don't litter or shout when the turtles are released.
- You are not allowed to touch turtles or enter conservation site.
- Wear sensible clothes, although it is a beach the locals are conservative and might take offence at beach attire suitable elsewhere.
- The route to the beach passes through a dirt track built over the mangroves, in the evenings it gets pitch dark and there are no street lights. Do carry a torch with you for such emergencies.
- Photography should be WITHOUT FLASH only.
Things to Carry
Velas Turtle Festival 2017 - List of things Required to carry
- Haversack to keep hands free.
- Please carry a personal photo ID proof.
- Water Bottle 3 lts.
- Please carry a personal extra bed sheets (optional).
- A good torch and extra batteries.
- Camera (Optional)
- Personal medicines.
- Please avoid wearing Gold and other costly jewellery (at own risk).
- Electoral or GluconD powder and some ready to eat snacks & biscuits.
- Wear good trekking shoes, beachwear footwear, floaters, and a extra pair of clothes.
Event Risk Profile and Medical Conditions Disclosures:
We recommend you to please take care while walking / climbing / trekking/ travelling for any adventure / outdoor activity as it is potentially risky. For all these events, you are at your own risk. Organizers are not responsible for any accident or compensation in whatsoever manner. Participants strictly follow the code of conduct, to avoid troubling our fellow trekkers or other people from our group or outside. Do not misinterpret it as a PICNIC. We all are going visit conservation site. Note, this route does not have any fixed/proper/appropriate washrooms or bathrooms.
It is mandatory that you visit your personal physician before enrolling for the trip if you suffer from any illness of any kind then disclose the same and your medical history to the organizers so that best possible arrangement can be carried out post approval. Participants complaining to motion sickness and pregnant ladies should not embark on this tour. As organizers of the trip, we will be providing basic first aid throughout the trip. In case of unexpected mishaps or accidents, we will arrange for the injured patron to be taken to the nearest medical hospital or PHC wherever possible. The medical expenses will have to be borne by the patrons themselves. The cost mentioned above is for Indian citizens ONLY payable in Indian Rupees.
NGO - Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra
TreksandTrails, India sincerely appreciates the great efforts been undertaken by local NGO - Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra, as they have borne fruit since 2002, each year all the nests on the western coast at Velas, Murud, Harnai, Dapoli and other sites are carefully protected and conserved to ensure both natural and human threats are reduced. All the eggs laid on the beach are collected and placed in a common hatchery which is barricaded from all sides and is guarded throughout the day. Average eggs laid by a female turtle is 100. The incubation time required for these eggs is between 50 – 55 days.
Once the emerging of the hatchling begins, their moments creates small depression in the sand, these mark increase as the days go by. Thus experts can then determine the activity in the nest. One the hatchling emergence from the nest, it’s very important to release it into the sea. Hence each morning at 07:00 and evening at 17:30 - 18:00 the baskets covering the lid are open to check if any turtles have hatched if they have they are counted and carefully laid in another basket and taken closer to the sea. They are then gently placed on the sand and they slowly make their way to the water. Their first baby steps are not only endearing to watch but also important if it is a female, as she records in her memory the site of her birth only to return here after 10 - 15 years to lay her eggs.
Listed here are a few threats / dangers to Turtles:
- Poaching of eggs
- Natural Predators
- Trapped in fishing nets
- Sand excavations.
- Artificial bunds/walls/tadpoles built to prevent costal land from erosion.
- Unnatural plantations along the coastline.
- Illuminations along the coastline.
- Ports and Harbours, Tourism.
- Pollution both land and water.
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