Best Places For Scuba Diving In India
“Magical and peaceful”, that is, how this adventure water sport feels. Not my words, but these are the sentiments a lot of people use when describing that surreal experience of going underwater and seeing marine life in its natural habitat. When you come back for air after scuba diving, words might leave you for a couple of hours and that is okay as long as you felt at peace and found your solitude, even if it lasts for a day.
If you have never gone scuba diving or just missing the waters and looking forward to planning your trip underwater, here is a list you would want to bookmark. It encompasses all the fantastic places for scuba diving in India. Jet, set, and let’s dive underwater!
The undisputed winner of places to go scuba diving in India has to be Goa. The city of beaches, lazed back days of lounging under the sun, gorging on delicious Goan cuisines, and of course, partying till morning, this small city packs a punch. But where do you go when you want to go scuba diving in Goa? You start with the calm waters of Umma Gumma Reef. This is perfect for beginners and has all the magic of marine life like lobsters, reefs, corals, needlefish, white tip reef sharks, among others sans the adrenaline pumping zest of other scuba diving spots.
However, if you want to take it up a notch, there is the famous Grand Island. With many a sunken ship lying on the seabed and waiting to be explored, you can go out on a treasure hunt of your own. It is strictly advisable that you go scuba diving here under a professional’s supervision as the currents are high.
Best Time to Visit – November to March because the temperature is perfect.
Approximate Cost – INR 4,000
Is there anything you cannot find in ‘God’s own country’? The answer is no. You can find everything here. Azure beaches, pristine and tranquil backwaters, lush verdant green spaces, and now, a spot for scuba diving. Kovalam or the place famous for its lighthouse beach is where you can embark on a journey underwater like Princess Ariel. Ariel was born underwater, so let’s leave out that reference.
Scuba diving in Kerala has recently gained traction thanks to a little company called Bond Safari in Kovalam. They have an ingenious way of helping you explore underwater. Unlike the usual gear you get when going for scuba diving, they have a ‘bond’ submarine, another name for an underwater scooter. It not only enhances the entire experience of exploring the rich marine life but gives you a crystal-clear view. Plus, if you have those initial inhibitions about scuba diving, this could be the perfect place to start. Kovalam’s underwater life is relatively calm, and there are shoals of different types of fishes. For instance, boxfish, pufferfish, anchovy, pipefish, sergeants, groupers, and silver moons.
Best Time to Visit – Between December and January
Approximate Cost – Upward of INR 20,000
3. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Ah, the beautiful archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar Islands! The pride that rests proudly and shines brightly between the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. With this being a literal collection of islands, how could we not include scuba diving in Andaman?
When you plan your itinerary for Andaman, the first destination for Scuba diving should be the Havelock islands. Its deep blue and clear waters are perfect for this water sports and the underwater life is rich with various fish like lionfish, humpback parrotfish, and beautiful corals. Havelock Island is situated 50 km off the coast of Port Blair. Take a ferry from Port Blair, and you will reach your destination in two and a half hours. One of the most famous places for scuba diving here is Barefoot Scuba, definitely check it out.
Best Time to Visit – From October to April
Approximate Cost – Between INR 4,000 to 6,000
Also known as the ‘Heart of India’s Diving’, there is a heart-shaped diving spot in the beautiful location of Netrani Islands. It is located around ten nautical miles off the coast of Murudeshwar. This tiny yet picturesque scuba diving spot is perfect for people who want to avoid large crowds and explore the ocean’s rich bio-diversity and marine life. As this is a coral island, be prepared to find plenty of coral reefs, shrimps, eels, butterflyfishes, and even coral humpbacks. Who knows, if you are fortunate enough, you might spot a whale shark! Rest assured, there is plenty to be explored here and if you want to embark on a treasure hunt under the sea, don’t miss out on the Bhatkal shipwreck located 25 km off the coast.
Best Time to Visit – Mid September to end May
Approximate Cost – INR 5,000
One of the best spots for scuba diving in India is Pondicherry. Located on the Eastern coast, this place is peppered with clean and undisturbed beaches. Plus, it has a semblance of French quarters and their architecture with cobbled streets, making it worth visiting. What’s more? There is the added attraction of Coral Shark Reef, a popular scuba diving spot. This one makes scuba diving in Pondicherry a fun, memorable experience as the waters here range from 5 meters to 23 meters, making it feasible for everyone to see the marine life.
Best Time to Visit – February to April, September to November
Approximate Cost – Between INR 3500 to 6000
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The sea is your entire oyster, my friend. Make the most of it and dive away!