Velas beach – You can watch turtle eggs hatch on Velas beach.
Ever wondered how it would be to watch turtles hatch on a beach and make their way into a sea. Nature enthusiasts can actually experience a ‘National-Geographic moment’ on the Velas beach at Mandangad taluk in Ratnagiri district, where the Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, an NGO engaged in conservation of marine turtles, have counted 21 nests.
One turtle lay about 100-150 eggs in a nest. The eggs take about 60 days to hatch. From each nest, there are about 60% chances of emergence of hatchlings.
Distance: 30 Minutes away via Ferry
Nearby Points to see: Pan Buruj, Bankot fort, Velas village, Olive Riddle Turtle breeding beach, Kelshi village (Mahalaxmi temple and Aade beach). The ruins of Nana Phadnis house in Velas is still dictating the tales of the yesteryears while a newly erected museum near the same caters more information regarding the same.
More info on Velas: Although a very beautiful fort dotting the coastline of the Konkan strip, the fort of Himmatgad, now popularly known as Bankot (from the name of nearby village) is not a destination thronged by the tourists. There are couple of reasons attributable to its secluded status. One is that there is very little awareness and historical significance associated with Bankot and other is absence of any major township in the nearby areas contributing to lack of quality accommodation facilities. However, there is no denying that Bankot is a very beautiful fort and surely worth a visit. Bankot, the base village, is a well to do township with a predominantly Muslim population.
From Bankot village, proceed towards Velas village along the road which runs parallel to the coastline. Velas, the birth place of very diplomatic Nana Phadnis of the Peshwa is a very tranquil village merely two km from Bankot. The residence of Nana Phadnis, even though now in ruins, still bears testimony to the great person that Nana was. Calm beach and the perfect village setting make it surely worth a visit.
There is an old temple of Shri Bhairi-Rameshwar and in this temple all twelve months water is made available taking the benefit of favorable geographical conditions. A statue of Nana Phadnis is present outside his house. In Velas Mahalakshmi temple and Nana Phadnis house are the places to visit.
Velas, now also is a breeding place for the endangered species of turtle: The Olive Riddle turtles. The beach of Velas sees a nice haven for breeding of these endangered species and once can really have a close look at these beautiful little creatures and learn more about these. Also the wind scooping off rocks on the shores of the Arabian Sea is a peculiarity in itself and a treat to eye.
One the way towards Velas from Bankot village, one comes across a small dilapidated fortification (Bastion like structure). This is not be mistaken as Bankot fort. This is known as Pan Buruj and was built by the Siddis of the Janjire Mehroob (Janjira) fame. Pan Buruj is merely an extension of Bankot fort serving as a watch guard.