TreksandTrails Invites you to Velas Turtle Festival Friday 22nd -23rd March 2014 to witness the Turtle hatchlings
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, its 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 its sandy cocoon, the tiny hatchling is soon followed by a hundred others, all crawling their way towards the brightest lights on the horizon- in this case, the sea. TreksandTrails, 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.
Velas is a small fishing village on the western coast of Maharashtra. About 220km away from Mumbai, a little over a hundred houses on the cost of the Arabian sea.
Conservation at Velas:
TreksandTrails, appreciates the great efforts been undertaken by local NGO-Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra has borne fruit and 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. Each morning at 0700 and evening at 1730-1800 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 water. 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 15 years to lay her eggs.