Velas. Where I had the best Konkani food of my life and understood what a bad compromise city life is, over a rustic rural life – Shruti Soumya
This is a post written by Shruti Soumya, who had been on our Velas Eco-village Experience. You can find the original post on her personal blog here. Do follow it for more such pieces.
After endless plans to start my blog, finally my trip to Velas has motivated me to get this rolling. Because it truly defines what I want to accomplish through my blog – share genuine and liberating travel experiences with you.
My love for travel has taken me on many journeys and left me with thoughts of travelling full time. But let’s admit not all of us can afford to pack our bags and fly away. So now I travel on weekends , plan some long vacations in a year and also explore the off beat places in my city. This is my way of keeping my passion alive. Through this blog I want to share my experiences and keep the wanderer in us alive and kicking. My stories would also tell all – who want to travel but put it off thinking we don’t have time – that it doesn’t always have to be a long far journey; delightful travel experiences are just a weekend or a few kms away. Velas happened during one such weekend when I was looking for a offbeat place to escape Mumbai’s madness and embrace nature.
Velas is a small beach village on the Konkan coast. Around 220 kms from Mumbai, it makes an ideal offbeat weekend getaway for someone seeking to escape the city’s madness and feel oneness with nature.
Velas is a place to experience the rustic charm of a village and the joy of simple things in life.
Witness a spectacular sunset, spot baby turtles and go for a rejuvenating morning run on the beach.
Velas beach also hosts the annual turtle festival from late Feb to early April- an ecotourism festival which helps in conservation of endangered Olive Ridley turtles. The forest department protects the eggs laid by the turtles on the beach in the nesting season and upon hatching – releases them in the sea. The footsteps of a baby turtle when released in the sea as captured:
Next day we went for an early morning run at the beach. Running on a clean stretch of beach which doesn’t seem to end, with your feet splashing in the water or pressing against the soft morning wet sand is mesmerising. A workout which I would love to do every single day in my life.
After our morning beach run we all jumped in front of a pump which was gushing water towards the plantations and had a blast. We soon transformed into a bunch of kids having the best time of our life. An unforgettable experience!
We tasted the best Konkani food and explored the local plantations.
Our hostess prepared the food using her traditional recipes, home grown spices and “wood fired chulha”. The wood fired chulha added to the flavors and lent it a smoky flavor. No wonder the food we were tasting was the best we ever had.
Our trek to Bankot fort with the village locals helped us understand the history and appreciate the wild habitat.
Bankot fort dates back to 1st century AD and has a rich history. Portuguese, British and Maratha have ruled it some time in the history. The fort was being reconstructed and shall be soon open to tourists. It stands at a very dramatic location overlooking the surrounding valleys and beaches. Hence offers some bewitching views, we could spot the Harihareshwar beach from some of the windows in the fort wall.
Velas has been one of the best weekend getaway around Mumbai. It was truly immersive experience and more so because its still not ruined by tourism and pollution. We should all pledge to travel responsibly to let places like Velas be the way they are.