Velas is a coastal village in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra popular for its beaches and nature attractions. Some of the most well-known tourist spots at Velas include the Bankot Fort, Harihareshwar Temple and Velas Beach. Thousands of tourists flock the village annually for the highly anticipated Velas Turtle Festival.
Velas is home to Olive Ridley turtles, which are a unique and protected marine species. They swim to the shores of Velas Beach to lay and breed their eggs.
Velas Turtle Festival began in 2006 with the collaboration of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNMC) and local villagers. Founded in 1992, SNMC focuses on nature and wildlife conservation as it promotes awareness through various campaigns. The group has played an important role in preserving the natural treasures of Maharashtra, boosting its tourism. Aside from its turtle advocacies, SNMC is also recognised for its bird welfare campaigns.
Velas Turtle Festival aims to promote the conservation and protection of the Olive Ridley turtles. Happening every March, the annual festival allows tourists to see turtles give birth to baby turtles and experience the Maharashtrian Konkani lifestyle with affordable accommodations and packages. Since the local villagers are in charge of the annual festival, tourists can expect a very heartwarming welcome and hospitality throughout their visit.
For Rs. 2,000 per pax, tourists can already enjoy a two-day and two-night accommodations in Konkani houses, transfers, meals, and sightseeings. The package also includes entrance fees, ferryboat fees and professional fees. Velas Turtle Festival is the ideal vacation for families and friends, especially those who are fond of experiencing and exploring the nature. Whether visitors are there to admire baby Olive Ridley turtles or express their deep support for animal conservation, the organisers of the event guarantee an unforgettable and meaningful life experience filled with so much learning.