Velas beach located in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, the remote village of Velas would have stayed in oblivion if it weren’t for the Olive Ridley turtles that brought international attention to this place.
Enclosed by mountains on its three sides with the lovely Velas beach on its fourth side, this small village also has a historical connection as it was the hometown and birthplace of Nana Phadnavis, who was a powerful minister of the Maratha Empire.
If you want a beach vacation with a rustic, isolated feel, Velas beach fits your itinerary perfectly. In case your visit here coincides with the Annual Turtle Festival (held during February-March), you can see the hatchlings being released by the volunteers into the sea every morning at specific times, which is a unique experience for sure. Even the sight of baby turtles making their laborious way to the sea is worth a watch.
Lying 2.9 kms away from Velas beach, the small fishing village of Bankot is worth a visit. During your visit here, you should also set a date with the Bankot Fort. If you are in the mood of exploring some other beaches, you can check out the ones at Dapoli, Shrivardhan, Harihareshwar and Diveagar, which would not only let your eyes feast on scenic beauty but even appease your taste buds with local Konkani cuisine that the beach restaurants and eateries serve.
Best Time to Visit
October to March is the best time to visit here. If you can check the Velas Turtle Festival dates and plan your tour around the same time, you will surely have an unmatched experience.
How to get there
Since Velas is a remote village far away from Mumbai (205.4 kms) and Pune (175.1 kms), air travelers coming to either of the two cities would do best to hire private vehicles to reach the beach. Road is the best way to reach Velas as several buses are run both by private and state bus services to take you up to Mandangad or Dapoli, from where you can take local transport for the rest of the journey. Those taking the Konkan Rail route should board trains till Chiplun and then hire private vehicles to reach Velas.
Solitude Beach Cottage and Velas Beach Stay are two options to book your rooms for your Velas beach stay. You may also find several fairly priced homestays for your Velas sojourn that promise you homely comfort. You could even book into hotels around Velas beach like the ones in Shrivardhan or Diveagar.
For wildlife enthusiasts, the hatching season of turtles is a big draw of Velas beach. But even if you are just a curious onlooker, Velas beach, with its pristine beauty and the Olive Ridley turtles, is bound to offer you an experience that you will remember for a long time to come.