Head to THIS unique Turtle Festival near Mumbai, to experience eco-tourism at its best!

Head to THIS unique Turtle Festival near Mumbai, to experience eco-tourism at its best!

From February to March, Maharashtra's western coast witnesses numerous Olive Ridley turtles arriving.

If you’re looking for a fun break, we believe that this article about an offbeat getaway from Mumbai, is the starting point. You can now switch work fatigue with a much-needed recharge, by touring the underrated Velas Turtle Festival, this March. Want to know more? Read on!

A complete guide to Velas Turtle Festival

Home to a coastline as long as 720 km, Maharashtra is blessed with a number of marine creatures that come to visit regularly. Since 2001, it has been observed that from February to March, the western coast of Maharashtra witnesses the arrival of numerous Olive Ridley turtles.

These turtles then lay eggs, with nearly 40% of them choosing the shores of Velas in Ratnagiri. The eggs take 45 to 65 days to hatch and then their journey to the ocean begins. However, this species of turtles has been battling a steep decline in its numbers and is sitting in the ‘vulnerable’ category of the IUCN Red List. 

So, to boost tourism and initiate conservation steps for the same turtle species, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (NGO) joined hands with the volunteers of Ratnagiri, to create awareness and encourage eco-tourism. Following this, the Velas Turtle Festival is organised yearly, from March to April. 

An annual highlight not only for the locals but also tourists from all over India, it’s high time people know about this underrated festival, away from the bustle of the city.

Knock Knock 

So prep to witness the hatching of eggs and baby turtles crawling out of their shells and entering the ocean, at Velas Turtle Festival. The best time to explore Velas is from February to the early weeks of April - which is a cue for you to start planning and packing!

You can either take a bus that'll drop you to the nearest point to Velas, that is Dapoli or Mandangad, or take a train to Chiplun from Mumbai. Otherwise private commute is always an option! And if you are looking for other experiences too while at this seaside village, go ahead and check out Velas' Shiva Temple and the historic Bankot Fort.

Distance from Mumbai: 206.7 km

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