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Old 26th March 2016, 11:08   #1
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Default Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

Visit to Velas Turtle Festival 11-13 March 2016 in Zoomcar’s XUV5OO W6

It all started due to Mayura around end of Feb 2016. Mayura is a school friend of my daughter Manasi. Mayura is doing a job. She felt the need to do a trip. She found out about this beautiful Olive Ridley Turtle conservation program. It is a weekend trip organized by various groups, from Mumbai mainly.

Useful links are:

http://velasturtlefestival.com/tag/v...festival-2016/
http://www.mumbaitravellers.in/velas...al-2016-dates/

The first possible trip was on the first weekend of March – i.e. 5~6 March 2016.

She realized that it did not make sense to go from Pune to Mumbai and back just to travel with the group. She contacted one of the organizers. They were willing to arrange a vehicle from Pune, if the group was at least 6 people. So, she started contacting her friends. Manasi loved the idea. She asked some more friends. Everywhere parents like us played spoil sport and did not think it safe to send these ‘young adults’ on their own with unknown organizers. We were the only parents who felt that the trip is worth it and that we would like to go too! So, my 2 daughters, my FIL/MIL, my wife and me – that made 6 were ready to go with Mayura. I would have to take leave on 4th and 5th. This was quickly approved from boss.

Then, new hurdle was observed – my other daughter – Kirti – had her last board exam paper on 4th March. This meant we would have to leave after lunch from Pune. The possibility of driving down the famous (or rather infamous) Tamhini Ghat in the dark was not a pleasant one. So, tentatively trip shifted to next week! Added advantage was that I would have to take only one day leave, the second Saturday being off for me! Ya!!

Unfortunately, the originator of the idea – Mayura was not able to get her leave sanctioned! Ouch! After some discussions, we decided that we would go ahead as planned.

The plan was like this – I would leave early from my Mumbai office and reach Pune on Thursday, 10 March 2016. We would leave Pune on 11th March morning and reach Velas by evening. Do Velas Beach, Bankot Fort and Velas Beach again on 12 March. Leave Velas on 13 March and reach Pune. On Monday, 14 March I would leave for my Mumbai office. Estimate of 770 km (165 + 440 + 165) driving from Thu to Mon – definitely doable! I suggested that I would drive the Honda Jazz V CVT and my wife would drive her WagonR VXI. My daughters and in-laws would be spilt up in the two cars. This idea was totally vetoed by the family! ‘What! We want to travel together and enjoy the ride!!’ My wife recommended taking a Innova or SUV on rent. I did not like to have a driver along. So the obvious choice was Zoomcar or Myles.

According to Google Maps, the first day, from Pune to Velas is approximately 175+ km and travel time is about 5 hours! Google Maps recommended coming back via Mumbai-Pune expressway for the return journey, on the last day. From Velas to Pune, by this route is approximately 240+ km and travel time is about 5 hours! Since I was travelling with so many senior citizens and ladies, I assumed a lot of breaks. We did not know how much local travelling is involved. We assumed 20~50 km on the second day. So a total trip of 180+240+(20~50) = 440~470 km to be done in approximately 2 days 9 hours = 48+9 = 57 hours.

Costing of travel

With my two cars running at maximum 5 Rs/km, my cost would be 500 km x 2 cars x 5 Rs/km = Rs5,000 round number!

Assuming Zoomcar, for 57 hours, 570 km free
For Scorpio, @160Rs/hr, Rs 9,120
For XUV5OO, @210Rs/hr, Rs11,970
For Fortuner, @310Rs/hr, Rs17,670
For Myles, for 57 hours, zero km free
Scorpio, @120Rs/hr, Rs9,100 incl fuel
XUV, @171Rs/hr, Rs10,600 incl fuel
Fortuner, @257Rs/hr, Rs 16,723 incl fuel
Innova, @160Rs/hr, Rs10,300 incl fuel.
I wanted to take the Fortuner, the ladies voted for XUV5OO from Zoomcar! The deal maker was the fact that Zoomcar is very close to the house and they were willing to do home delivery and pickup at an additional cost of Rs 300 only!

Calculation for payment to MumbaiTravellers:
Trip Cost : Rs.2500/- per person

Transportation deduct Rs.700/-per person (2500-700 = Rs.1800/-) (since we arranged our own transport)

Extra Home stay + 01 Dinner will be charge Rs.400/- per person (1800+400 = Rs.2200/-) (Since we were going to stay there on Friday night too – while the Mumbaikars were reaching on Saturday morning)

Total Rs.2200/- per person

For 6 pax this came to Rs13,200. I transferred this to their designated bank account.

There was an interesting observation from the organizers:

“VELAS DISCLAIMER FOR SELF DRIVING :
Kindly note if you are planning to drive on your own, please make note of following points:
1. Velas is network less zone, you won’t get any network in 30 kms radius, so better be prepared with all GPS navigation and backup.
2. You have to reach Velas village at Mr. Omkar Nitsure Upadhye's place, as there is no network we won’t be able to coordinate with you. See you directly at Velas. Cheers!!”

No network in the last part of the journey meant that there was a slight fear of getting lost. However, we felt that since we could speak Marathi fluently, that should not be a problem. In fact, getting a chance to spend all that time without phone actually looked enticing.

Note: In reality, we lost the network signal for about 5~10 km or so in the hills before Velas only. We reached Velas Bus Stand easily. The destination was just 50~100 meters from there. Once in Velas and on the beach, we had zero signal. We did get a bit of signal on my daughters phone and my mother-in-law’s phone a couple of times at the beach – but it was very sketchy!

So rough budget for the trip, 13,200 for the organizers, 12,000 for the XUV and about 2,000 for food on the way – roughly 27~28 kRs for 6 adults of various shapes, sizes and ages! And we felt that we would be doing our 2 bits for Wildlife Conservation at about Rs5,000 per head.

Now for the actual travel and fun!
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Old 26th March 2016, 12:13   #2
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Default re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

Day minus 1:

I left office at 3:30 pm on Thu, 10 Mar 2016. Reached Pune in about 4 hrs. Arrived in Pune to find a overcharged group just raring to go. Before sleeping, all want to know if they should get up at 4 or 5 am! Huge disappointment all around when I declare that the car is booked for 9 am and we depart at 10 am or so! I have to convince them that we will reach with a lot of time to spare – not to worry!

Day 1:

The car from Zoomcar arrives at 9:00 am! It is organized by the Baner Road branch. It is a W6. However, their own car has gone to Mumbai airport the previous day and not come back. I get a ‘borrowed’ car from some other branch. It has done about 47,000 km. There are dents and scratches all over. The third row seats are ‘sunk’. Ouch! The driver is Mani (from Manipur). He admits that the left side doors are rattling slightly. Two of the hub caps are missing. But, he says, the functioning is good. I decide not to bother. I want the trip to be good – that’s all! The paper work is done quickly. I do the online process too. The diesel is about 60% only! I have no idea if this will last us 450~500 km. He says it will. The MID says 433 km range. Ouch! Double ouch!! I tell him that I will prefer to fill her up.

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The family and Spartan luggage are loaded up in the car. I am driving, Manasi is riding shotgun, my wife and her parents sit in the middle row and Kirti and luggage pile up in the third row.
We head for the HP pump in Gaikwad Nagar. Now starts the fun! There are two vehicles in front of us. While they are filling up, I search for ways to open the tank lid. I reach the pump and still blank. My wife says – the attendant will know. We know the attendants at this pump – we are regularly filling our cars there since it started. All of them confidently showed us where it should be – low down right had side of the driver. Surprise surprise – only the bonnet opening lever is present. I quickly called up Mani the Zoomcar driver. He describes a location above the bonnet opening lever. I find an empty slot there. Oh no!! (I am sorry, in all the excitement, I forgot to take photos) Lot of friendly drivers of other cars collected to help. After a lot of R&D, nobody could find the lever. So we drove the car out of the queue – so that others could fill up. By now we had a queue of 4~5 cars behind us – mainly taxis. To their credit we did not hear any impatient honks. In fact most of them were willing to help. I made another call to Mani. He called up the original guy of this car. Then he calls back and says there is another button if you open the rear door. Just then a guy in a grey XUV fills up. He comes up and shows us this emergency feature. Hey presto – we have the diesel tank lid opened! We can’t thank the guy enough. The pump guys gave us priority and we backed up and filled up. Bill Rs2,230. The range on the MID shot up to some figure about 720 km. The friendly XUV guy says that this is wrong. He said that the car will go in excess of 800 km. According to him, there was no need to fill her up for a Kokan trip. According to him, the 433 km range shown on the MID would have been closer to 600 km due to open roads. Anyway, we are set. The time is almost 11 am! We are running 1 hour late!
We take off. Google Maps on my mobile help us get out of the city traffic. We make slow progress. The car performed very well. It took me a few kms to become one with the beast. We encountered some traffic even when we were out of the city area and the roads were narrow. Overtaking was real smooth – as and when we got space on mostly one-lane-per-side-no-dividers roads.

One interesting observation was that the car had a tendency to stall in 2nd gear. I got used to it after some time and changed gears to/from 2nd appropriately. Experts can comment if this is normal. Later when my wife drove, she faced the exact same issue.

Later, the weather outside got real hot. The MID started to show temperatures outside 35+ C. And surprisingly, the inside started to get hot too! After driving for about half an hour in hot condition, my family started to crib. Please note – they are very flexible and crib only when the issue gets serious. I stopped on the side and checked everything I could think of. There are so many buttons on the console! I found the AC button “Auto” was OFF! I had definitely put it ON. Anyway, I put it ON. Hey PRESTO! Suddenly everyone was chilled! We took off again.
After we climbed down the famous Tamhini Ghat, we stopped at a joint and had simple vegetarian meal. Due to the heat, I was the only person who had a full Thali. (Note: I am always hungry.) The others had Dal-Khichadi. The food was good. We closed up with beautiful Tak (Chach/buttermilk).
Then we drove down and touched the highway (Mumbai Goa). A short smooth journey later we were on a side road towards Velas. Most of the roads were narrow, had lots of potholes (mix of fixed and unfixed), were constantly going up or down but had very little traffic. There were many places where the roads were being widened and/or repaired/maintained. However, full credit to Google Maps, in 5 hrs travel time with 1 hr lunch break, starting at 11 am we reached Velas at 5 pm. By the way, when we were about 10~20 km from Velas, we lost the internet connection and Maps got lost. We stopped to ask and got prompt guidance – just loved the friendly behaviour of the road construction workers and taxi drivers.

Velas

We were booked for a home stay with Mr. Omkar Nisture Upadhye. This was by far the biggest and solidest house in the village. We had been told clearly that the stay was in a big room (like a dormitory) with 8~10 people per room. When we reached the place, we learnt that more than 60 people were expected in the house for this weekend! WOW! DOUBLE AND TRIPLE WOW! I can assure you the facility was so good 60+ people plus the original family plus their helpers all fitted in real nicely. Full credit to the family for their excellent hospitality and warmth!

When we landed up at the right house, I sent in Manasi to confirm. She met Omkar’s wife Mrinal. They hit off immediately. The lane was real narrow. Luckily, there was a small open space for parking 2~3 cars. I was worried what would happen when the buses arrived the next day. I was told that just half a km away there was a huge ground for parking all the buses. Later I got to see more than 6 buses parked in a space which could easily have handled double that more.

We met Omkar’s father and his toddler son Advait too. We were made comfortable in the house. We were given space on the first floor.

We all had tea/coffee and freshened up. Suddenly, Omkar’s father says – the beach is just a 10 minutes walk. Some times they release turtle hatchlings in the evening at 6 or 7 pm. Why not check out. Everybody is ready! So we take off on foot. It was not a 10 minutes walk. It took us 10 minutes to get out of the residential area, then another 10 minutes walk past farms and marsh land and yet another 5 minutes on beach sand to reach the site. Boy – was it worth!!

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In this one - you can zoom and see a little hatchling trying to come out!
Don't blame me if you cant see it. I could barely see it!

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During our internet searches for more information, we had come across a name – Mohan Upadhye. We actually met this guy. What a personality! He described the process to us. Other than us, there were 3~4 other groups too. The place was so beautiful that we were loath to leave the place. We left only when it started to become dark.

Let me summarize what Mohan told us. The Olive Ridley Turtles are an endangered species. They lay eggs in India all along the coast from Orissa to Maharashtra. The biggest nests are in Orissa. Over the years, the nesting in Maharashtra has reduced. Hence, the conservation effort. It is almost totally volunteer based – that too mainly from the local villages.

The process is that the female lays eggs on deserted beaches and goes back to sea. This is known as ex-situ parenting. She lays about 100 eggs at a time. Half of these can be lost to predators (including the biggest one – mankind). So, these volunteers move these eggs farther away from the sea into a protected area. They have already put up nets to prevent predator attacks. In about 45~55 days the eggs hatch. Instinctively, the hatchlings have a tendency to walk into the sea. The volunteers put a wicker basket on top of each nest. As a consequence, the newly born hatchlings stay in the limited circle. Twice a day, they check the basket. If there are any new hatchlings, then they are taken in ceremony close to the sea and released in full protection. Once they enter the sea - they are on their own. This conservation system has been in place for about 11~12 years. The females who are born in a place are expected to come back to the same place when they reach full adulthood at about 15 years of age. They are expected to live for 35~50 years.

Mohan told us that they had about 9 nests this time around. For the last 15 days not a single egg had hatched. In front of us, he lifted a basket and we actually saw a hatchling trying to get out! What a cheer went up. Sachin or Kohli would have felt proud of that cheer! Mohan told us that the process of coming out is part of the strength building. He said that he would not like this baby to wait for the morning release. So he asked us to wait for one more hour. We readily agreed. We spent a superb time on the beach. We knew it was unsafe, so we did not do anything stupid. We got friendly with the other groups too. Some were from Mumbai and some from Pune. All had come by self driving. One hour later, Mohan checked and decided that the baby was not ready. So, the release was set for the next day morning. We were asked to come by 6:30 am for a 7:00 am release.

We went back to the home stay. After a real nice meal we all went off to sleep early. Shortly after 9 pm we were all fast asleep.

I am tired. Rest of the report in a short while. Please have patience.

Last edited by GKMahajan : 26th March 2016 at 12:37. Reason: Adding photos
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Old 26th March 2016, 16:09   #3
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Day 2

My alarm was set for 4:40 am. We all got up and got ready. Omkar was up and milking his cows and buffaloes. We got tea/coffee from absolute fresh milk! We were ready by 5:30 am.

This is Omkar making tea/coffee for us.
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The buses from Mumbai reached by 5:45 or so. My in-laws were tired and had lost interest in the hatchlings. We asked them to stay back and rest. We walked up to the beach. It was dark and we had to use torches. We were at the nest site well before the due time. We were shocked to see more than a hundred people there. Later the number almost doubled.

Anyway, the best part was when the basket was lifted – SEVEN HATCHLINGS! Oohhhss and Aahhhhs filled the air. They were sooo cute! We were all asked to go to the beach where they setup a temporary barricaded area. In our absence, I am told, Mohan and his team took dimensions and collected other statistical data about the turtle hatchlings.

The life starting journey of the hatchlings can best be described by pictures only.

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I cannot put in words the thrill that went through the crowd when the sea swallowed the first hatchling! It is worth noting that they were small and tired. However, still, they would ‘speed up’ on touching the first water. It is nothing short of a miracle of nature.

We were told that, by law of averages, we were lucky. For the last 2 weekends there had been zero eggs hatched. We got to see seven at first sighting. We were also told that – by the same law of averages, there should be more in the evening.

MumbaiTravellers arranged for some simple games / exercises and introduction session. We made a few new friends.
We trudged back to the home stay. We had a sumptuous breakfast. All the others went about freshening up and/or sleeping. We went around Omkar’s farm. It was a nice 2 acre plot. Again, I will let the photos speak.

The plan was to go to Bankot Fort by 11 am or so. Unfortunately, one of the two buses had developed a rear brake problem. The driver was not willing to climb the ghat road leading up to the fort. Anyway, half the people did not want to go to the fort. So the remaining bus and our XUV went. The slope was really sharp. Manasi got some photos. However, everytime that the slope and/or turn was sharp she would concentrate on that instead of taking a photo! No issues. Anyway, we climbed easily and shortly. The fort’s name (Bankot) is an aberration of ‘Baawan Kot’ or fifty second fort. It was simple and small. Somehow the trip felt worth it. Our guide was good and gave a good presentation.

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We came back to the home stay for a very much earned heavy lunch. After a short rest, we left for one more sighting at the beach.

The morning sighting had been reported. The crowd was many hundreds. Again we saw seven new hatchlings under the basket.

The rest was mainly a repeat of the morning event. Photos do only partial justice to the overall feeling that we got.
Unfortunately, there were some very unruly people in the new crowd. They kept going too close to the turtles. The organizers were afraid of losing the hatchlings underfoot. So, they actually lifted some of the stragglers and put them into the sea. This is bad because then they get less time to fix the geo-magnetic location. This is bad because then they might have problems finding their way back for laying eggs. Anyway, Mohan declared that he would ‘take care’ for the next sighting.

Note: I am not sharing any of the evening photos. If anyone is interested, then please feel free to PM me.

Once more we trudged over to the home stay.

From there our hosts provided us a guide to go to Mohan’s house. It was a 10~15 minute walk in totally dark streets. But, an old fashioned canvas screen had been setup. A laptop and projector were also setup with some speakers. We were the first to land up. Mohan treated us like long lost relatives. (He is a real gem!). Tarpaulin sheets had been spread out on the ground for seating. However, Mohan arranged for plastic chairs for my aged in-laws. My guess is that only about half the people came to this session! So much for Wild Life Conservation and so much for fun on beach!!

We saw a very good – well-made – film on conservation. In between we even saw a very touching movie clip of a man removing a cold drink straw from the nose of a turtle – very painful! There was a very long question and answer session. It lasted till 9 pm. There were mugs, books, etc available for sale. Major part of the proceeds going to the Conservation schemes.

Again a trudge to the home stay in the dark – lit only by torches and mobile lights. A fine heavy meal followed. Since we were planning to leave next day, we decided to sleep early. Anyway, most of the others had not slept well on the bus and went to sleep early. The family had a ‘council of war’. We decided that though we would love to see more hatchlings, the latest group was going to spoil it. So we decided to get up early and head for Harihareshwar Temple on our own. We informed the organizers accordingly. We slept early by 10:30 pm or so….
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Old 26th March 2016, 16:29   #4
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Day 3

Got ready early. A significant amount of time was spent saying goodbye to the home owners. We had literally become part of the family. By our good luck, we got to spend a significant amount of time with Mohan Upadhye. By the way, he is a cousin of Omkar’s father, though only 3 years older than Omkar.

Mrinal
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Mrinal with her son.
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Turtle in the well
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Mini coconut
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At meal - Kirti, Manasi and Yours Truly!
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Mrinal cooking
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Mrinal's mother, Mrinal, Omkar and Santosh - cooking
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Omkar's father
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Drove down to the jetty. There was a long queue. Finally, we made it across.

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About 10~15 minutes later we reached Harihareshwar Temple. Luckily, there was no crowd. We paid our respects and by 11:00 am we had left for Pune. I am sure you remember that this time we were going to take a longer route which is supposed to take the same time – via Mumbai Pune Expressway.

On the way, we stopped for lunch. We still had about 150 km to drive. My wife took over the drivers role. The seating arrangement was changed. I became navigator. Manasi went into seat 3.

My wife has been driving since 2000 and is a good driver. For the first few kms she faced a problem of 2nd gear stalling. After that she drove like she had been driving the XUV since her birth!

We reached Pune at 5:45 pm.

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I had already called up Zoomcar. The car was to be returned by 6:00 pm. We honoured that. Antony came to pick up the car. I gave him the diesel receipt. The paper process was done in a jiffy.

Side note: I got the 5000 deposit almost immediately. After a reminder call, I got the diesel amount too. PLUS as per their scheme, since I have done a deal crossing Rs 5000, now I do not make a deposit for the next trips. Yes!

Need to mention this about the XUV5OO, tank was 60% full when we got it, we did 437 km and it was 70% full at the end of the journey. To me this means that I need not have filled it up! However, it was worth the tension free drive. We rarely drove the car in 5th or 6th gear – only on the Expressway. So this is a really amazing mileage.

Finally, got Manasi to thank Mayura for initiating this.
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Old 26th March 2016, 16:51   #5
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Some videos:

I have quite a few videos.
Unfortunately, while uploading, I get a 'invalid file' message.

Dear Mods,

Could you please help me here?
Also, what is the size limit? Anyway that I can reduce the size - if required?

Thanking you in advance,

Girish Mahajan
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Old 28th March 2016, 10:21   #6
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Lovely travelogue of a unique festival, thanks for sharing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GKMahajan View Post
I have quite a few videos.
Unfortunately, while uploading, I get a 'invalid file' message.
Best to upload to youtube and share the link here. More information here.
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Old 28th March 2016, 14:27   #7
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Default Re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

Thanks GTO.

Thanks for the link. I will study it.
I am so busy, I hope I am able to load the videos by Saturday.

Girish Mahajan
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Old 28th March 2016, 20:12   #8
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Default Re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

Hi,

I can imagine the excitement when they release the baby turtles. I was there on 26th march evening and to the surprise of all there were around 21 hatch lings that were released!

Super crowded but amazing experience. I visited Velas during my 4 day vacation in Diveagar and went there to try my luck out as one of the organizer, Mr. Mohan Upadhye, mentioned very slim chances when I had called him on 23rd March.
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Old 28th March 2016, 20:32   #9
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Default Re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

Nice log there. . Thanks for sharing.

Immediately brought back memories of SDP's venture out there
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-festival.html (Reliving the innocence at a rustic Konkan village (Velas turtle festival)) which was first kind of exposure to this Velas fest for me.
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Old 29th March 2016, 09:33   #10
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Default Re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

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Originally Posted by rahulk2510 View Post
Hi,

I can imagine the excitement when they release the baby turtles. I was there on 26th march evening and to the surprise of all there were around 21 hatch lings that were released!

Super crowded but amazing experience. I visited Velas during my 4 day vacation in Diveagar and went there to try my luck out as one of the organizer, Mr. Mohan Upadhye, mentioned very slim chances when I had called him on 23rd March.
Dear rahulk2510,

21 hatchlings! I am jealous - well not really - since even one was a luxury to me!
I am now motivating others to visit.

Girish Mahajan

Last edited by GKMahajan : 29th March 2016 at 09:36.
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Old 29th March 2016, 15:46   #11
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Default Re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

Thanks Girish for sharing your Velas experience! Good read and some nice photographs which rekindled old memories.

Glad to hear that there is still no mobile network connectivity in and around Velas. Its a blessing in disguise! Also nice to note that the stay options are still limited to homestays and no ugly lodges and hotels have mushroomed in the area. I seriously hope that the place doesn't get commercialized. If that happens, it would lose its charm.

The Bankot fort offers very little by way of 'fort', but offers amazing views of the entire area around it. I remember clicking some nice snaps of the sea from the there. Similarly at Harihareshwar, if you climb a bit, there are some beautiful views of the beach.

I missed taking the XUV to Velas and Harihareshwar last time around. I have been planning a trip of the entire MH coastal route since ages. Harihareshwar and the boat-ride would get covered in that route. May be I will get a chance to do it in 2016.

Thanks again for sharing your experience!

Last edited by SDP : 29th March 2016 at 15:48.
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Old 30th March 2016, 09:55   #12
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Default Re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
Glad to hear that there is still no mobile network connectivity in and around Velas. Its a blessing in disguise! Also nice to note that the stay options are still limited to homestays and no ugly lodges and hotels have mushroomed in the area. I seriously hope that the place doesn't get commercialized. If that happens, it would lose its charm.

The Bankot fort offers very little by way of 'fort', but offers amazing views of the entire area around it. I remember clicking some nice snaps of the sea from the there. Similarly at Harihareshwar, if you climb a bit, there are some beautiful views of the beach.

I missed taking the XUV to Velas and Harihareshwar last time around. I have been planning a trip of the entire MH coastal route since ages. Harihareshwar and the boat-ride would get covered in that route. May be I will get a chance to do it in 2016.
Dear SDP,

Thanks for the nice words.

About the network, it was actually a major factor for the family - everyone loved the idea of getting some 'quality time together'.

Bankot was a beautiful place. I agree with you - it is hardly a 'fort'. However, it is a very good 'spot'.

Hopefully, you do the trip soon.

My suggestion is that you should go in the next few weeks. Later the turtles will be absent.

Girish Mahajan
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Old 31st March 2016, 09:37   #13
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Default Re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

Sounds like a beautiful, fun trip. Thanks for the detailed pictures.
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Old 31st March 2016, 20:25   #14
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Default Re: Visit to the Velas Turtle Festival in a Zoomcar XUV5OO

Thanks for sharing, brings back my memories from last year. I wish to go there again, regularly. For people away from Maharashtra or from Eastern part of India, can look for Gahirmatha beach,Odisha as an alternative. It hosts the for Mass nesting/Arribada of Olive ridley turtles. I wish to get a feel of it too someday.
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