India is a subcontinent of surprises. A cauldron of cultures, of climates, of people. desert and tropical rain forest. Remote villages and restless metropolis. Mysticism and masala dosa, pranic healing and paragliding. But also of diving! There are three main centers of diving in India. Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands in the Bay of Bengal, Lakshadweep group of islands in the Arabian Sea and Goa on the mainland. Every destination is completely unique in its own way and they all have widely different dive conditions and marine life.
While Lakshadweep has the clear blue lagoons of coral atolls, Andaman and Nicobar are volcanic islands surrounding by deep, undisturbed waters that have an astounding bio-diversity. The third destination Goa, has many exiting things to do, on land as in the water.
Andaman & Nicobar:The nearest decompression chamber is at the Naval Base in Port Blair. Foreigners are only allowed to visit certain islands in Middle, Little and South Andamans
Around Port Blair:
Cinque Island:One of the best diving destinations in the island. It has clear emeral water with a visibility of up to 80ft. This deep dive offers a terrific variety of marine life, including black coral and sharks.
Rutland Island"The shallow waters here have a good representation of most smaller fish and coral, and a is a good place for training for open water divers.
Snake Island:Awesome rock formations and the marine life includes Trigger fish, Grunts, Goatfish and rays.
Havelock Island:This island is located approximately 4 hours from the Port Blair airport by inter-island ferry. The dive center located on the island offers a wide range of largely unexplored dive sites rich in underwater marine life.
Lakshadweep:There are some things hard to find in Lakshadweep. Like fast cars, or tranquilizers. They do have all that water though. Bright and clear and as liquid glass. Fringed by white streches of sand where only throngs you'll ever see are of the sandpipers on the shore. Geographically similar to that other diver's haunt, Lakshadweep is like Maldives without the crowds. 400 kilometers off the coast of Kerala, this group of 36 coral islands and atolls can be reached by a 20 hour sea journey from Cohin or by plane. Of the ten inhabited islands, only two, Bangaram and Kadmat, are open to foreigners and there are dive centers on both these islands. The lagoons are home to a spectacular world of marine life, so unexplored, you may well have a site named after you.
Around Kadmat Island:Surrounded on the eastern and western side by the lagoon, Kadmat is the ideal haven of solitute. This little island has an astonishing variety of marine flora and fauna.
The Wall:A wall of soft coral starting at 12m and cascading down to the deep blue. Dive among the 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, Fusillier and Sharks at 15-21 meters.
Jack Point:A drift dive between 21-30m with jacks and King fish.
Garden of Eden:An abundance of table coral at 12-25m along with varieties of small fish and Groupers.
East Channel:Located between 9-20m with a lot of soft coral and tuna.
Around Bangaram Island:A tear-drop shaped island surrounded by a continuous strip of creamy sand. The exquisite black coral formations along with Angel fish, Clown fish, Butterfly, Surgeons, Groupers, Mantas, Sting Rays and wondrous marine life found in the Ladshadweep. Visit the wreck of the Princess Royal at 32 m, sunk in a battle over two hundred years ago, or if luck is on your side, have the pleasure of being escorted by a pod of 10-29 dolphins. Visit the dive sites of Manta Point, Shark Point and the Wall. Dive amidst a submerged reef with shoals of Giant Parrotfish.
Goa:Goa is a little bit of Rio de Janeiro meets Ibiza. But then Goa is a lot of things. This little seaside state, with an identity that's a seamless blend of Portugese-Latin influence and Indian tradition, was crackling enough to have been one of the Millenium destinations of the world. The waters are safe and temperate, the absence of riptide currents making them ideal for new divers. And when you are not wiggling in and our of your wetsuit, you could be sunbathing of bungee jumping, visiting temples or haunting the flea markets. The three hundred years of Portugese rule has left an indelible imprint on the collective psyche of Goans. It shows in their music, their architecture, their culture. It's also why the Goans make the most wonderful vindaloo this side of the Indian Ocean. The marine life in Goa is similar to that found in the Maldives. The presence of wrecks in Spanish and Portugese galleons and WWII ships make the the fish life profilic.
Grande Island:Much of the local diving in conducted around this island. Some sites near the island include Suzy's Wreck, Davy Jone's Locker, Sail Rock, Turbo Tunnel, Surge City, Uma Guma Reef and Bounty Bay.
Angria Bank:A four hour, high speed boat ride takes you this world-class dive site 120 miles from Goa. A vast underwater landmass about half the size of the state of Goa, it offers an amazing wealth of coral and fish.
Pigeon Island:This rocky outcrop has an interesting marine life as well as good visibility.
Malvan Shoal:Some interesting shallow sites in the water between Vengura and Malvan, 2 hours away from the capital city of Panaji.