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Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

 

Hidden away from our familiar human world is a spectacular natural underwater world full of vibrant colors and textures, naturally crafted structures, exotic creatures, sea anemones and a whole lot more that is waiting to be explored. The adventure sports of scuba diving and snorkeling opens up array of opportunities to get up close to this fantasy land and experience the captivating visual treat to the eye.

India is proud to have a rich collection of underwater wealth in the Bay of Bengal at Andaman and the Arabian Sea at the Lakshadweep group of islands. Diving enthusiasts from across the world are getting magnetically attracted to the stunning marine life and the adventure sports accompaniment to enjoy this spectacle that India has to offer to the outside world.

 

Locations

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

There is no better adventure than diving. Whether you are a novice, or having been diving for many years, there is always something new, fascinating or challenging about venturing into the underwater world. Your mind may be mesmerized by clouds of colourful fish, your curiosity raised by the mysterious remains of sunken ships or your creativity awakened by the art of underwater photography. Your diving interests may range from a casual pastime pursued on vacation, to constant passion, or even a career. Diving offers something new for everyone.

Diving in Andaman’s is a unique lifetime experience. The coastal water surrounding these islands are the abode of one of the richest coral reef ecosystem is the world. The specialty is that, here the coral-reefs and underwater formation are undamaged by human activity. The best season for diving is from December to April.

Many of the islands are surrounded by fringing reefs, often several hundred meters wide and separated from the shore by a lagoon of similar width. There are also more steeply undulating hills of volcanic lava, which makes for some unusual diving. There are plenty of steeply sloping and shallow reefs suitable for snorkeling. Large pelagic are plentiful in these waters, as are variety of sharks. Large schools of hammerhead often patrol the waters away from the reefs and Grey, white tip, Nurse and leopard sharks are found closer inshore. Silvertip and ocean white tips also sometimes appear out of the deep blue beyond. Enormous manta rays are also often seen.

Best time to visit: Heavy rains are expected during the months of June to September, so the month of October to May is considered to be Ideal of visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Dive Sites in Andaman

Cinque Island One of the best dive destinations in the island, it has clear emerald water with a visibility of upto 80 feet. The deep dive offers a terrific variety of marine life, including black coral, sightings of sharks and is ideal for the experienced diver.

North Point: This site at Cinque Island is mostly highlighted by sponges and small corals and diversity of fish life. Southeast Reef at Cinque Island is a good site for novices. The southeast part of the reef consists of hard and soft corals and very dense on the rocks to about 16m (53 ft.).

Fish Rock near Passage Island offers an extremely colourful dive. The topography consists of rocky slopes, boulders and drop-offs, featuring large fan of corals and plenty of sponges, below 25m, the rocks are covered in small bushy soft corals in numerous hues. Hard corals are not so evident. Grey and White tip Reef and Reef Sharks are almost always in the vicinity as are Nurse Sharks. Among the rest of the marine life are Eagle rays. Potato Cod, large coral groupers, fusiliers, suitlips, turtles, batfish, bump head. Parrotfish,Squrielfish, curious and friendly oriental sweetlips, surgeonfish, yellow Tangs, Triggerfish, tuna, Rainbow runners and many spices of trevally.

Bala Reef spreads over 4-5 sq.km amd is said to be one of the best sites in the Andaman’s for coral-with vibrant colours.

Corruption Rock sticks out between Chidiyatapu and Rutland Island. The dive site is on the western side of the rock and is made up of big underwater boulders. The corals are not brilliant but the craggy undersea landscape of boulders is stunning. A fantastic wonderland of gullies, channels, ridges and canyons. Look out for giant napoleons and eagle rays, huge snappers, schooling fusiliers, banner and unicorn fish, Dolphins, tuna and reef sharks have also been sighted here.

Snake Island off Corbyn’s Cove beach. This site offers awesome rock faces and spectacular dive landscape. Marine life includes Trigger fish, Grunts, Goatfish and Rays.

Rutland Island: The shallow waters near to the island have a good representation of smaller fish and coral, and a good place for training open water divers. There is a ship wreck site also.

Mac Point: Mostly hardcorales and their inhabitants are found. Usually good visibility, dugongs have been spotted here.

Barracuda City: Tons of fish, sometimes turtles, mostly hard and some soft corals. Rather suitable for experienced divers.

Turtle Bay: is an easy pleasant dive site not exceeding 14 meters. Rays are found in the sand and with luck turtles.

Seduction Point: A huge rock with different kind of aquatic life. Napoleans can be seen. The shallow part is full with stag horn corals and its inhabitants.

Lighthouse is a huge dive site, suitable for any kind of dives. Huge variety of soft and hard corals. Perfect for night dives.

The Wall is a huge dive submerged rock. The wall drops down to a maximum of 55 meters and is full with life. Huge forests of soft corals plus schools of fish circling you, makes it always a memorable dive.

Pilot Reef near to Havelock is a huge block of pristine hardcorales. At the bottom (max 24 meters) ‘canyons’ are stretching out. Leopard and White Tip Sharks have been sighted.

Minerva ledge at Havelock is even bigger block of hard corals. Tons of fish even bigger block of hardcorales. Tons of fish, usually good visibility and the possibility of seeing sharks makes it one of the top dive sites.

Campbell Shoaloff North Button Island: The bottom of this site is covered in mainly hardcorales, with sporadic sandy patches and hosts a multitude of reef animals. The marine life includes Whitetip Reef Sharks, large cod and groupers, Coral Trout, Blue and Golden-banded fusilers, Giant Trevally and a host of colourful reef-fish.

 

Lakshadweep Islands

Lakshadweep is a sort of navigators compass, the word meaning destination. The name "laksha" is only symbolic since the total number of Islands doesn't even add up to a 1000.The word "laksha" means "Thousand" in Malayalam and Sanskrit. But it has other meanings too! For example, "laksha" means “Purpose" and Lakshadweep lies in the hub of the Arabian-African-Asian trade route 

 There are many theories as to how the huge archipelago, the Lakshadweep group of Islands emerged. The most widely accepted one is attributed to Sir Charles Darwin, the renowned English Evolutionist (1842).

He opined that the base of the islands below the reef is a volcanic formation over which corals settled and formed into fringing reefs. These turned into barrier reefs and later to atolls due to the geological submergence of the volcanic base.

One of the world's most spectacular tropical island systems, Lakshadweep is tucked away at 220-240 kms. Off the Malabar Coast. The islands comprise of 4200 sq.km. Of lagoon rich in marine wealth ad 36 islands in an area of 32 sq.km.

Dive Sites in Lakshadweep

Dolphin Dive Center, Kavaratti: Kavaratti is the headquarter island situated around 404 km off the coast of Cochin. The beautiful calm lagoon in the island is ideal for scuba dive beginners. Open water outside the reef is equally beautiful. The dive center is conveniently located on the northern tip of the island very close to the entrance. Therefore access to dive spots is easy and quick from the dive center. The island has a 10 bedded resort catering to divers.

It is well known for turtles, soft corals sharks, rays and all kinds of tropical fishes. Dive Spots like Harbour Mouth very close to entrance is abundant with Giant Sea Fans, Giant Triveli, and Gorgonians. Likewise Zing Par at the southern tip is famous for big sharks, spotted eagle rays schooling barracuda. A dive at

Governors Reef is a lesson in different types of soft corals of attractive colours especially of bright red. One can enjoy amazing cave dives at Wall of Wonder at North West side of the island. A dive at Turtle Nest is worth all different types of turtles there. One can have eye ball contact with grey reef sharks, spotted rays, bat fish and lot of groupers at Wind Mill Point. PADI certified instructors impart training to beginners as well as experienced. Nest is worth all different types of turtles there. One can have eye ball contact with grey reef sharks, spotted rays, bat fish and lot of groupers at Wind Mill Point. PADI certified instructors impart training to beginners as well as experienced.

The Kadmat Scuba Diving Centre: One of the most beautiful diving locations in India. An idyllic little island which forms part of the Lakshadweep archipelago, situated 407km. off the coast of Kerala in the Arabian Sea. Kadmat is just 8km long and only 550m wide at its broadest point. The crystal clear water and the abundant marine life enhance the beauty of Kadmat. Against the vast expanse of the blue sea, the island looks like emerald. The huge shallow calm lagoon on one side with wall like reef made of marine live coral boulders block the incoming swells of the outer sea. Clear water with 20-50 meter visibility and a variety of fishes like Lion fish, Lobsters, Tuna, rays, sharks, shoaling jacks, fusiliers, sweet lips, groupers, rays, eels, turtles makes it a memorable destination for scuba divers. Pristine beaches, lovely lagoons and the wealth of marine habitat make Kadmat a dream diving locale. The Scuba Diving Centre in the island has become an attraction for water - sport enthusiasts. Kadmat is home to the first Laccadives Dive Centre and School. The Laccadives Kadmat Dive School offers beginner to advanced courses throughout the season (1st October to 1st May). The centre caters to certified divers as well. This is the only Dive school in India offering CMAS certification courses from Beginner (1 Star) to Instructor levels.

Minicoy Dive Center: Minicoy is the southernmost island in the Lakshadweep group of islands. Situated 398 kms from Cochin, it is the second largest island in size. A crescent shaped island has a huge lagoon on the western side. It has a tiny islet called Viringili on the southern tip of the island. The island is set apart from other islands as culture; language and tradition are different from other islands. The island has a systematically arranged village system known as 'Avah'. Each Avah is a cluster of houses which is headed by an elected elderly man called Bodukaka. Traditionally all powers to manage village affairs are vested in him. Each village has a village house beautifully decorated and maintained. Mahl is the spoken language. MINICOY is an important centre for tuna fishing. The Light House of the island is one of the oldest and was constructed in 1885. It has a 20 bedded resort for accommodating divers and other tourists. Independent tourist cottages are also available in the island.

Minicoy is the only island in Lakshadweep having three large ship wrecks believed to be that of S.S Hoechst and other ships, within 8 mtrs depth on the island reef. It is believed that these ship wreck initiated construction of light house in 1885. These wrecks are virtual underwater museums and fish species found here are larger than average normal size found elsewhere perhaps due to consumption of Ferrous of the wrecks. Manta Ray can be cited in almost all dive sites like Ragganmathi, Mulimatti, and Rabberufarai during September - October and January - February. Sharks, bull rays, turtles, school of jacks, red snappers, black snappers, napoleon wrasse, barracuda, and sweet lips are in abundance at Bose Point, Murambu, and Boduhavaligang. Other interesting species found here are hump back parrot fish and Giant Sweet Lips.

The Wall: A wall of soft coral starting at 12 meters and cascading down to the deep blue. Dive amongst turtles as resplendent as their surroundings.

Sting Ray City: A 21 meter dive along the sand dunes, abundant with Sting Rays.

Cross Currents: Located between the islands of Amini and Kadmat, drift dive along with schools of Snapper, Fusilier and Sharks at 15-21 meters.

Jack Point: A drift dive between 21-30 meters with different types of fish like Jack Fish and King Fish.

Garden of Eden: An abundance of table coral at 12-25 meters along with varieties of small fish and Groupers.

East Channel: Located between 9-20 meters an abundance of soft coral and tuna.

 

Netrani Islands

Located about 10 km across the Karnataka coast from Murudeshwara in the Arabian Sea is the tiny island of Netrani. Inhabited by pigeons and goats, this little island is rich with corals, butterfly fish, trigger fish, parrot fish, eels and shrimps, offering an ideal scuba diving destination. Offering perfect diving conditions between December and January, Netrani is also accessible from Goa and Mumbai. However, since the island next to Netrani is used by the Indian Navy for target practice, it’s best advised that visitors take prior permission to visit the island, or travel with sport organizers like Thrillophilla who take care of all arrangements.

Dive Sites in Netrani

The Nursery: A shallow dive site with a maximum depth of 10 meters. So named because of the profusion of juveniles of many fish species as well as Nudibranchs found here. Ideal for beginners as well as advanced divers who enjoy looking for all things small and wonderful. Great site for maco photography.

Grand Central Station: High adrenaline action with lots of big fish. Gradual slope going down to 20 meters. This is one place the fish watch you!! Schools of big Surgeonfish, Parrotfish, Red Snappers, Batfish, Barracudas, Rabbit fish and many more come cruising by to check YOU out!! We finish the dive heading to a shallow depth of approx. 6 meters where there are zillions of Red Tooth Triggers and Sergent Majors. Good chance of spotting Hawksbill turtles as well as meter long Needlefish near the surface.

The Abyss: Dropping down to 35 meters, this dive site is an ideal one for deep dive fanatics. Large schools of Barracuda, Tuna and cruising pelagic are often sighted. The gravel bottom has a gradual slope heading towards the island where we complete our safety stop in Dini's Delight.

Dini's Delight: Shallow dive with a maximum depth of 8 meters. Gigantic coral head are home to an incredible variety of fishlife. Good for beginners and photographers alike, this is a good spot to see lobster, moray eel and several species of angelfish and surgeonfish not commonly found in these waters.

Cul de Sac: With sheer walls on either side, this dive site is a pretty and gentle dive where one "goes with the flow”!! A gentle surge takes you into a Cul de sac teaming with tiny reef fishes. The bottom is made up of sea grass where many species of Goby share their home with the housekeeping shrimp.

Aladdin’s Cave: Eye to eye with a blacktip reef shark rounding up a school of trevallies. Reported to be the mouth of a tunnel which travels into the core of the island.

 

Goa

For those who are seeking excitement and fun in Goa and want to do something different can try out scuba diving. The shallow shores of Goa are famous for their rich marine life. Though there are no gigantic coral reefs here, the scintillating underwater life is sure to fascinate you. Scuba diving is the best sport if you want to try your hand at something that is not too adventurous but is soul satisfying. Though it requires some amount of initial training, once you are comfortable with the equipment it is very easy to enjoy scuba diving.

The underwater life of Goa has unique and fascinating creatures and also shipwrecks of World War ll. The sea is very calm thus making the shores just perfect for scuba diving. If you are a beginner, you will be accompanied by two instructors when you go diving. The underwater visibility ranges from 5 - 20 meters in Goa, depending upon the weather conditions and the nature of the sea. While scuba diving, you will come across many sea creatures like tuna, eels, goat fish, lion fish, snapper jacks, etc.

Dive Sites in Goa

Suzy’s WreckIdeal dive site for beginners as well as experienced divers, this is a 30 Meters long WW II metal wreck in very shallow waters starting at 3 meters depth with a maximum depth of 12 meters. Plenty of fishlife can be spotted here such as batfish, angelfish, barracudas, snappers, sweetlips, stonefish, blennies, Nudibranchs, parrotfish, Moorish idols etc.

Davy Jones LockerMeant mostly for experience divers, as the currents are generally strong in this area. It is a very broken up metal wreck in approx. 14 meters of water. Very large groupers, big barracudas, deep water schooling fish like jacks, tuna, mullets, etc. are seen frequently.

Shelter CoveIt has a very shallow depth, around 8 meters making it an ideal dive site for beginners with lots of small fish, wide variety of hard coral, lobsters, etc.

Uma Guma ReefAn excellent dive site on exposed rocks off Grand Island meant for experienced divers. Parrotfish, triggerfish, angelfish, puffers, Moorish idols, sweetlips, snappers, porcupine fish etc. are spotted here.

Bounty Bay: This is a great site for beginners as well as trainee divers. Several species of small fish as well as hard coral found here. Cuttlefish and nurse shark have also been seen here. Maximum depth here is only 6 meters.

The JettyLocated at the north western tip of Grand Island, this is a very shallow site with a maximum depth of 8 meters and an average depth of 5 to 6 meters. Lionfish and schooling baby mullets are frequently seen.


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