The Indian sub-continent is truly a land of extremes. In the north is the mighty Himalayas, in the west is a desert while the lands to the East receive plenty of rainfall. Diverse is perhaps the best way to describe India.
The south of India is surrounded by water. For the scuba diver, this means plenty of India diving so grab your scuba gear package. There is so much diversity in India’s underwater world that any diver could be perplexed by the sheer number of dive sites.
While any one of them is worth a try, some simply stand out. These are the 10 best dive sites in India.
1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands—Havelock Islands
The Havelock islands are located near the Bay of Bengal. Coupled with stunning beaches, this archipelago also features some of the best spots for diving in India.
The Havelock islands are around 50 kilometers near port Blair. Some of the marine life that you are likely to spot include parrotfish, lionfish as well as soft corals. You may also see dugong as well as different colored marine fish.
You can reach the islands by hitching a ferry ride from Port Blair. This will take you around 2.5 hours. It is advisable to carry cash even while there are a few ATMs in the area. This is in case you need to purchase any necessities for your dive.
Remember to carry your dive watch. It will help you compare the readings on the dive computer.
The best time of year to visit the Havelock islands is when the currents are not too strong. This is usually between October to April.
2. Neil island
Neil island is also found in Andaman Island. It upholds the sheer beauty of the region and the great thing is you will not have to worry about too much human traffic. Neil Island is also quite small which adds to the glamour and the exclusivity.
Neil island has many diving spots that you can explore. The coral remains unaffected by humankind and is, therefore, thriving with all manner of sea creatures. Some of the best dive locations in Neil island include Laxmanpur beach 1, the jetty area, and Margherita’s mischief.
A dive compass will help you when navigating the underwater world.
If you are planning to make the trip, then the best time of year is from December to May. This is how you avoid the strong currents that tend to be here during the rest of the year.
3. Port Blair
Port Blair is part of the union territory and has some of the best places for Indian diving. One of these is to be found in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. This stunning part was set up to preserve and conceive the local marine flora and fauna.
You will be amazed at the variety of marine life which includes clownfish, fungia, parrotfish, and butterflyfish.
The best time of year to visit the region is when the waters are most calm. This is between December and April. If you plan on visiting the area during the cold months, make sure you pack a dry suit.
Between December and May is the best time to visit the north point when the current is not very strong.
4. Corruption rock
Also, at the Havelock Islands, corruption rock is situated between Chidiyatappu and Rutland islands. It is one of the most stunning dive locations in India. It derives its name from the 30-meter-tall rock that has its tip sticking out of the water.
The location attracts plenty of flora and fauna. There are also canyons, overhangs, bridges, and channels which the diver can explore.
It offers wreck divers a great view with multiple sunken ships to explore. Among the marine life to be found here are unicorn fish, eagle rays, and napoleon fish. You can reach corruption rock via ferry from Port Blair.
5. Netrani Island
This island is situated in Karnataka. It is also known as pigeon island. You can locate Netrani Island about 10 nautical miles from Bhatkal Taluk. This diving spot is quite special, as it is shaped like a heart. This gives it the name “the heart of India’s diving”.
The waters around Netrani are crystal clear. There are also several wrecks for the wreck diver as well as a rich ecosystem full of marine life. Make sure that your dive gear is working as it should be doing proper checks. This includes the scuba regulator.
Here you can view the beautiful coral, butterflyfish, shrimps, eels, and parrotfish. Sometimes you may even swim with orcas and spot the occasional, whale. The steep nature of the island’s topography means that it is mainly uninhabited.
You can access Netrani island from Bengaluru, Goa, Mumbai, and Mangalore.
You can visit Netrani island between December and January. During this time of year, the current is not very strong and the waters are much calmer. This means that beginner divers can dive.
To get to the Kovalam dive spot, you will need to first make your way to Kerala. This is around 16km from Thiruvananthapuram. Among the best features of this dive, the spot is that the waters are calm which means beginner divers can have plenty of fun here.
Marine life is abundant in this part of the ocean including bluefin trevally, anchovy, groupers, pufferfish, boxfish, and moray eels. Make sure you give them a wide birth as this is their world. Some of the underwater marine life here can be quite dangerous. The moray eel, for example, has been known to bite divers. With the second pair of jaws inside their mouths, this is one sea creature you don’t want to annoy.
The great thing is that making your way to Kovalam is not difficult as some roads and railways connect easily to your destination.
If you want to visit Kovalam, then plan your trip between December and January. The waters are warm and the humidity is pleasant enough for diving in India.
If you are not a very good scuba diver, do not worry as there are companies in Kerala that will allow you to make the dive using an underwater scooter called the bond submarine. You will also have access to the best scuba tanks as well as nitrogen tanks. Your head is enclosed inside a glass helmet which allows the diver to breathe normally.
7. North point
This popular dive spot is found on Cinque island. It is another beautiful dive spot found close to Havelock Island. One of the most striking features about this dive site is the crystal-clear waters. Better visibility means that you can enjoy the underwater sights and scenery.
Visibility here is up to 80 feet which makes it among the most popular dive sites in India.
And there is plenty to see at the north point including sponges, corals, and a diverse variety of fish species. While black corals attract enthusiastic divers, you will also need to watch out for sharks. You can reach north point via chattered boat from port Blair.
8. Bangaram Atoll
Bangaram is an amazing atoll. It has a rectangular shape and is 8.1 kilometers in length which means corals all around the island. The waters here are calm and the surrounding scenery is simply breathtaking. Bangaram is situated in the union territory. There is plenty to see underwater so bring your diving camera and make sure you have the best lenses for underwater photography and you should have the time of your life.
Bangaram is s beautiful that many divers have compared it to the Maldives. Others consider it to be as stunning as Mauritius.
Among the most common tropical fish in these waters are barracudas. The beaches around this dive spot are some of the cleanest in the world and this only adds to the beauty and splendor of the dive site.
To reach Bangaram, all you will need to do is connect with a boat from Aggati and it’s just 7 kilometers away. When planning to make the trip to Bangaram, the best time of year is from October to March. This is when the water is at its calmest.
Other dive sites worth checking out in the region include Aggati Island and Laccadive. Being among the best dive sites in India means that it attracts divers from across the Indian subcontinent and the world at large.
9. The Aravind wall
The Aravind wall is among the most infamous dive sites in India. You will need to travel a distance of 15 kilometers from the shore to get to the dive site.
Its marine ecosystem hosts a huge variety of marine life which includes lionfish, sea snakes, and butterflyfish. It’s no secret that sea snakes can be dangerous but as long as you provide them with their space, you can enjoy taking photos of these amazing sea creatures.
Take a closer look at the wall and you may spot the moray eel. Pick a time when the water is calm and temperatures are warm to make the plunge. This is often between December and March.
If you are in search of the best sites for diving with manta rays and whale sharks in India, then you have chosen the best dive site.
Even in the calmer months of the year, there is still current. This is not the clearest place to dive as the visibility here is around 20 meters. That said, you can enjoy underwater sights and marine life as the fish swim close by and as you explore the coral.
This dive site is for intermediate and experienced divers. For those who want to explore the wall, it drops down to around 40 meters. You are also very likely to see schools of jacks swim by. With the dive camera, you can capture awesome images of gorgonian walls.
10. Grand Island
When you think of Grand island in Goa, you will probably be thinking about parties, festivals, and pristine beaches. But there is more than meets the eye to this Island.
The Grand island draws in divers from all across the world owing to its clear warm waters and the huge variety of underwater sights and scenery. Something to take note of when India diving here is that the currents can be quite strong and is, therefore, best suited for intermediate to experienced divers.
To get to Grand Island, you will only need to travel just a few kilometers to the west of Mormugao. For wreck divers, there is Suzy’s wreck to explore. This was once a British ship that went under back in the 1930s as it was unable to withstand a powerful storm.
It is now covered in plenty of coral and mussels and is home to some of the most beautiful and striking underwater marine life. Not very far away from this wreck is yet another known as the Davy Jones wreck. Many professional scuba divers are drawn to this wreck.
While beginner divers are not advised to dive here, there is another dive site at the Grand island that is suited for them. This is the Umma gumma reef. You can even bring along your diving camera and capture some unique shots of this breathtaking underwater world.
If you want to visit Grand island, then the best time is between November and March. During this time the water is warm enough which means you can spend more time enjoying the marine world.
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Thanks to its tropical waters, the Indian subcontinent has some of the best dive sites in the world. They are full of varied underwater ecosystems that are as diverse as they are delicate. It is also a great place to swim with whales and whale sharks.
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- Diving in Netrani, www.divenetrani.com