This weekend, Mumbaikars can get back to nature and spend some time on pristine beaches along Maharashtra’s long coastline appreciating marine life on their turf. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is organising a Dolphin and Turtle Festival from March 15 to 17. The fest is being hosted at two venues — Murud Harnai (Dapoli) and the Velas — and will allow tourists to indulge in dolphin safaris as well as watch Olive Ridley turtles take their first steps.
Dr Jagdish Patil, managing director, MTDC, says, “We are proud to host the first ever Dolphin and Turtle Festival for national and international tourists at Murud and Velas. We aim at promoting these unexplored marvels of Maharashtra. This festival is a positive step in the direction of boosting an emerging breed of tourists who are nature lovers.”
As part of the festival, several on-ground activities, like beach cricket and sand-sculpture making, are being arranged at Murud Harnai. Tourists can also taste the local Malwani cuisine and fish from Kardhe. The first mango of the season will also be up for tasting.
Several cultural programmes too are being organised by Cultural Department of Maharashtra. About 6,000 tourists are expected to witness this extravaganza, the highlight of which is the dolphin safari that will take place in the mornings.
The MTDC is also arranging for local transport facilities to take visitors to the Velas, which hosts the nesting of endangered Olive Ridley Turtles. Only 500 tourists can stay here. The beach will not host any activities as it puts the natural habitat of the turtles at risk, but visitors can spend the day watching the turtle hatching and catch their
first steps towards the sea.