Do you want to float around under azure waters as the sun refracts on the colours that surround you? Scuba diving is an adventure activity that will make you feel one with the sea. There is so much mystery, and beauty in the coastal waters and this adventure allows you to get a small taste of what is arguably the last frontier of exploration. If you are yet to sample the adventures scuba diving offers, do sign up for a Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course, a basic level at which even non-swimmers can experiment with the sport in shallow waters.
Amateur sessions are available in all the popular diving spots in India. For the experts, you can tick off more boxes on your long list by checking out more diving spots and enjoying the marine life and distinctive underwater topography of each place. The costs would include the equipment and expertise. Here are some of the best scuba diving venues in India.
Traveller type: Couples, friends, and individuals
India’s favourite vacation destination also happens to be home to some really neat diving sites. Grande Island is one of the best scuba diving places in Goa, with clear warm waters and picturesque coastal scenery.
The top dive sites:
- Davy Jones Locker
- Depth: 15 metres
- Attractions: This is the site of a shipwreck, and is a fascinating site to explore
- Marine life: barracuda, giant groupers, schooling jacks, banner fish, tuna and mullets
- Sail Rock
- Depth: 8- 24 metres
- Attractions: The location of Suzy’s wreck, Sail rock transports you to an enthralling marine life from a rock pinnacle a mere 4 ft. below the surface
- Marine life: Giant Snappers Eagle Rays, barracuda, Groupers, schooling bannerfish, sharks, and Moorish idols
- Uma Guma Reef
- Depth: 6-12 metres
- Attractions: Hard coral reefs
- Marine life: collared butterfly fish, schooling snappers, barracuda, groupers, jacks, tuna, batfish and sometimes even Reef Sharks
Best time to visit: Mid October to April is the best time to check out Goa’s dive sites as the seas are calm and the waters are clear. The timings for most dive operators will be around 7 AM to evening, and most tours are wrapped up before sunset
What it costs: Rates for dives will be between 5000 to 8000 INR, depending on which course/packageyou choose.
Pondicherry is becoming an increasingly popular hub for divers from across the world. Frolic in the gentle warm Bay with manta rays, parrot fish, eels and more at the many dive spots of this former French colony.
The top dive sites:
- Coral Shark Reef
- Depth: close to 23m deep at places
- Temple Reef
- Depth: (18m)
- 4 Corners (18m).
Best time to visit: Scuba diving is an all-year activity but for the best visibility, around 20 to 30 metres, February to April and September to November are ideal periods to visit Pondy. The timings are around 6 to 7 AM till sunset
What it costs: A two-day ocean dive session with photography can cost around 8000 INR and providers offer packages for couples, perfect for a romantic adventure. There are dive plans for certified divers too.
3) The Andamans
An archipelago consisting of about 600 islands, the Andamans a scuba diver’s dream destination. Here are some of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the Andamans
India’s travellers have slowly been discovering the pristine beauty of the Andamans and Havelock is the site to some of the purest dive sites in the region.
Top dive sites:
- Nemo Reef:
- Depth: Max 10 metres
- Attractions: Also called classroom reef, this is the perfect place for DSD’s with no currents to challenge divers, and a visibility of 15-20 metres. It is the perfect place to see coral fauna
- Marine Life: Lionfish, Seahorses, Scorpion fish, Stonefish, Frogfish, Clown fish, Parrotfish, Nudibranchs, Pipefish, Angelfish, Boxfish, Trumpet fish, and Sergent Major
- The Aquarium:
- Depth:12 metres
- Attractions: The ideal spot for beginners, the Aquarium is home to corals and colourful schools of fish. There are night diving packages for certified divers on Havelock Island at the Lighthouse
- Mac Point
- Depth: 14 metres
- Attractions: You will have one of the best experiences as a diver
- Marine life: Swim with a dugong, a gentle cousin of the manatee
- Barracuda City
- Depth: 14 metres
- Attractions: The spot showcases hard and soft corals
- Marine life: Turtles, sting rays and more wait at the location which is accessible only to expert and intermediate divers.
Neill Island is another diving destination of the Andamans. Boasting sandy secluded beaches and coral reefs, the island is an alternative base to nearby Havelock.
Top diving site:
- Margherita’s Mischief:
- Depth: 16 – 20 metres
- Attractions: Dive around a huge volcanic rock at the K Rock (19m) and the Bus Stop (20m) has a sandy bottom and reefs to explore. All these sites are suitable for beginners too.
- Marine life: dugongs, stingrays, angelfish and more.
Best time to visit: The months to visit for the calmest seas are January to May
What it will cost: Scuba diving sessions for non-swimmers and beginners can cost between 4000 to 5000 INR
4) Netrani Island
Netrani Island is one of the most offbeat diving destinations in India. The uninhabited island off the coast of Karnataka is accessible from coastal areas like Goa, Bhatkal and Mangalore. Head over towards the edge of the island on a boat and enjoy some of the clearest waters in the Arabian Sea.
- Depth: 15- 20 metres
- Attractions: With plenty of coral reefs and sea life, and a location that is relatively far from the polluting influences of human inhabitation, Netrani Island is a must-visit for those who love their underwater adventures.
- Marine Life: Aside from the myriad fish species of the region, Netrani Island is known for whale and turtle sightings.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Netrani Island for diving is from October to May and the visibility can differ from 15 metres to 40 metres.
What it will cost: For around 5500 INR, you can enjoy a beginner session, suitable for non-swimmers too.
Blessed with ideal scuba diving conditions, Lakshwadeep has recently come into its own as a favoured destination among seasoned scuba divers as well as beginner. With private resorts as well as government-run facilities easily accessible, this is one place which must be on every scuba-diver’s bucket list.
Top Dive sites:
- Agatti islands:
- Depth: 15 m to 40 m
- Attractions: This untouched island boasts a mile-long reef teeming with corals, turtle, tuna fish, sharks, an array of fish, and much more
- Depth: 18 m -30 m
- Attractions: The Bangaram Island Dive centre in Lakshwadeep offers certification programs. Earn your stripes at Bangaram!
- Marine Life: The undamaged reed is home to many kids of fish. If one is lucky, one may even catch a glimpse of a thresher shark
- Kadmat Islands:
- Depth: 3 m to 12 m
- Attractions: Shallow lagoons and extraordinary visibility make the islands ideal for beginners
- Depth: 3 m – 12 m
- Attractions: The site is run by the official tourism department of Lakshwadeep and is suitable for first-timers as well as seasoned divers
- Marine life: Marine touch-me-not, tiger fish, damsel fish, turtles, sea anemones, giant clams and much more
Best time to visit: Head to the island from October to May to enjoy calm waters and clear visibility of up to 150 feet.
What it will cost: Rs. 2000- to 4000 per dive depending on the package chosen
An adventure under the sea is the order of the day. This vacation, gear up and plan your scuba diving trip with the best holiday deals on offer at https://www.gofro.com/