This post is special.
Special because it is about an event which has so much of risk, uncertainty and struggle that you must marvel the outcomes.
This post is about the tiny Olive Ridley turtles of Velas, Maharashtra.
Every year, thousands of female turtles swim their way from across the world to this little known beach in Maharashtra. They make nests, lay their eggs and wade back into the sea towards an uncertain future. Over time, the eggs hatch and baby turtles make their way into the sea on their own. The interesting thing is, all the females which would be born at Velas, would come back to the same beach to lay their eggs.
We made an overnight trip from Pune. About 200 kms to Velas, took us about 5 hours through the hilly,twisty turny roads of the western ghats. We made occasional stops and then we reached the spot, early morning.
Since the hatching of the eggs is a natural phenomenon, we missed it. The day we went, the turtles didn’t hatch and we couldn’t see them. We were a bit sad about it, and with some heavy heart, we made our way to Hariharishwar beach, spent some time there and then we came back to the Velas beach once more to have a look at the rock formations and the landscapes that are there.
Our trip ended the following night as we drove back home.
A few days later, one of my friends went, and she was luckier than we were and got some amazing shots of the turtles as they made their way from the sands to the sea.
Special thanks to Medha for letting me use the photos. Am happy that you got to see them babies and you shot them.
The turtles can be seen during the months of October to December as they come to lay the eggs and from end February to mid April as the babies hatch out. The months are based on general observations and they do vary. So does the hatching. It may be so that you make a trip today and see no hatching while your friend who went a day earlier saw a basket full of them. Most people spend the weekend over there, which generally guarantees some sightings.
To the travelers out there who have not yet been to this place, go on, make a trip. The route, the location, the beach, they are worth the distance. Its a tiny village, about 50-70 homes, some offer homestay facilities too. Have a look at the MTDC website for further information.
Have fun all. Next trip, next outing, should be interesting. See you all later.