India’s Best Scuba Diving Destinations – Underwater Heavens!
The underwater world holds many mysteries and secrets, and exploring the marine universe is a sheer delight. One of the ways of doing this is underwater diving, or scuba diving, as it’s popularly called. India, with its enormous coastline, provides abundant opportunities for engaging in this thrilling sport.
There are many scuba diving destinations in India where one can engage in the adventure sport of scuba diving. Gliding over coral reefs, variety of shipwrecks, overhangs and enormous schools of fish – adventure abounds at every turn here! This blog introduces you to India’s finest destinations for scuba diving.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands boast some of the most magnificent beaches for scuba diving which provide scope for a number of adventurous activities. Scuba diving in the azure waters of Andaman and Nicobar Island transport you into the world of coral reefs, magnificent rock formations and wreckages of sea vessels. Besides, the diving sites here introduce you to an amazing variety of wildlife such as the Octopus, Angler Fish, Coral Reefs and Sharks.
The Wall at Havelock Island at Andaman gives you an adrenaline rush like no other. Dropping from a height of 35ft down to the deep channel between Havelock and Peel Island, the wall here is inhabited by snapper, Napoleon wrasse and trevally. Diving here lets you drift by purple soft coral and catch views of the stonefish, scorpion fish and nudibranchs. Some of the other popular diving sites in Andaman are Dixon’s Pinnacle, Clinque Island (Port Blair) and Fish Rock etc.
Best time to visit: February-March
Lakshadweep, a cluster of 36 small islands located at a distance of 240 km off the Malabar Coast, is surrounded by crystal clear water. It is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the country unspoiled by human interference, besides an exotic species of marine life. Gliding alongside the rarest species of marine life, combined with the breathtaking beauty of the underwater world, really makes diving here a memorable experience.
One of the top choices for scuba divers are the Bangaram coral islands, which are blessed with magnificent beaches, marine genus and coral sand. One of the famous points for diving here is the Manta Point. Starting shallow and reaching depths of 70ft, this place is often visited by manta rays, turtles and other rays. The other famous diving point in Lakshadweep are Princess Royal, where one can explore the remains of a sunken ship dating back to more than two hundred years. It’s also regarded as one of the best scuba diving sites in India.
Best time to visit: October-Mid May
When it comes to the perfect destination to go for scuba diving in India, Goa occupies the top spot. Although a small state in terms of size, it possesses a large coastline which offers a number of sites that offer wonderful scuba diving experiences. Divers are especially attracted to the diversity of sea life as well as the numerous shipwrecks present in the area. The soothing waters of the Arabian Sea embellish this experience further.
Diving in Goa brings a diver across the charming coral gardens, shipwrecks and colorful fishes, as the waters have a clear visibility of up to 5 meters. The dive site known as Jetty is a famous spot to watch the nudibranchs, the wonderful underwater surroundings, as well as the various fish and coral species. Sail Rock, located to the southwest of the island, is the meeting point of many fishes like snapper, groupers and barracuda. The other famous diving sites in Goa are Bounty Bay, Davy Jones and Shelter Cove.
Best time to visit: November-March
Pondicherry is synonymous with its French architecture, leisurely style of living and peaceful environment. However, this quiet little town is counted amongst India’s best scuba diving destinations. The warm underwater world here, in combination with the incredible reefs that overflow with marine life, makes it an excellent place for diving. If it happens to be your lucky day, you might just spot dolphins, turtles, whale sharks and lion fish, among others.
One of the popular diving site here is Aravind’s Wall. A popular drift diving site, the visibility here reaches depths upto 40 meters. Dive sites along the wall have earned eminence due to the marine life like barracuda and groupers which can be spotted here. Along with this, a great range of corals like gorgonian fan corals can be found here. Temple Reef, another popular diving site, is a treasure house of marine life. Over 45 different species like batfish, barracudas, boxfish, moray eels etc., can be spotted here.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.
The state of Karnataka is blessed by nature’s bounty – enchanting valleys, lush green forests and fresh backwaters. In recent years, it has witnessed a surging popularity as a scuba diving destination. Netrani Island, or Pigeon Island, located 19km from the town of Murudeshwar, is famous for its diversity of marine life, and it is finest destination to explore marine life in India. At Netrani Island, diving expeditions are conducted from boats because the island itself is surrounded by a series of sharp rocks.
The island is easily distinguishable by its coral reefs on the east and rock walls on north and northwest side. However, once the divers enter the waters, they are greeted by an astonishingly beautiful sight of brightly colored corals and different types of marine creatures. Here, one can spot various species of marine wildlife such as tiger fish, stingrays, turtles, cobia, puffer fish, whale sharks and more.
Best time to visit: November-January