Did you know that India has dive spots spread across the west coast, the east coast and both the island Union Territories? Yes! You did not read that wrong. While water babies and ocean lovers make their way to the beaches on these coasts quite often, little do they know that scuba diving in India offers some of the most beautiful underwater experiences one could ask for! Dive shops across India offer the opportunity to try scuba diving and even do certificate courses to enhance your skills and also gain the ability to dive anywhere in the world!
Here's our list of some of the best places to scuba dive and witness the underwater world in India:
Scuba diving and water sports is no longer an activity limited to the islands of Maldives or Thailand, or even the Andamans! Pondicherry is one of the best places to kick start your scuba journey or just get a taste of it. Believe it or not, the waters off the coast of Pondicherry are bright blue, offer great visibility on good days and are also frequented by whale sharks! From natural to artificial reefs, a variety of marine life to a shipwreck, scuba diving in Pondicherry has so much to offer to ocean lovers. And the best part? Pondicherry is suitable for diving throughout the year unlike the other dive spots in India! Being a central tourist location on the mainland, Pondicherry is easily accessible and also affordable to everyone. So when you're not off on the boat to discover a new dive site, there's always the French town to stroll around.
2. Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Havelock is home to some of the world's best dive sites. If you are familiar with the scuba diving scene, you would have heard the names "Johnny Jackson Dickson". The famous deep dive sites of Havelock, named after three brothers of the Island who discovered the sites. The marine life and coral at these sites is so vast that you probably won't be able to grasp all of it! White tip sharks, sting rays, barracudas, you name it, they will all say a little hello to you at these sites. While these are just three sites, Havelock has numerous others that offer stunning visuals of the underwater world.
3. Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
Famous for Dhanushkodi, also known as 'land's end', and the Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram is still not known as one of India's best dive spots. Water sports and scuba diving have picked up over the years in Rameswaram's Palk Bay, which offers waters as calm as a lake on a quiet morning. Palk Bay doesn't go very deep but houses big corals, bamboo sharks and a variety of fish! The water here is so clear, you can see the corals below from the boat! If you are an ocean lover and have a thing for water sports, put Rameswaram on your bucket list.
4. Kavaratti and Bangaram Islands, Lakshadweep
Now getting to Lakshadweep is tricky given the difficult permit procedure. But since entry is so restricted and limited, can you imagine the beauty of these islands? Marine life and coral reefs around the islands of Lakshadweep remain pristine and untouched, making it a perfect spot for scuba diving. The waters off the coasts of these islands are also known to be home to migrating whales!
If you look beyond the parties, Goa has a range of water sports to offer, scuba diving being one of them! A handful of dive shops can be found in North Goa if you wish to experience what Goa offers below its beautiful waters. An extra day (or four if you wish to get certified) in your Goa itinerary will give you the opportunity to scuba dive on India's west coast and tick it off your bucket list!
6. Kovalam, Kerala
Although largely famous for its lighthouse and surfing scene, Kovalam also has scuba diving to offer! It is one of the few places in Kerala where you can dive. Blue waters, marine life and sprawling sandbeds make Kovalam a unique destination for diving and a must on every ocean lover's bucket list!
7. Netrani Island, Karnataka
Located close to Murudeshwar, diving in Netrani Island is an experience of a lifetime. Netrani Island is home to rich and healthy reefs that sustain a wide range of marine life, making scuba diving here an exciting affair. So if you are ever in and around North Karnataka and are up for some underwater adventures then you know where to head!
8. Chidiyatapu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Nestled in tropical forests with small hillocks around, Chidiyatapu is a short journey away from Port Blair. Lesser known by most tourists who frequent the Andamans, this place offers some of the busiest (in terms of marine life!) dive sites on the islands! If you wish to beat the crowds of Havelock, hop on a car and drive away to Chidiyatapu where you can immerse in turquoise waters and take your first breath underwater! (P.S. Chidiyatapu also has the best sunsets!)
9. Burnt Island, Maharashtra
The Malvan coast is probably one of the most stunning coastal stretches in India. Located off the coast of Sindhudurg, Burnt Island is a perfect getaway to scuba dive for those looking to be adventurous! The waters become clear starting from October and Burnt Island has a number of dive sites to explore these crystal clear waters. Marine life and corals thrive in these dive sites allowing divers to witness the beauty that lies under these waters. Look no further if you are interested in an offbeat spot that also provides a gateway to the underwater world!
10. Neil Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The waters of Neil Island are bountiful to say the least. Hundreds of species of fish, octopuses, turtles and maybe even the occasional shark make Neil Island one of the top dive destinations in the country. Scuba diving in Neil is an experience that very few have with Havelock attracting all the crowd. Little do they know of the beauty of Neil Island, both above and below the water!
Dive shops at all these locations offer a variety of courses to choose from. Discover Scuba Diving for those who wish to try out scuba, Open Water Course for those looking to get certified, Advanced Open Water for those looking to take their certification forward, and many more based on your interest and requirements. Check out our itineraries for Discover Scuba Diving, Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver. Do get in touch with us for further details and if you wish to explore the underwater world with us!