- 198 Kms
- 4 / 5
Location: In Ratnagiri District
Velas is a quaint eco-friendly coastal village situated in the Ratnagiri district, known for its efforts of conserving Olive Ridley Turtles.
Velas is a quaint eco-friendly coastal village situated in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. It holds a special place in history because it’s the birthplace of Nana Phadnavis, a prominent minister and statesman of the Maratha empire during the Peshwa rule.
But lately, Velas Beach has been appearing on the Maharashtra tourist map owing its efforts of conserving Olive Ridley Turtles. In 2002, an NGO called Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra Mandal started the efforts to conserve and protect the species. Since then, the Velas Grampanchayat and the entire village have joined hands and made it their priority to help protect and oversee the hatching of Olive Ridley turtle eggs. More than 19000 hatchlings have been released in the last decade owing to these conservation efforts.
Visit Velas Beach between February and March, and join other nature-lovers for the annual Velas Turtle Festival. Witness the heart-warming spectacle as thousands of tiny newly-hatched Olive Ridley turtles make their way towards the Arabian sea. Watching the newborn turtles emerging through the shells with shiny black eyes and instinctively crawling towards the sea is an experience you will remember forever.
The Velas beach itself is absolutely beautiful, covered in a vast expanse of shiny black sand, which is often dotted with turtle footprints. Enjoy its pristine natural beauty, its crystal-clear blue water, pollution free air and refreshing greenery outlining the shore. Visit the beach during sunset for some amazing views and watch the stars twinkling in the sky as the night draws closer.
Other attractions in Velas include the Bankot Fort, which offers stunning views of the sea and the ancient temple of Shri Bhairi Rameshwar, frequented by many pilgrims each year.
There are no hotels or restaurants in Velas, but most village residents offer homestays, especially during the Velas Turtle Festival. Live with the locals to enjoy some cheerful hospitality, and to eat delicious and authentic home-cooked Konkani food.
- There are quite a few good homestays in Velas.
- Or else, you may stay at neighbouring towns in its vicinity such as Harihareshwar.
- Modes of Transport : A privately-owned car or a hired car is the best way to reach and explore Velas from Pune.
Things to do
- Visit Velas during the Velas Turtle Festival held between February and March every year to witness newly hatched Olive Ridley turtle make their way towards the Arabian Sea.
- Enjoy a refreshing beach holiday with loved ones, creating special memories amidst Velas’s beautiful surroundings.
- Stay with a local family for a memorable time and savour authentic home-cooked Konkani cuisine.