The Konkan Turtle Festival is organized by the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM) at the tiny village of Velas. The village is located on the picturesque Ratnagiri coast of Maharashtra.
The Konkan Turtle Festival is part of the conservation program aimed at protecting the endangered Olive Ridley turtles. The festival is normally spread over a 14-day period in the month of March. During this time, activists of the organization as well as tourists and locals release thousands of freshly hatched Olive Ridley Turtles into the sea.
Over the years, the festival has spread from Velas to 30 other villages. As soon as the female Olive Ridley turtle lays its eggs, activists of the SNM take away the eggs and keep them protected in a special nesting site. This site protects the eggs from nature’s predators as well as predatory human beings. Once the eggs are hatched, the baby turtles are taken to the shoreline – and soon the baby turtles flip their way into the sea waters and swim away.
The festival is a must-visit for environment lovers. In addition, there are other places to see and visit in this area. This includes some spectacular scenery as well as a famous Mahalaxmi temple. Accommodation is pretty basic and visitors are put up by the villagers in the homes. The food served is predominantly vegetarian. The festival is a great way to experience the way of life in Indian villages.