Those who have travelled the world and have been thinking that there’s nothing more magical left to explore, well, you are in for a surprise! Do you know that the current season is that of turtle nesting and there is an event, specially dedicated to witnessing this beauty of nature?
The event, named as Velas Turtle Festival, is held in a coastal village, Velas that is situated in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district. Popular for its beautiful beaches, the place is also home to the very famous Harihareshwar Temple and Bankot Fort.
While these things make Velas a very amazing tourist destination, the place is garnering even more attention courtesy the Velas Turtle Festival. During this time, the Olive Ridley Turtles, which are known as marine turtles’ most treasured species, come ashore in hundreds in number to breed and lay eggs.
About the Velas Turtle Festival 2020
Let's shed some light on the turtle festival information. Neither this festival exhibits or displays the turtles nor is this another kind of animal festival. More than a festival it, in fact, is an experience wherein you get to see the baby Ridley Turtles to come out of the egg and then crawl towards the sea. It is especially more important for the female baby turtles as, after a few years, they have to return to the same beach to lay eggs of their own. This is the time for them to get acquainted with the beach.
Organizing the Velas Turtle Festival
This event is organized by an NGO, namely Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, who has been doing so since 2006. However, Velas Turtle Festival 2020 date is not out yet, in fact, it is likely that the event has been cancelled this year in the wake of COVID-19 aka coronavirus. The Velas Turtle Festival is simply a treat for the photographers as well as nature lovers and that is the reason why it is super popular in the whole of Maharashtra.
To organize this festival, the NGO teams up with the locals of the village, Velas. They not just make the beach apt for turtle nesting but also set up accommodations in order for people to enjoy the view and click amazing pictures.
Olive Ridley Turtles’ Fun Facts
There are several facts associated with the Olive Ridley Turtles and here are the top 5 of them.
1. They basically are sea turtles found in Pacific and Indian Oceans’ warm tropical ocean currents.
2. The ones that come to the Velas beach for nesting are mostly 2-3 ft. in length and weigh approximately 50-60 kilograms.
3. They might come across as very cute and delicate but you would be surprised to know that their food consists of shelled animals, hard gastropods, jellyfish and more!
4. The turtles cover a distance of thousands of kilometres in the sea to reach the Velas beach in order to lay eggs there.
5. While female turtles always return to the beach for nesting, the male members of the species never come back.
Places to Visit in and Around Velas Village
1. Harihareshwar Beach. Known as the best and the most naturally-preserved beach of the area, it is here that most of the turtles arrive to lay their eggs.
2. Harihareshwar Temple. Not just the beach, but this temple is also equally popular among the tourists. This place is of high significance for the Lord Shiva Bhakts.
3. Bankot Fort. During your stay in this region, you can also visit this fort which was Southern Konkan’s foothold of the British Raj. For the unversed, it was in 1756 that Bankot Fort became part of the Bombay Presidency.
4. Dapoli. With hot water springs, caves and forts, this place makes for a beautiful vacation destination. So, whenever you visit Velas for the Turtle Festival, do pay a visit here as well.
Accommodation at the Velas Turtle Festival Celebration
As mentioned above, all the arrangements of the event are made by the NGO as well as the villagers. So, accommodation is also taken care of by them only. The most renowned kind of accommodation here are homestays which receive immense support from the forest department, gram panchayat and locals alike.
The homestays are available with home-cooked vegetarian food that comprises breakfast, lunch dinner, and tea. The food is Maharashtrian and quite lip-smacking. To say the least, it would tantalize your tastebuds, leaving you to want for more.
The homestays have clean modern toilets and comfortable beddings that make your stay easy. To top it all, the villagers are also very loving and supportive.
All in all, this event is so amazing that it won’t just make you happy but the memories of it will also remain with you forever.
Stay tuned to Adotrip for more such interesting blogs as well as in-depth information on the destinations, events, and festivals of India.
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