Going again for the Velas Turtle Festival


Velas is a quite village on the Konkan Coast, mostly populated by Coastal Brahmins. As soon as you enter the village you will not get a cellphone reception as the last cell towers were in Bankhot the village before Velas, this really helps you cut off and relax.

Velas isn’t at all destination for a weekend getaway there aren’t any comfortable hotels or restaurants here, further the locals aren’t really that hospitable (IMHO), accommodation here is mostly home stays, and meals are available if you ask nice and in advance (and they won’t be that cheap cause ration comes from other villages). That said people still flock to Velas because on the west coast of India this place has the most Olive Ridley Turtles Nesting.

A local conservation group systematically dig up nests and transfer them into protective enclosures on the beach which are manned by volunteers and villagers, this helps the eggs survive both predators and humans alike. Around Feb – March the turtles emerge from the nests and crawl out from the sand. These volunteers then release these turtles into the sea. Where they begin their mostly unknown journey.

To promote this conservation efforts locals and volunteers host tourists who can come and experience these turtles hatching during this Turtle Festival. Where turtles are released twice a day (if any hatch out).

I went there twice last year with my friends from Yatri Sahyadri and they are again organizing a trip to Velas and I’m all excited to go there after a year and see whether this place has changed in any way.

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