Scuba Diving in India has really taken off in the last few years. Blessed with a long and beautiful coastline, India has discovered that it has many dive sites to offer. The dive sites will satiate all kinds of divers – new and experienced. You will also be able to enjoy a variety of dives, for example, there are a lot of sites which offer wreck dives.
The rise of Scuba diving in India has also increased the number of Scuba schools. These schools will help give you a taste of diving before you can deep dive into it. They offer all levels of Scuba diving courses in India.
We have put together a list of some of the best Scuba diving destinations in India and what you can look forward to diving there.
Top 5 Places to go Scuba diving in India
- Andaman Islands(PortBlair, Havelock, Neil Island )
- Karnataka(Netrani Islands)
Andaman is the undisputed Mecca of Scuba diving in India. It is also one of the best diving destinations in the world. It is blessed with a variety of diving spots, great marine life to spot and high visibility.
Also Read : 8 Most Amazing Water Sports in Andaman
On land, Andaman is one of the peaceful places on planet earth. But, dive a few feet underwater and is bustling with life and colours in all shapes and sizes.
Dive locations in Andaman
The largest Island in Andaman is also blessed with the most dive sites. Also, there are many dive schools that will help you show the best of the underwater terrain/life.
- Best time to dive: The best time to dive in Havelock is between October to May.
- Popular Dive Schools in Havelock: Barefoot Scuba, Dive India, Andaman Bubbles
Popular Dive Sites in Havelock
- Johnny’s Gorge: This is the most popular dive site among all the experienced divers. The main reason for this is you can spot sharks here! Other fish you can spot here are reef fish, snappers and rays.
- Whitehouse Rock: The whitehouse rock is set to be a dreamy site for diving. It is said that inexperienced divers could get disoriented here because so much is happening at the same time. You could spot reef fish, turtles and fan corals here.
- The Wall: The Wall is one of the most popular dive sites around Havelock. It is a sloping wall-like structure which slopes down to a depth of 55 meters giving divers a rich variety of experience. You could spot Reef Fish, Octopus, Scorpion Fish here.
Neil Island is not as popular with the tourists as Havelock but is as pretty. The coral reefs around the island make for excellent diving experiences and is one of the top Scuba diving destinations in India.
- Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive in Neil Island is between December and May.
- Popular Dive Schools in Neil Island: Dive India, Scuba Love
Best dive sites at Neil Island
- Busy Burro: This is one of the most popular dive sites in Neil Island. You will be able to see shoals of fish here among the reefs. Apart from the reef, you will also be able to see large sponges here. You will be able to spot Reef fish and lobsters here.
- Margerita: Another popular dive site between Neil Island and Havelock. The surface of this dive site is rocky which provides shelter eels, lobsters, shrimps and the like.
The capital of this gifted archipelago boasts of some good dive sites of its own. Port Blair has some great beaches and smaller islands around it which boast of some great dive sites.
- Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive around the sites near Port Blair is between October to May.
- Popular diving schools: Dive Mantra, Maruti Diving School, Experience Andaman, Lacadives
Best dive sites at Port Blair
- Snake Island off Corbyn’s Cove Beach: This island is located 7 kilometres off of Port Blair. The waters can be choppy here, so make sure you are diving with experienced professionals here. You might be able to spot triggerfish, grunts and rays here.
- Cinque Island: There are no human inhabitants on this island. This makes the island and its surrounding waters pristine and clear for diving.
- Corruption Island: This island is close to Chidiya Tapu. It basically is a 30-metre high rock jutting out of the water. This rock has provided a beautiful ecosystem for marine life. You might be able to spot unicorn fish and rays here.
This beautiful set of 36 islands off coast of Kerala makes for some exquisite spots for diving enthusiasts. Divers from around the world have rated Lakshadweep very high on the parameters of visibility and the variety of marine life present. There are also numerous diving options present.
The visibility underwater here can extend up to a whopping 40 metres. The calm waters also make it a great place to learn diving and beginners. You can see wrecks while diving at Bangarram and Minicoy Islands. And, can explore caves at Kavaratti Islands.
- Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive in Lakshadweep is between October to April.
- Popular diving schools: Lakshadweep Diving Academy, Kalpeni Dive Centre
Best dive sites in Lakshadweep
- Aggati Island
- Bangarram Island
- Kadmat Island
- Minicoy Island
- Kavaratti Island
Goa is not all party and fun. It can be calm and beautiful. One way of experiencing this side is by exploring the Scuba diving scene in Goa. You can also dive amongst a wreck here. The wreck is of a ship that sank off the coast of Goa in the 1930s.
Must Read : 10 Best Places For Trekking in Goa
Though Goa is one of the most popular tourist places where you can try diving, it is not the best. Goa ranks low on visibility, due to being so inhabited. It also ranks low on the marine life you can see and the diving options.
- Best Time to Dive: The best time to go Scuba diving in Goa is between November to March.
- Popular diving schools: Atlantis Water sports, Goa Diving,
Best sites to dive in Goa
Grand Island: Grand Island is the best place to go Scuba diving in Goa, India. The Grand Island is a boat ride away from the Bogmalo beach. Being a little away from the crowded beaches, visibility and marine life is better here.
The dive site around Grand Island are
- Suzy’s wreck
- Davy Lockers Jones
- Uma Gumma Reef
- Surge city
- Turbo Tunnel
This beautiful beach town along the east coast of India is also an upcoming Scuba diving destination in India. Pondicherry has quite a few dive sites it can boast off now. There is a good community of scuba divers coming up in Pondicherry.
It has a whole range of dive sites which are suitable for beginners as well as experienced divers. One can dive from a depth of 5 metres to 40 metres and thus, enjoy a wide variety of marine life.
Though Pondicherry does not rank high in terms of visibility underwater, it more than makes up with the marine life one can spot here and the availability of diving options. You can spot Lionfish, sharks, kingfish, eagle and manta rays here.
- Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive around Pondicherry is November to March
- Popular diving schools: Temple Adventures, Wander Trails
Best dive sites in Pondicherry
- Cool Shark Reef (As the name says, you can spot sharks here, specifically the white tip shark here)
- Temple Reef
- The Hole
- 4 Corners
Karnataka has a long and beautiful coastline. The push to improve the tourism industry here has seen some great beach resorts, surf centres and yes, also scuba diving options opened up here.
The beaches around Netrani Island which are off the coast of Murdeshwar is blessed with beautiful coral reefs. The luckiest of the divers would be able to spot whales in this region as well.
- Best Time to Dive: The best time to dive in Karnataka is in December and January.
- Popular diving schools in Netrani are: Netrani Adventures, West Coast Adventures, Dive Netrani
Other diving locations in Karnataka
- Devbagh Island, Karwar
- Maravanthe Beach
Also See: 7 Hidden Gems in Karnataka
Diving For Beginners
PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the official association which designs various courses for Scuba Diving in India. This makes sure that there are proper steps in your scuba training and also that the proper safety precautions taken during the dive.
PADI designs courses for beginners who want to experience diving for the first time to when you can become an official Scuba rescue diver. Please make sure that the dive school you are going to dive with is PADI certified.
Diving options for Beginners – Discover Scuba Diving Program
This program includes some theory instruction followed by a short session in the ocean to build skills and practise. This is followed by a dive in a reef.
There is no requirement to know swimming for this dive. This is easy and a lot of fun. This entire program lasts for half a day.
There are 2 options to the Discover Scuba Diving Course in India
The boat option where you are taken on a boat to a dive site where it is more secluded.
The shore option where the dive takes place close to the shore
The total dive time in both options is around 60 minutes.
In this type of dive, you will be diving with an experienced diver. The diver will hold your hand at all times and take you around the reef. Although, this gives you an experience of the underwater. It is not a full-fledged scuba diving experience.
Please make sure you pick the right option for you.
Further Read : A Detailed Guide to 15 Top Places for Trekking in Karnataka