Vela Turtle Festival
Due to the harvesting of Marine Turtles and their eggs and also their accidental mortality associated with shipping, trawling and other fishing operations, turtles have been threatened with extinction in all parts of the world. Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM) started Marine turtle conservation.
The entire life cycle of marine turtle still remains a mystery. Once their hatchlings enter the sea, upon maturity, only female turtles visit the coastline for breeding, and that too for a couple of hours only. Male turtles never visit the seashore. Turtle’s long life span and ability to migrate a few hundred thousand kilometers makes it difficult for researchers to study marine turtles.
Types of Turtles:
Below mentioned are the types of turtles we can get around the world.
- Green Turtle:
Weighs around 250 kilos, tropical coastline and islands are their favorite nesting/breeding sites.
- Olive Ridley:
They weigh around 50 kilos, Indian Coastline is one of their favorite nesting/breeding sites.
(Majorly in Orissa & Maharashtra coastline)
- Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea):
Weighs around 500 kilos, tropical coastline are their favorite nesting/breeding sites.
Weighs around 150 kilos, tropical coastline are their favorite nesting/breeding sites.
Weighs around 200 kilos, Temperate and sub-tropical coastlines across the world are their favorite nesting/breeding sites.
About Vela’s Turtle Festival:
Velas is a small eco-village in Ratnagiri district which is famous for the Olive Ridley turtles that visits the Velas beach every year and lays their eggs. At Velas, turtle conservation movement is undertaken by the villagers. An NGO named Sahyadri Nisargmitra started the conservation. Velas Gram panchayat and villagers committee has taken the initiative to conserve Olive Ridley Turtles by providing protection to their eggs. Witnessing a baby turtle coming out of the egg and then finding its way to the sea by those baby steps is an unforgettable moment.
We had visited Velas in March 2016, through arrangements made by this company called Simply Offbeat Holidays, since in velas one wouldn’t find hotels or lodges there are home stays available. We had stayed in Mr. Amol Soman (Pure veg homestay) for more info please click here.
Turtle festival is an opportunity for metro-tourists to bid best wishes to the newly born sea turtle hatchlings while crawling towards their home, which is a sight of its own.
Note: One would not get any Mobile reception in the village. You would have come out of the village to get any reception.