Scuba diving in India can make for a unique experience because many of the dive spots are isolated and have yet to be spoiled. Some of the best places include the Andaman Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.
It is possible to base yourself right on one of the above islands, or you can take a liveaboard. There are some locations best suited for beginners, while some others are great for the adventurous, experienced diver.
Scuba Diving in India
Here are some of the best diving sites to visit in India:
1. The Lakshadweep Islands
Lakshadweep has 36 individual islands sitting in the Arabian Sea, just about 200 to 300 miles off the western coast of India. There are only two islands that are open to tourists.
They are Kadmat and Bangaram, with Kadmat being the more isolated of the two with only one resort. Some of the best sites can also be found at Kadmat.
The average visibility in the Lakshadweep Sea is about 25 to 40 meters. You won’t find any dive centers open during the monsoons, which take place between May and September. So, you’ll want to plan your visit around that.
Kadmat Island: The Wall
This dive site off Kadmat Island is one that you need to see to believe. There is a wall that measures from six meters, all the way down to 30 meters. You can expect to get visibility ranging from 40 meters to 60 meters.
For marine life, you can expect to see an incredible amount of green turtles. Some divers have seen as many as 100 of them in just a one-hour dive. You are also likely to see eagle rays, white tip reef sharks, porcupine rays, different types of nidubrances, several kinds of morays, shrimps, jacks, barracudas, and big napoleon wrasses.
There are walls upon walls of secret crevices where you can uncover sleeping turtles. The current is slight, and the flat sand bottom is home to many beautiful rays. The site is unlike nearly any other in the world. You’ll likely lose track of the number of beautiful turtles you see on your dive.
2. The Andaman Islands
The Andaman Islands are closer in proximity to Thailand. However, they are still under Indian Territory. There is a total of 36 islands, all inhabited. Of all of those, tourists are only able to visit the Andamans.
There are two rainy seasons on the Andaman Islands. These are the Northeast monsoon, which spans from November to January and the Southwest monsoon, which takes place from the middle of May to September. While the diving season in the Andaman Islands does span the whole year through, some months clearly give you the best conditions.
The best time to visit the Andaman Islands is from January through April when you’ll get the calmest weather. Below, we highlight the best times to visit each island and dive site found in Andaman.
Havelock island is one of the most popular scuba diving spots in Andaman. The island sits about 50 kilometers away from Port Blair.
It offers a wide variety of marine life, such as soft corals, lionfish, and humpback parrotfish. You can also see dugongs, which are quite rare to witness elsewhere in the world.
There are several popular diving sites at the Havelock islands, including Lighthouse, Mac Point, The Wall, and Aquarium.
When it comes to the best time to scuba dive the Havelock Islands, it is between October and April. This will eliminate the likelihood that you will run into high currents. If you are a beginner diver, you should really stick to these months.
This is another part of Andaman. It offers a bit more tranquility, and there isn’t a lot of coming and going taking place. It is really just a quieter, more peaceful version of Havelock Island.
Neil Island is a tiny island, but it is breathtakingly beautiful. It has plenty of beaches that have yet to be explored or spoiled. All of those beaches lend themselves to incredible diving locations.
The coral reef off of Neil Island is still untouched and has retained its beauty. Some of the better beach spots include Margherita’s Mischief, the Jetty area, and Laxmanpur Beach 1. The best dive spots include K Rock, Margherita’s Mischief, Junction, and Bus Stop.
The best time to make your scuba visit to Neil Island is between December and May. This is because, at other times of the year, you are likely to run into monsoons and very rough waters.
In this area, you will find the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park in Wandoor, which is an incredible place to dive if you ever get the chance. For many divers, this location sits atop the infamous bucket list.
It offers a dive like none other in the country. You can see incredible sea flowers, as well as 50 different types of corals.
The sites are truly one of a kind to behold, and the various types of marine life you can see include clown fish, leptoseris, pocillopora, and Fungia. You’re also likely to see parrot fish, butterflyfish, and clownfish. You’re best to plan your trip from December through April. That is because those months are when you are likely to experience the calmest seas. You especially want to keep this in mind if you are a beginner diver.
India is a diver’s paradise for many reasons. It boasts almost 5000 miles of coastline and an incredible assortment of unique dive sites suitable for beginners up to the most seasoned of divers.
You can get up close and personal with all that the Andaman Islands has to offer and then take in the aquatic wonders provided by the Lakshadweep. There are plenty of fascinating sites to behold.
You can be all about adrenaline and exciting dives, or you can choose to take a relaxing drifting dive. Whatever you fancy, there is something for everyone when scuba diving in India.