Important points to consider while going to Velas and Anjarle Turtle Festivals

The Konkan region is known for its scenic beauty, pretty white sandy beaches and the lovely sea food. Being closer to Mumbai, Pune and Goa brings many tourists here who are looking for an escape for the weekend. This coastal belt is also one of the prime areas of India where the endangered species of Olive Ridley Turtles visit to lay their eggs. Most of these beaches are away from the civilization and make perfect setting for the mothers to lay their eggs. In the last few years, some local NGOs have taken it upon themselves to make sure that no harm is imposed upon these eggs and the hatchlings get to go back to their home instead of an animal or bird eating them after or before they are born.

Velas Turtle festival (1)
All the seven species of marine turtles are under the list of endangered species. Understanding the need of their conservation and safekeeping, the NGOs and Maharashtra’s wild life department have taken it upon themselves to help with the conservation. As the part of this initiative, two of the biggest spots where Olive Ridley Turtles visit to lay their eggs have been marked as protected areas. As a result, the movement of turtle conservation at Velas and Anjarle has been so successful that Velas itself is now contributing to 40% of egg hatching and turtles returning to the sea in the whole Konkan Area.

You too can be a witness to this extraordinary event and experience this wonder by yourself. The Velas and Anjarle turtle festivals are two prime events organized during the time when the eggs start hatching.

Anjarle Turtle Festival (2)

Velas Turtle Festival

Anjarle Turtle Festival (1)

Velas is a small, beautiful town filled with clear sandy beach and dense mangroves. The cleanliness of this beach and its distance from anything commercial proves to be a perfect setting for the mother Ridley to visit and lay her eggs. The number of eggs laid on Velas beach is the highest on the Konkan Coast and hence the turtle festival goes on for more than a month.

How to reach Velas

Velas Turtle festival (2).jpg

Velas is 3 hours away from the biggest town, Dapoli. Those who are driving will have no problem coming from Pune or Mumbai as the roads are well marked. If you are coming by bus to Velas then you travel either to Mandangarh or for Dapoli. DO NOT CHOOSE DAPOLI AS THE PLACE TO STAY IF YOU WISH TO SPEND TIME AT VELAS.

Watching these baby turtles coming out of their eggs and going into the ocean was not only a pleasant experience but also an eye opening lesson. . Human greed has ruined the planet, the environment, the mountains, the forests and the ocean. So badly, that there is no guarantee that a clean secluded beach will guarantee survival of eggs in its natural form. . Anjarle turtle festival is a commendable effort by the NGOs who are dedicated towards safekeeping of these little hatchlings. Without them, this lovely experience wouldn't have been possible. . These little babies are cute, arn't they? . #travel #UntamedJourneys #Konkan #Anjarle #RAtnagiri #Maharashtra #_oye #india#storiesofindia#indiagram #desi_diaries#indianstories #Cntgiveitashot#indiaclicks#_indiasb #incredibleindia#lonelyplanetindia#featuremyframe #everydayindia#dpeg#inspiroindia #indiaphotosociety#indiaig#traveldesi #mysimpleclick#indianphotography #ifoundawesome #theworldshotz . . @incredibleindia @yesindia @indiashutterbugs @thevisualyatra @india.clicks @yourshot_india @official_photography_hub @desi_diaries @BBC_travel @NYTimestravel @LonelyPlanetIndia @NatGeotravel @Natgeoyourshot @Natgeowild @TripotoCommunity @ScoopWhoop @Wegoindia @India_Tourism_ @Maharashtra_IG_ @maharashtra_desha @maharashtrian_treasures

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Buses coming from Pune and Mumbai have more frequency to Ratnagiri and Chiplun. From Ratnagiri, you’ll find a connecting bus to Dapoli or Mandangarh. Upon reaching Mandangarh, you can either wait for a bus going to Velas leaving at intervals of 3 hours or walk into the market and take a shared jeep for INR 50.

Velas Turtle festival (5)

Anjarle Turtle Festival

Olive Ridley arrives at Anjarle Beach quiet late so the turtle festival starts only in April. A small conservatory keeps some 150 eggs for hatching and protection. As the beach is away from any kind of artificial lighting, the guarantee of baby hatchlings reaching to the ocean is pretty high.

Velas Turtle festival (7)

How to reach Anjarle

Considering that you are traveling from Mumbai, Pune or Goa, you can take a bus or train till Ratnagiri. Once you are in Ratnagiri, you’ll find frequent buses for Dapoli from where there are buses to Anjarle. Staying at Dapoli will ruin your chances of seeing the turtles hatch as the first bus from Dapoli leaves at 6:45 AM.

Anjarle Turtle Festival (5).jpg

If you have a private cab or driving by yourself, you should make sure that you leave from Dapoli by 5 in the morning so that you are able to see the turtles being released in the sea. Staying in Dapoli will keep you in an area with phone networks and connectivity but you’ll miss the scenic beauty offered by Anjarle.

Stay at Velas and Anjarle

Velas and Anjarle have been developed to sustain local tourism. As a part of this initiative, a number of stay homes have been opened here so that the locals find a way to earn their livelihood without getting to the need of selling turtle eggs. You’ll find a stay home for INR 800 to 1500 depending on the amenities and the kind of room you require.

Velas Turtle festival (3)

Phone Network

Both Velas and Anjarle are devoid of Airtel or any other phone network. Although Idea is better than other networks in this region but connectivity is still limited inside the town.

Hatchling Release at Velas and Anjarle

Both Velas and Anjarle beaches have conservatories where the eggs are marked and released in the sea on a daily basis. You can either visit the beach at 7 AM or 6 PM as the dim light is the best time for the baby turtles to find a way home.

Things to keep in mind while enjoying the turtle festival

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Velas and Anjarle are highly sensitive areas in terms of ecology. The burden of making this event successful is not only the responsibility of an NGO or the forest department. When you are here, try not to bring your vehicle on the beach area. A small walk will only keep you healthy. Although there is no rule against parking vehicles near the beach but it makes the whole area very crowded.

A lot of people come here with kids and instead of educating them about the importance of conservation they just let them throw stones inside the conservatory. Making hoo haa noises will only startle these little hatchlings and they won’t come out thinking of a possible danger.

Velas and Anjarle beaches are not like Goa where you can throw a plastic bottle thinking that someone else will come clean it for you. So when you visit turtle festival, try bringing back your garbage. An NGO or a local asking the same is pretty insulting, trust me.

Velas and Anjarle have a lot of potential in terms of environmental conservation. Turtles are the oldest species on the planet and have been around since the times of dinosaurs. Humanity’s greed has finally brought them to closer to extinction. It is commendable to meet a group of dedicated people who leave their lives behind for months so that they can make sure that these babies reach their home safely.

30 thoughts on “Important points to consider while going to Velas and Anjarle Turtle Festivals

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  1. I was just in India and had never heard of the Velas and Anjarle Turtle Festivals. As one who loves nature, I’ll definitey have to add that to my next India adventure.

  2. Love the photos! I am such a sucker of cute things and these baby turtles are so cute, omg lol. Sorry. Want to go there and experience the festival! Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By any chance you are interested on doing collaborations, you can check out the collaborations portal of Phlanx.com and connect with amazing brands!

    Xoxo,
    Tiffany

  3. Turtles seem to be endangered every where. It is good to know that efforts are made to preserve the species. I am sure it is a spectacular sight to watch the turtles make their trip to the shores to lay their eggs. It is interesting to know that Velas and Anjarlehave have organized turtle festivals to coincide with the time when the eggs start hatching.

  4. Great to heat that Velas and Anjarle on the Arabian Sea coast on Maharastra state, India is providing protection to Olive Ridley urtles to lay their eggs. I heard that similar work is being conducted in Allapuzha and (or) Kollam districts of Kerala state also, on a smaller scale.

  5. What a unique sight it must be to see the beaches of Velas and Anjarle speckled with hundreds of turtles scampering around. Its heartening to hear of NGOs focusing their sights on projects like these. I can’t believe that people allow kids to throw stones!!

  6. I didn’t realise they had them in India too. I have heard about the turtle hatching and it’s mind blowing how nature works. The last program I saw they did say in some places new construction that has lights confuses them on what direction to go. I will have to google the exact location of both these towns

  7. “… Human greed has ruined the planet, the environment, the mountains, the forests and the ocean.” Unfortunately, that’s so true. Related to it, I often recall the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi: “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.’

  8. Woow! I love reading your articles It has a deep meaning and very detailed. What a lovely place, the beach is awesome. Awe-inspiring scenes! Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Weee, little turtles are so cute. Never heard of such festival and never thought something like this exists. Hope to see this one day and to photograph.

  10. I lived in Mumbai for many years and never knew about this cute turtle festival in Velas. This Konkan festival looks interesting and fun. You have listed some vital information about how to reach here and connectivity issues. Thanks for this!

  11. It’s nice to see such event. And I admire the people behind in conserving these turtle species. I hope it will bring awareness and educate the people to help protect the endangered species.

  12. Good to see so much work being done by the government and NGOs to protect the endangered specie. I would personally want to witness this beech when I happen to travel in Maharashtra. Great article, very nicely summed up ! Glad I came across it. 🙂

  13. I am so glad you were able to witness so many turtle hatch-lings. When we visited Velas last year, we were able to see 12 hatch-lings. I loved how the tiny turtles are running toward the sea in the video. We however, did not get to visit Anjarle beach and that seems amazing too; maybe next time. I am sure you had a great time attending the turtle festival.

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