Olive Ridley Turtles | Turtle Festival on Anjarle and Velas Beach
It was the Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra Organization that identified this phenomenon. Their observations noted that many female turtles come to these beaches to lay eggs and that they need to be protected. The villagers joined in the movement voluntarily with equal gusto to pledge to protect the turtles. This conservation activity which was initiated first in Velas Village, literally brought the otherwise ignored beach of Velas and the village, on the world map.
For many years, during the months of December to May, the female Olive Ridley Turtles come to different beaches to lay eggs in the breeding season. After ensuring the safety of these eggs the villagers celebrate the Turtle Festival every year. These turtle festivals have started Eco Tourism in Velas, Anjarle, Gavkhadi and offer a good source of income for the local villagers and also the turtle conservation activity.
The team effort of the Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra organisation and the villagers have ensured the safety of over 50,000 baby turtles born on different sandy beaches in Ratnagiri in the last 15 years and have created a secure passage for them to go back to the sea. This one of a kind, the unique Turtle Festival is something one shouldn’t miss.