Cost: Rs.2900/- (Book your seat paying the Advance payment (1500/-), and pay the remaining amount at the Meeting Point.)
Velas is a coastal village which falls in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. Velas has been attracting nature lovers and travellers more for its Velas turtle festival, Maharashtra since its inception. Hundreds of Olive Ridley Turtles, one of the endangered and most treasured species of marine turtles, come ashore at Velas beach for breeding and lay hundreds of eggs. Velas accounts for 40% of sea turtles nests along Maharashtra's coast. Besides Velas beach, other popular tourist attractions at Velas including the Bankot Fort and the Harihareshwar Temple. Velas has been popular for eco-tourism and weekend getaway.
Some interesting facts about Olive Ridley turtles: The Olive ridley is called so because of their olive-colored carapace, which is heart-shaped and rounded. Despite being the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world, their numbers have been shrinking and they face serious threats across their migratory route, habitat and nesting beaches, due to unfriendly human activities. The species is recognized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List (IUCN-international union of conservation of nature) Olive Ridley turtles inhabit in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and are popular for unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of female olive ridley amass on the same beach to lay eggs. These turtles are carnivores and feed mainly on jellyfish, shrimp, snails, crabs, molluscs and a variety of fish and their eggs. The coast of Orissa in India is the largest mass nesting site for the Olive-ridley