Velas Turtle Festival Dates, Information, Photos, Best Time to Visit

by Surojit Palmal
Velas Turtle Festival

We all have experienced different types of festivals in our lives, from social festivals, to cultural festivals to religious festivals and more. We have heard about dance and music festivals, agricultural festivals and beach festivals as well. But have you ever heard about the Velas Turtle Festival? Now this is a unique festival that takes place in Maharashtra and at present the festival is also gaining a lot of popularity. For nature lovers this is like an experience to enjoy something as natural as a turtle festival. Sounds really interesting already, right? So if you are interested to experience this unique Velas Turtle Festival then you need to keep on reading this article.

This festival is one of the popular festivals for Velas eco tourism and at present it is gaining popularity. A lot of people from all over the world visit here during the time of the festival to witness the unique festival. In this article I will mention Velas Turtle Festival information that you might need to plan a trip there. I will mention everything that will help you to plan a successful trip to this location. This will undoubtedly be a very helpful article for you if you are thinking of visiting Velas to experience the festival.

Velas Turtle Festival

Location: Velas Beach, Ratnagiri, Velas, Maharashtra

Velas Turtle Festival Dates: Every year from February to April

How to reach

By air

The nearest airports to reach Velas are Pune Airport and Mumbai Airport. From the Pune International airport Velas is located 186 km away. It would take around 5 and a half hours to reach there from the airport. And from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Velas is 181 km away. It would take around 5 hours to reach there from Mumbai airport. Buses are available from both Pune and Mumbai so you can opt for that. Or else you can also hire a car or take a cab to reach there as well.

By train

The nearest railway station to reach Velas is Chiplun. From Chiplun the distance of Velas is 106 km and it would take around 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach there. You will get buses easily from Chiplun to reach Velas.

By road

It is convenient to reach Velas by road from Mumbai and Pune. From both the destinations regular buses are available to reach there. If you are travelling locally then you can opt for state buses as well. In that case you will have to get off at Mandangad or Dapoli. From there you will have to take local transport to reach Velas. Other than that you can travel from anywhere by road by hiring a car or driving your own vehicle as well.

Velas Turtle Festival Best Time to Visit

Velas Turtle Festival Best Time to Visit

The Olive Ridley Turtles visit the beach in Velas around February and the process of hatching eggs continues till April. Ideally obviously this is the best time to visit here. You can visit around March to witness the festival and the activity in its full peak. So plan your trip accordingly.


Overview of Velas Turtle Festival

The Velas Turtle Festival is basically an annual festival that is all about the conservation of the Olive Ridley Turtles. Long back the Olive Ridley Turtles had been declared as endangered species. Since then a non profit organization SNM or Sahydri Nisarga Mitra along with the Marine Conservation Society took the initiative to conserve these exotic turtles. During the period from February and March a good number of Olive Ridley Turtles visit this beach in Maharashtra. They lay eggs here late at night and each female turtle lays around 80 to 100 eggs approximately. At that time a group of volunteers guard the turtles from poachers so that the process can complete smoothly.

Previously there was buying and selling of these eggs but that is now not done. Now after the conservation effort there has been a sizable increase in the population of the turtles. After the laying of eggs the volunteers take them to safer nests for an incubation period of 40 days. After that it starts hatching. Also not all the eggs laid make it to the ocean, but only a few of them hatch and make their way towards life.

The Velas Turtle Festival is a beautiful festival celebrating new life. And one of the most delightful sights here is the releasing of the turtles into the ocean. For nature lovers the main attraction of visiting this festival is to witness this mesmerizing site. The releasing of turtles happens 2 times each day. Once it happens in the morning and again during the evening time.


About Olive Ridley Turtles

These turtles are vulnerable species under the IUCN list and this conservation has led to the increase in the numbers of the turtles as well. The Olive Ridley Turtles weigh about 50 to 60 kgs and are 2 to 3 feet in height. The female turtles visit the beach to lay the eggs and after that they leave. However at the time of hatching they again come here to nurture the turtles. It takes about 45 to 60 days for an egg to hatch. And then they take small steps to start their new life into the ocean.

Where to stay

The eco village of Velas is opened to serve as Velas Turtle Festival Homestay. Here you will find many small homestay accommodations across the village that offer comfortable Konkani style houses for a decent stay. Most of these homestays offer dormitories that are set up with minimum amenities. Also the rooms are simple and you can opt for staying there safely. Keep in mind that alcohol is totally prohibited in the village of Velas.

Things to remember before visiting the festival

Things to remember before visiting the festival

1.       You should not touch or even pick up the eggs or turtles in any way. So refrain from doing that.

2.       It is advisable to not use any sort of harsh light or loud sounds on the beach. That would however distract the baby turtles and they might lose their way to the ocean. So keep that in mind and maintain silence.

3.       Do not litter in the beach of Velas and keep it clean

4.       You must avoid using plastic here as it is not good for the environment and the velas festival also

5.       There is a barricade here and you should not cross that.

6.       If you see an injured turtle anywhere make sure you are informing the Forest Department, Volunteers or the Local Organising Committee

Location Map

 Wrapping Up!

The Velas Turtle Festival is one of the most unique festivals that you can enjoy. It can be a delightful experience amidst nature. So if you are a nature lover then this is something that you cannot simply miss out on. Check out the Velas Turtle Festival photos and you would exactly know why visiting this festival is a must for nature enthusiasts. So plan your trip and enjoy this beautiful site of new lives. Let me know when you are planning a trip to Velas. Also let me know if this article on the Turtle Festival is helpful for you in planning a trip to this location.

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