Seven places to go scuba diving in India

Surrounded by the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, the long coastline of peninsular India offers various underwater attractions, such as coral reefs (natural and artificial), caves, pinnacles, wrecks, etc. However, like any other sport, it takes dedication and practice, as well as knowledge of safety requirements. So unless you are a certified diver yourself, it is best to dive with certified operators (such as PADI certified). Many operators have begun offering training and practice in urban centers in their simulated pools; you can join any of them to get basic knowledge and practice when you reach the actual location.

In most places in India, the diving season opens in October-November and remains open until April-May.

Pondicherry

Capital of the union territory of the same name, Pondicherry (Pondicherry) is fast becoming a gateway to some of the most scenic scuba diving spots on the east coast. With both natural and artificial reefs, there is plenty of marine flora and fauna to explore. There are several organizations offering scuba diving packages, but make sure they have the relevant certifications (such as PADI certification). One of the most interesting dive sites is Temple Reef (built by Temple Adventures) constructed from recycled materials including iron rods, rocks, concrete, plants, etc.

When you’re not diving, you can go sightseeing – in Auroville, French Quarters, beaches and lakes, etc.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep), accessible via Port Blair, the capital and main gateway to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is known for its azure waters. The deep sea off the island is popular with divers largely due to its visibility. Coral gardens, pinnacles, sloping reefs, etc., are some of the attractions here. One of the underwater attractions is Dixon’s Pinnacle. Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep), closer to Port Blair, is also becoming a popular dive centre. If this is a first experience for you, make sure the operator has some instructional courses in place. Popular operators include Barefoot Scuba, Dive India, etc.

Passing through Port Blair, on your way to and from the dive centers you can go sightseeing – Cellular Jail, Corbyn’s Cove etc.

Tamil Nadu

This land of temples, cuisine and culture is also an upcoming water sports destination on the east coast. The sea off the Rameswaram pilgrimage center is a popular dive site. The water is known for its reefs and marine wildlife.

While there, be sure to visit the Ramanathaswamy Temple to see one of the longest hallways in the world.

Lakshwadweep

The shallow lagoons around the smaller Indian Union Territory are popular with water sports enthusiasts. The sea off Kadmat Island, Kavaratti and Bangaram are the popular scuba diving centers here. Beginners can start in the calm lagoon off Kavaratti. Experts can cave dive along the northwest corner of the island. The water off Kadmat is known for its abundance of marine wildlife.

Karnataka

Off Murudeshwara in Karnataka, Netrani is a popular dive center. Also known as Pigeon Island, it offers the opportunity to explore the depths of the Arabian Sea. Clear vision and a variety of corals are its twin attractions. There are several operators in the area; you can try Dive Netrani.

For a break from the waterscape, visit the ancient Murudeshwara (Shiva) Temple, ride the elevator to the top of the Raja Gopuram for panoramic views of the surroundings, and more.

Goa

The sunny state of India is popular with divers from all over the world. Some of the popular dive sites include Suzy’s Wreck, Coral Garden, Lobsters’ Avenue, Shelter Cove. Visibility, ambient water temperature, marine fauna, wrecks, rocky peaks, increase the diversity and attractiveness of sites.

During your stay, between diving and sightseeing, be sure to sample Goa’s culinary repertoire, which includes a unique blend of Indian and Portuguese styles.

Maharashtra

With a long coastline along the Arabian Sea, Maharashtra is rapidly turning into a water sports destination. Tarkarli on the Konkan coast is being developed as a scuba diving area. The Indian Institute of Scuba Diving and Water Sports is located here.

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