India has some of the most unique and beautiful waters in the world, and scuba diving in India is certainly one of the best experiences ever.
The Andaman and Arabian Seas have so much to discover, with its many fascinating underwater formations, shipwrecks, lush and healthy coral gardens, very high marine biodiversity and so much more.
The fabulous wall diving, overhangs, and swim-throughs are also big reasons people from all over the world come here to dive.
The country boasts over 5000 miles of coastline, several small islands, beautiful blue lagoons and plenty of marine protected areas that guarantee you will have the time of your life!
When not scuba diving India, you will want to spend plenty of time exploring what other wonders the country has to offer. The steamy jungles are teeming with amazing wildlife, birds and flora that will make any hike or bike ride an adventure not to be forgotten.
From the large bustling cities to the small fishing villages, you will find the rich culture and heritage of the country fascinating.
You will find nothing better than relaxing on any one of the many magnificent beaches with your favorite drink in hand and friends by your side as you watch a spectacular sunset following a full day of diving.
Below is a list of the top dive locations in India, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Click on their image or link if you want more information about that location, and it will take you to the more comprehensive location guides!
Where should you dive in India?
With all of the archipelagos and islands around the country, you will find some of the best scuba diving in the world in India. Here we have listed some of the best ones there are.
The Andaman & Nicobar Islands
These spectacular islands are on the far side of the country which are less traveled by tourists and so remain pristine and ideal for anyone wanting to scuba dive India. With the deep, crystal clear turquoise water, amazing coral reefs and steep walls, this is one of the best places in the world.
1. The Wall ( Havelock Island)
Dive deep as this wall drops about 10m (35 ft) as you see the beautiful soft purple coral attached to the wall. You will see plenty of nudibranchs, stonefish and scorpionfish as you descend. There are also large schools of trevally, Napoleon wrasse and snapper to entertain you.
2. Dixon’s Pinnacle (Andaman)
The amazing huge rock pinnacles that seem to rise up out of a mysterious depth are absolutely spectacular with the colorful coral that cover them. The top portion serve as cleaning stations so are alive with activity.
Moray eels. turtles, manta rays and white-tip reef sharks are just a few that take advantage of these. You will also see large barrel sponges, Napoleon wrasse, batfish, stingrays, barracuda, snapper and trevally.
3. The Washing Machine
Lives up to its name because of the strong current here. This is one of those dive sites that are for experienced divers only. It is well worth the effort though, as you will see more amazing sea life, and likely be the only divers there.
4. Cinque Island ( Port Blair)
5. Fish Rock (Passage island)
Lakshadweep is an archipelago in Kerala made up of 36 islands off of the Malabar coast just above the Maldives. It is full of beautiful coral atolls, sloping reefs, caves and overhangs, shipwrecks and so much more that will make your dream of diving India fantastic.
There are some accommodations and attractions on a few of the islands, but it is a wonderfully quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
1. Princess Royal
Located off the island of Bangaram, it is an amazing shipwreck that sank over 200 years ago, during a battle between the British and French navies. The hull is surprisingly intact due to it being plated in copper. Cannons and the ships anchor are also visible.
2. Manta Point
This one is also off of Bangaram Island. It is a spectacular coral reef where you will find some of the most amazing and colorful sea life. The reef gently slopes down to a final depth of around 20m(70ft).
3. Minicoy Island
This site has some great shipwrecks to explore.
Kavaratti is well known for some of the best cave diving.
5. Aggati Island
This island has several fantastic sites to dive that are well worth the effort to explore.
Also read: Best Places to Visit in Kerala
Goa is the smallest state in India, but is chock full of life and some of the best scuba diving in India.
Here you will find some great shipwrecks as well as pinnacles and cleaning stations that are teeming with activity. Beautiful and healthy coral gardens surround the area as well, and are spectacular places to see some very colorful marine life.
1. The Jetty
As the name implies, is by the old jetty of Grand Island. It is easily accessible, and even the most novice diver will enjoy it here. It isn’t as deep as other sites, getting down to about 6m(20ft) at the deepest, but is teeming with beautiful fish and many varieties and colors of coral.
2. Sail Rock
Sail Rock is also located off Grand Island. This is an amazing rocky pinnacle that many fish call home. It is deeper, ranging down to 24m(78ft) at the deepest.
3. Locker of Davy Jones
4. Uma Guva Reef
5. Shelter Cove
Pondicherry is located on the eastern coast of India in both the Andaman and Arabian Seas. It is known by locals as having some of the best scuba diving in India.
This is because the reefs and shipwrecks are relatively untouched by human hands and remain unexplored to their fullest extent. Because of this, it is entirely possible you will discover something never before seen here.
1. Temple Reef
This is an artificial reef created to help offset the damage that trawler fishing has done to this area. It has now become a beautiful temple-shaped structure that is home to more than 45 different species of marine life.
2. Aravind’s Wall
Here is a very popular as a drift diving site. The wall is home to a wide range of colorful coral including the amazing gorgonian fan corals that you may not see elsewhere. A wide variety of fish can be seen here, making it one of the more popular sites.
3. 4 Corners
4. Cool Shark Reef
5. The Hole
Scuba diving India provides incredible opportunities to see creatures that may not exist anywhere else in the world. Even the most seasoned divers may never have spotted some of these guys.
The water is some of the clearest in the world, with some of the healthiest reefs you will ever see. With the wide variety of great walls, giant pinnacles, cleaning stations, caves and shipwrecks, there are ample places for some of the most amazing critters to play.
Here are just a few critters you’ll see:
– Scorpionfish, Trevally, Octopus, Swimming elephants, and Sea kraits that can be very friendly little guys.
– Whale shark, White-tip Reef Sharks, Napoleon wrasse, turtles of several varieties, Batfish, Stonefish and Angler fish.
– Sea snakes, Orals, Lion fish, King fish, Moray eels, Eagle, Manta rays, Parrot fish Tiger fish
Mantis shrimps Groupers and Snapper Batfish, Boxfish, Nudibranches of all kinds,
With the colorful reefs, you will see large barrel sponges and coral of every color imagineable.
India Travel Information
How to get to India:
Most of the commercial flights into India will take you to either Mumbai (Bombay) or Chennai. From there you will need to hop a local flight to Port Blair, most likely with GoAir, Air India or Jet Airways.
One of these may even be able to take you on over to any of the islands.
Lakshadweep is reached the easiest from Kochi, while Goa is near the state capital of Panaji. Both of these can also be gotten to by any of the domestic airlines.
Many private companies offer speedboat rides, excursion boats or other chartered means. This can easily be arranged by the hotel you are staying at or if using a dive company to take you out scuba diving India they will be more than happy to get you to your destination.
Visa info for Americans:
It is now pretty easy to get a visa for India, infect now you are able to get one on arrival, as apposed to applying for one before hand in your home country. Make sure you have at least 6 months valid on your passport, and enough pages.
Best times to visit:
The best times to scuba dive India is from October or November until May, with the peak dive season being November to April. Monsoon season runs during the rest of the year, with the worst of it hitting in June and July.
With the climate being tropical, the water temperature stays at a pretty consistent 80-84˚F (27-29˚C) year round.
If you want to throw in some extra fun during your vacation besides diving you may want to come in February when Port Blair holds its annual music and dance festival. Havelock has a wonderful mela festival in January.
More India travel and scuba diving resources
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India is a historical and culturally intriguing country to visit, and to supplement that, it also offers some great scuba diving and underwater exploration.
This guide is all you should need, but if you have more questions about scuba diving around India or in specific locations, send us a message! Happy diving.