A small town in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra is home to the yearly Olive Ridley Turtle Festival. The Olive Ridley turtles thrive in warm tropical waters of Indian and Pacific Ocean. India is a ground for their reproduction.
Every year, around December to March, adult female Olive Ridley Turtles come to the beach of Vayangani and some other beaches in Konkan part of Maharashtra to lay their eggs. These turtles visit in large groups for nesting called Arribadas. Olive Ridley turtles are rare because they only lay their eggs at selected beaches. Why on selected beach?
The female note down the beach they were born at and return when they are at parenthood and lay their eggs at the beach, no matter where they are in the world. Poachers have destroyed Olive Ridley Turtle eggs, and also jackals and pigs eat them. The eggs start hatching in 55 to 60 days. The turtle starts arriving in Maharashtra for breeding as soon as the temperature starts rising. They have decided to hold the turtle festival in four different beaches of the Konkan region.
Konkan Turtle Festival is celebrated each year in the form of a unique discussion program, which reflects the facts that Olive Turtles are on the border of extinction. The main objective to arrange this festival is to educate people to a maximum extent regarding the great work of taking care of various turtles in the best possible manner. This festival celebration happens in a small town of Vayangani village of Maharashtra in the month of March and April.
Reasons for Konkan Olive Ridley Turtle Festival
After successful hatching, baby turtles get left in the open waters of the Arabian Sea. The main concern for the environment is that the population of these turtles has decreased significantly because of broadly increased pollution levels in the recent times. In Maharashtra the festival spare over 30 villages. They ensure that the turtle gets hatch with maximum egg.
We Indians celebrate many festivals throughout the year, and some are very rear. 22nd April is world environment day and this opportunity is just around that time. In Maharashtra, the festival is organised for turtle Olive Ridley Turtles have a behavior of forming Arribadas, which are mass gatherings of female turtles to lay eggs on the shore.
The turtle mating season is November to March. After mating the female turtle comes to the sea shore during the night during a high tide line, dig holes up to 18 inches deep and fill them with about 100-150 eggs and then they go back to the sea.
Steps to Protect the Olive Ridley Turtle
For some years, most of these eggs were stolen/sold by people. A few years ago, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra NGO in Maharashtra, came to provide protection to turtle in the Konkan coast. Turtle festival started in small villages like Vayangani in Ratnagiri district. The place were villagers with tourists from India come together to discharge the turtle hatching into the sea. There are specific environmentalists and forest department officials who support this activity each year.
During these festivals, many visitors watch baby turtle and collect onto the sea. Hatchlings come out of their nests on the seashore and crawling towards the sea. From last five years, hundreds of baby turtle go to the sea safely.
Want to watch the rare Olive Ridley Baby Turtles this Month? Visit Devika Kelkar Travels website. They have got you this Opportunity. Join the Turtle Fair (Kasav Jatra) from 14th April to 16th April 2017. Call them and enjoy the Turtle Festival!