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Best Places To Scuba Dive In India
India is a land of waters. From lakes to rivers to seas, India makes for a great holiday for those water babies, those fans of river islands and backwaters. Beaches, river banks, islands… you name it, India’s got it. Another amazing experience that India offers in spades is scuba diving. You would name Andaman & Nicobar Islands as the hub of scuba diving in India but there are a few others that shine bright. And this activity is one of the cheapest in the world when done in India. So, bonus-bonus! If you are looking for the best places to scuba dive in India then here’s an extensive list.
Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar
Havelock is the centre of scuba diving in not only Andaman Nicobar but also India. Known for its splendid waters that bring Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal together, Havelock is a mighty stunning sight filled with beaches that have scuba diving spots. With vivid corals, fish, exotic marine fauna and clear waters, scuba diving here is heaven of sorts. Lighthouse, The Wall, Mac Point and Aquarium are some of the best sites around here and you will find a number of scuba diving and deep sea diving schools ready to offer courses and PADI certificates. The rates are pretty cheap too.
Between October and April you will be in for the high season for divers and places like Andaman Bubbles Scuba Diving, Scuba Lov in Dive Resort, Barefoot Scuba and Ocean Dive Centre will be filled to the brim.
Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar
Another gem of Andaman’s crown, Neil Island is a reclusive little paradise in the commercial hotspot of Andaman Nicobar. You can explore the whole island on foot in an hour, that’s how small and cozy it is. But just as untouched and beautiful. The beaches and rock formations beckon you into their wild arms, and you find some of the best sunsets here at Sitapur and Laxmanpur Beaches. With of course, scuba diving sites like K Rock, Junction, Bus Stop and Margherita’s Mischief. December onwards the sea is calm here, so diving is easier. This lasts until the month of May, until monsoon sets in.
Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar
Port Blair can safely be termed as the most commercial territory of Andaman, seeing as it is the capital of the islands. That also means that scuba diving opportunities are a dime a dozen here. Not as great as probably Havelock or Neil Island, but if you are not planning to go anywhere else, you’d still find great fun here. The corals in Port Blair waters are some of the most gorgeous ones, from Pocillopora to Fungia to Clown fish. Parrot fish and Butterfly fish pass you by as you swim underwater. You must check out sites like Experience Andaman, Lacadives, Dive Mantra and Maruti Diving School.
Moving on to mainland India, the state of Kerala is not far in the race of best scuba diving sites. The city of Kovalam here offers you a splendid stretch of beaches to choose from. Bond Safari Kovalam has reached its shores now and tourism is slowly developing to cater to Indian as well as International visitors. What is unique about this idea is that instead of the usual scuba diving gear, the divers use ‘bond’ scooters to explore the underwater world. They make sure to train you well and then the sea is yours to explore!
Other popular scuba diving sites here are Scuba Diving Kovalam and Scuba Cochin Dive Centre.
Kadmat Islands, Lakshadweep
Popularly known as Cardamom Islands, Kadmat belongs to the coral type of islands in Lakshadweep. Here you shall find the exotic marine turtles and other species along with live mullti-coloured corals. The combo of white sands and clear turquoise waters render this island a trendy spot for snorkelling and scuba diving. Foreign tourists also throng Kadmat almost all year round, hovering over the best diving spot here - Laccadives. November to March though, makes for the most coveted scuba diving season.
Grand Island, Goa
Who said Goa was only good for beach parties and vegetating by the sea? The Grand Island here is home to loads of adventure, inviting all the junkies sniffing for adrenaline. Located west of the Mormugao peninsula, Grand Island is renowned for its scuba diving in the region, its highlight being the sunken British ship and its ruins - Suzy’s Wreck Site. Here you shell delve deep into the bottom of the ocean where this ship lies, sunken back in 1930s. Corals and mussel grown over its body, holes and grooves made home by fish and other marine life, this site is an experience in history, time and beauty. Davy Jones Locker is another wreck not far away if you want more diving, and then there is Uma Gumma Reef for beginners and novices.
Netrani Island, Karnataka
Karnataka’s Netrani Island (Pigeon Island) is located very close to the Mudreshwar Temple town. Shaped like a heart, the diving spot by this island is one of the best in India. So much so that, it is called 'The heart of India's diving.’ The coral island and its line of reef attracts marine lovers and adventurers from far and wide. The diving spots one can count on around here include Dive Netrani, Netrani Adventures and West Coast Adventures, giving you the best experiences during December and January.
The temple town of Dwarka has its USP in the scuba diving expeditions that you can undertake in its sea. There is a very famous story that tells of the trials and tribulations of Yadukul after Lord Krishna died. It says that his clan, drunk, fought amongst each other and drowned the gold that made up this city. Remains of that fight are still spit up by the sea beside Dwarka. If that isn’t lucrative enough then what is? Diving in the Gulf of Kutch is also rife with sightings of beautiful marine biodiversity like dolphins, turtles and sharks. PADI certified courses are also offered here.
An island that is surrounded by corals, Bangaram is known to be one of Lakshadweep’s top diving sites. The feel here is serene and calm, with the settlement sparse. Bangaram atoll is so clean and beautiful that it is sometimes compared to the likes of Mauritius and even Maldives. You can easily reach this island from Agatti by taking a plane or a boat. From October onwards you will get the best scuba diving experience here, until the sea starts to get choppy by March.
Coral Sharks Reef, Pondicherry
In Pondicherry, you have many a things to do, many a French and Tamil streets to traverse, many a cafes to explore. But scuba diving is something you cannot miss here. Pondicherry scuba diving is at its best at the Coral Sharks Reef. With a depth of 5+ m, beginners will find their feet easily in here. And the seabed is just as stunning, with coral reefs.
The Aravind Wall, Pondicherry
Another famous scuba diving spots in Pondicherry, The Aravind Wall makes for a unique marine biodiversity, with butterfly fish, unique lion fish and sea snakes along with the elusive Honeycomb Moray Eel. This spot is 15 km offshore so requires you to take a boat. Temple Adventures is the most popular site to dive, and the seas are calm and welcoming from December to March.
The Hole, Pondicherry
The Hole is Pondicherry’s answer to seasoned scuba diving. Hardcore divers with a ton of experience come here to enjoy the thrill. With a depth of 30m, The Hole is spooky and dark, so taking some source of light like a torch is imperative for divers. Hence this is the place for the fearless. Again, December to March is the high season for divers and only those who are prepared to dive into unknown depths come here.
Yes, that’s right. Maharashtra offers scuba diving. The Tarkali village in the Malvan region is famous for the same. The beaches of Tarkali are great, with crocodiles also populating in one corner (Crocodile Point). But don’t worry, diving here is completely safe, as long as you listen to your diving company guide and make sure to follow guidelines. Scuba diving is also relatively cheap here, in fact, the cheapest probably in all of India.
Dawki in Meghalaya is also known as Shnongpdeng and renowned for its crystal clear waters that give you a glimpse of the river bed. But it is less known for scuba diving. Obviously, who would guess that you can dive into River Dawki and explore unseen treasures? Kayaking is also quite coveted in this river, the cleanest river of India. Pioneer Adventure Tours help you plan your expeditions mostly, and there are also camps organised to give you a wholesome experience.