Diving in India

21 September 2016
Much of the diving in India remains isolated and unspoilt. Highlights include the Lakshadweep Islands and the Andaman Islands. You can base yourself on one of the islands, or take a liveaboard.

For beginners, Goa is a good place to learn to dive.

Diving in the Andaman Islands is best from November to April. The best time to dive in Goa is from October to May. From May to December, choose Lakshadweep.

Your passport needs to be machine-readable to enter India. If not you won't be allowed in.

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Dive Sites of India

Lakshadweep Islands Andaman Islands Goa Bangalore

Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 36 islands, 200-300 miles off the west coast of India in the Arabian Sea. Only two islands - Bangaram and Kadmat - are open to foreign tourists. Kadmat is more isolated than Bangaram. There is only one resort there: the Kadmat Island Beach Resort. The Lakshadweep Islands has one airport, on Agatti Island. There are Kingfisher flights five times a week from Cochin to Agatti, and from Bombay to Agatti via Bangalore. Indian Airlines also flies to Agatti

Diving at Kadmat is provided by Lacadives and at Bangaram by the Casino Resort. You can get from the airport to Kadmat either by the inter-island boat, or by booking speedboat collection by Lacadives. The journey will take you one to two hours by speedboat, and three and a half hours by the inter-island boat. The cost of both speedboat and inter-island boat is shared by its passengers. Kadmat has no bar or Internet access.

If you plan to learn to dive at Lakshadweep, take a doctor's certificate with you stating that you are fit to dive. Certified divers just need their certification and log books. Average visibility in the Lakshadweep Sea during the season ranges from 25 to 40 meters. The dive centers are closed during the monsoons (May to September).

"A fairly new divespot for most of the world. It has only been open for non-indian tourism a few years and I have heard that it is closed again now. But it is incredibly untouched and unspoiled. So much fish and animal life, soft and hard corals, I really loved it!"
Malin Olofsson (Sweden), 2011
"The same gorgeous marine life and great visibility as the Maldives, only for much cheaper. I just got back from doing my CMAS 1-star there, and the dive centre (Lacadives) had a great student-to-teacher ratio - I was the only student!"
Trushna, 2006
Lakshadweep Islands
Kadmat Island
"The remoteness of the location (Kadmat island) really gives you a feeling of "getting away from it all" - but this comes at a price, either in terms of money or time. Staying at the resort and paying for the dives are not expensive (in fact, comparatively cheap), but getting to Kadmat is.
The only flight (takes about 2 hours) into Lakshadweep is from the city of Cochin (in south India) and there is only one such flight per day (Monday through Saturday). These flights are cancelled every now & then for various reasons. If you do manage to fly to Lakshadweep, you have to take a 3 to 4-hour speedboat transfer to Kadmat. A cheap alternative to the flight-speedboat option is taking an 18 to 24-hour ship journey from Cochin directly to Kadmat, though this is also fairly unreliable since (a) the ship schedule sometimes changes at the last minute and (b) the ships are very old and may be cancelled because of engine failure or things like that. If you do decide to go, build in a few days of delay-time.
On the upside, I faced almost all these problems in my recent trip to Kadmat - and I still think the trip was worth it. The diving was truly spectacular, and Kadmat had a wonderfully comfortable, mellow island feel to it (at one point there were only 3 of us on the whole resort). I only wish I could have stayed there longer! "
Trushna, 2006
Lakshadweep Islands
The Wall, Kadmat Island
"A wall from 6m down to 30m then gradually going out as far as the eye can see, 40m to 60m visibilty. In this dive site you will see at least 20 green turtles, sometimes 50 to 100 in one hour !
Other usual suspects in every dive:- white tip reef sharks, eagle rays, blotched fantail rays, porcupine rays, 4 different types of morays, many types of nudibranches, shrimps, huge napoleon wrasses (sometimes 8 to 15 at a time), great barracudas and jacks. Also I've seen 3 devil rays together, a 5m manta and a squadron of eagle rays. Plus rainbow runners, lionfish dogtooth tunas, skipjacks, shit this list could go on and on.
This divesite is truly amazing the wall is full of crevices with turtles sleeping inside, also turtles sharks and rays sharing the flat sand bottom, superb! One last thing, with a slight current you definitely loose count of turtles after around 100. "
Martin Bailey, 2009

Chelonia mydas, Green Turtle.
Green Turtle. Photo credit Javier Grinfeld

Although closer to Thailand, the Andaman and Nicobar islands are a territory of India. There are 36 inhabited islands, of which tourists are only allowed on the Andamans. There are two rainy seasons: the Southwest monsoon arrives from mid-May to September and the Northeast monsoon from November to January. The calmest weather, and the best time to go, is from January to April.

You can fly to Port Blair, the capital of the Andamans, from India. You need a permit to visit which you can buy at the Port Blair airport. For more information on getting there see the Andaman and Nicobar tourist web site.

If you visit the Andaman Islands, don't go on a tour to see tribal groups. The tours have been described as "degrading human safaris" by campaigners.

"Diving in the Andamans is slightly more expensive than other places in the world - I guess because its just getting popular and I guess its tough operating in such places. Better than Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka. Not as good as some places in Maldives or Manado. But then as I see it, the islands are still being discovered. "
Mark
South Andamans
Andaman Islands
"one of the best places I've dived don't miss out the drift dive at parrots rock...
Fish point for beginners and first dive for aows..amazing fish life
Suvarmundi millions of fish swimming all around you...suvarmundi is a part of rutland island and consists of no less than 5 dive sites
Ship wreck some of the best dives of my life....barracudas, bumphead parrotfishes, gts, etc...millions of life..."
Nithin (UAE), 2011
Andaman Islands
Minerva Ledge

Reviews: 5 stars

"Simply superb - nearly 5-6 different dives possible. Offshore and lots of pelagics. "
Mark
"Very good diving: plenty of fish. I'd like to dive the site called Minerva Ledge again, better than the Similan Islands in Thailand. It is cheaper to stay on the island of Havelock - the diving is superb if you manage to go to the right sites. Beware of inexperienced people though. "
Deep
"Worthy of multiple dives "
Will, USA
"A massive garden of beautiful coral teeming with fish life. It was surreal! "
Maria Petrenko, USA, 2005
South Button Island
Andaman Islands

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Fabulous coral gardens - have not seen such diversity in hard coral elsewhere. Gin-clear water and great for snorkelling also. The Button Islands are part of a protected marine national park. "
Mark
"Amazing coral diversity. lots of fish life. saw turtles and a nurse shark as well "
Will, USA
Neil Island
Andaman Islands
" 20m visibility, I have dived in Thailand, Maldives and this was by far my best experience for the sea life, quality of water, and the instructor"
Shanawaz Chandiwala, 2011
"Margeritas Mischief, this was about 18m deep and had some very nice purple coral and sea fans as well as some hard coral, but the fish life was amazing, we saw a turtle, a huge feathertail ray and schools of Fish, all on one dive. "
Rhys Rufus, 2010
Andaman Islands
The Wall, Havelock Island

Reviews: 4 Star Rating: Recommended (3)

" Outside the island jetty. Lots of fish action, mid to strong currents. "
Mark
"Saw a Manta, Turtles and napoleon fish all in the same dive! Slight current, but great vis. "
Maria Petrenko, USA, 2005
"Havelock Island or Havelock, situated in Ritchie's Archipelago, belongs to the Indian Union Territory of Andaman Nicobar. Havelock Island is the largest among all the islands in Ritchie's Archipelago. "
Maxts, India, 2012
Andaman Islands
Dugong Reef, Havelock Island

Reviews: 4 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Saw a rare duging. Fantastic!! "
Will, USA

dugong at Abu Dabab

Andaman Islands
Radhanagar beach, Havelock Island

Reviews:

" Unfortunately I did not get to dive this time and even while snorkling the visibility was was very low 8' max thanks to the high winds but I vouch for Wild Orchid and its service. I just snorkled off the Isle of Havelok closer to Peal Isle which are off the mainland of Nicobar (Andaman and Nicobar). However the waters were clearer on the west coast of Havelok in Radhanagar beach. You need to watch out for the one rougue current here which kind of at times take you a bit too deep if you are not a reasonably good swimmer and hits at its own whim and fancy. "
Rajesh Wahal, 2007
Andaman Elephant Islands
Andaman Islands
"It is a beautiful blue wholesome scene filled with red turtles , corals and shoals of colorful fishes"
Ushnish Sarkar, September 2016
"I have just completed my open water diver course in Goa, south India with the Goa Diving School. The dives all focused on an area called Grande Island, where there is a shipwreck called the SS Mary. The site is abundant with beautiful fish, corals, large rock formations and the visibility is great. The dive school also organises trips to Pigeon Island off the coast of Kanartaka, where you'll see Manta Rays, Grouper and much more. Goa is a great location, cheap, fabulous weather, lots of interesting places to visit and great food...highly recommended - I'll be returning next year! "
Celeste
S.S. Rita
Goa
"Wreck: visibilty is about 7 meters and depth about 12 meters
Orin, 2009

India Diving Operators

Lakshadweep Islands Andaman Islands Mumbai Goa Eastern India

Lakshadweep
India
Tel: +91 22 66627381/2
E-mail: [email protected]
http://www.lacadives.com/
Book diving with Lacadives…

Rays at Lakshadweep

Reviews

"I'd like to recommend the company Lacadives in the Lakshadweep and Andaman islands. They are the nicest guys I've ever dived with, very professional and hospitable, I have made alot of friends out there.
The diving is up there with the best I've done and I've been alot of places. From big stuff in just about every dive to small stuff and great corals on alot of the dive sites. Plus it's paradise on earth, like the Maldives without the hoards.
Check out lacadives.com, Email Siddharth he's very very helpful. "
Martin Bailey, 2009
Infiniti Liveaboard
Andaman Islands

Liveaboard trips to the Andaman Islands that starts from islands of Cinque. Accommodates just 12 divers, so it won't be crowded in the water. Land excursions and snorkelling for any non-divers.

Infiniti liveaboard to the Andaman Islands

See best prices for Infiniti liveaboard

Review Infiniti Liveaboard

Barefoot Diving
Andaman Islands

Barefoot at Havelock Resort
Beach No. 7
Havelock Island
Tel: +91-3192-220191
Fax: +91-3192-237656
E-mail: [email protected]

Reviews: 4.5 stars

"Diving Costs: US $80 for 2 dives inclusive of all equipment (2005). Barefoot Diving is run by Herbert Burri, a Swiss dive instructor with over 10 years of dive experience in the Andaman Islands alone. He runs a very smooth, well organised, and efficient dive operation with the help of a few sturdy Karen (Burmese) assistants.
We went diving with Barefoot at a few sites around Havelock Island, at Minerva Ledge and at a couple of sites in the Button Islands. All the dives were made using the local dunghis (long-tail boats) which were adventurous by themselves. We also got to dive with Barefoot Resort's own swimming elephant called Rajan, which is unique to the Andaman Islands! The diving was moderate to excellent - visibility varied a bit at the sites around Havelock (good by European standards!) but the outer sites were superb.
The equipment was all Mares and brand new! Yes, we would definitely recommend Barefoot Diving. "
Mark
"Swiss dive instructor, very meticulous. Three boats ranging from local fishing boat to fast motor launches. Good value for money and better than anything in Thailand, by far! "
Will, USA
"I've been diving with Barefoot Scuba for three years now, I make it a point to go there every October during the holidays. The manager there is no longer Herbert Burri, It now belongs to the Barefoot Group and is currently managed by Sean Nordbo. Barefoot Scuba is also, by the way, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort, and is the only one of its kind in India. The diving there is great as are the people running it. I would definitely recommend the place! "
Chitra, 2010
Andaman Dive Club
Andaman Islands

No 1, Havelock Island
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
India
Tel: +91-3192-282002
E-mail: [email protected]

London Office
135 Saunders Ness Road
London E14 3EB
UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7538 4643,
E-mail

Reviews: 4 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"Andaman Dive Club have a fairly good boat, a fishing trawler converted to a dive boat with an inboard engine which can do 12 knots. A lot of room for divers. Excellent value for money. "
Deep
DiveIndia
Andaman Islands

Havelock Island
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
India
E-mail: [email protected]

Reviews: 4 stars

"Friends and I went diving in the Andamans last December. It was incredible. We dived with DiveIndia, a PADI centre located on Havelock Island at The Wild Orchid Resort. They definitely gave us an incredible diving expreience with their knowledge of the local waters, very friendly and experienced staff (both locals from the Karen tribe and Europeans) and superb customer service. (Not once did I feel rushed during my OW course. My friend took over a week for her OW course and they did not rush her or charge her extra.) I definitely recommend them: we made some good friends at diveIndia.
DiveIndia offers both, mid range and luxury accommodation through The Wild Orchid and The Emerald Gecko. We stayed at Emerald Gecko in very romantic stilted bamboo huts with sea views and private toilets. Excellent value for money. Although diving in Thailand is cheaper, the quality of diving in the Andamans is much better and that makes it worth those few extra $$. "
Maria, USA, 2005
Doongi Dives
Andaman Islands

Doongies are small fishermens' boats that have remained virtually unchanged for centuries.

Munjoh Ocean Resort
Beach 5
Havelock Island 744211
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
India.
Book diving with Doongi Dives…

Review Doongi Dives

India Scuba Explorers
Andaman Islands

India Scuba Explorers
Beach No.1, near Tango Beach Resort
Neil Island
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
India
Tel: +91 9933271450 ( ask for Johann or Samantha )
E-mail : [email protected], or [email protected]
Book diving with India Scuba Explorers…

Reviews

"The best and most friendly instructor"
Shanawaz Chandiwala, 2011
" India Scuba Explorers based on Neil Island in the Andamans is the only dive shop on that island and the cost for 2 dives is Rs.3000 and a PADI open water course costs Rs.18000.
They have small groups, good dive sites and very friendly staff who go out of their way for you. "
Rhys Rufus, 2010
Andaman Diving Academy
Andaman Islands

Reviews

"PADI 5 star-IDC centre."
Megha (Planet Scuba India), 2010
Infinity Scuba
Andaman Islands

Reviews

"Amazing diving in south andamans....amazing visibility and awesome fish life...some of the best dives ive ever had....can vouch for infinity scuba...awesome people..the cost of diving comes to about 4000Rs(90$ for two dives)..the dives are amazing with awesome fish life all the year round and visibility being very good most of the time
accommodation should be done at port blair or the forest guest house next to the dive centre."
Nithin (UAE), 2011
Andaman Bubbles
Andaman Islands
Orca Dive Club
Barracuda Diving India

Sun Village Resort
Baga - Arpora
Goa - 403518
India
Tel: 91 (832) 2279409 - 14
Fax: 91 (832) 2279409
Mobile: 9822182402
E-mail: [email protected]

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended (1)

"The cost is around 2000 ruppess for two dives and lunch and I would dive with them all the time if possible. There are loads of hotels around the dive center to stay in. The second best place I have dived."
Orin
DiveGoa
Goa

O Pescador Beach Resort
Dona Paula
Panjim
Goa
India
Tel: :+91 09325030109 / 110
E-mail: [email protected]

Reviews

"I just finished my advanced course with divegoa and recommend them to everybody."
Aravind, 2010
"I had the absolute best experience learning how to dive with Ajey and Dive Goa! He is professional, enthusiastic and patient! A great teacher with the perfect balance of information, confidence, and experience!
I will never forget the small bits of wisdom Ajey taught me during each dive! "Every problem can be solved underwater!" Thanks Ajey! You’re the best!"
Stepanie Wandke
Goa Aquatic Sports
Goa
Temple Adventures Scuba Diving

The only PADI 5* IDC in the mainland and the only one in the country to offer Technical diving and freediving.

Temple Adventures Scuba Diving
East Coast Water Sports
No. 9, A.Gandhi Road
Opposite the Indira Gandhi Stadium
Pondicherry
India
Tel +91 9003122231
E-mail: [email protected]

Reviews

"We have great sites ranging from traditional man-made "reefs", rocky outcrops, and beautiful, untouched natural coral reefs. For a few recent photos of the life under the Pondy waters, see our Facebook group Temple Adventures Facebook Group
If you learn to Scuba Dive on the East Coast of India, you can pretty much handle diving anywhere, and when you arrive at the serene conditons of the Red Sea or Maldives, you will be a step ahead of other divers of similar experience. We train all our divers to the highest level possible and are proud of all students to pass through our school. We offer a full range of PADI diving courses, from beginner to expert. We also take out qualified divers for guided tours of our underwater sea scapes.
There is a great range of corals, lion fish, grouper, kingfish, moray eels, eagle and manta rays, parrot fish, sea snakes, triggerfish, butterflys, angels, bannerfish, crustaceans...... and if you're lucky, even sharks, whale sharks, turtles and dolphins!
The Legendary Months
October and March heralds the best Suba Diving and snorkeling season that Pondicherry has to offer. Changes in currents produces calm and still waters and 20m-30m visibility at times. Due to the demand in this season BOOK asap to avoid disappointment. After this, the best months are January - June, and September - November. We dive 11 months of the year!! "
East Coast Water Sports, 2011
Planet Scuba India Pvt Ltd
Aquanaut India

SS Mansion
(Basement) Wellington Street
Richmond Town
Landmark: Opp: Richmond Town Post Office Bangalore
India
Book diving with Aquanaut India…

Review Aquanaut India


India Accommodation and Travel Agents

For hotels in Goa see the Agoda site...

Anugama Resort
Andaman Islands
Holidays Points
New Delhi

Holidays Points
1512, Janta Flat, GTB Enclave
New Delhi-110093
India
Tel: +91-11- 43046701. (9:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. only)
Mob: +91-9540310091
E-mail: [email protected]

"Holidays Points is one of the leading travel agency based in North India. We provide customized tour packages for all the destinations. We majorly covers Rajasthan Tours, North India tours, South India tours, wildlife tours, kerala backwater tours, Goa tours, luxury tours, honeymoon tours and Medical Tourism is also one of our main expertise. We also cover major hill stations in India like Kullu Manali, Shimla tour, Nainital Ranikhet, Ooty and Ladakh. We also provides city guides in India for major cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Delhi, Agra, Allepey, Jaisalmer, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Lakshadeep, Munnar etc.
We also cover medical tourism in India, as India is known for best medical health facilities and Yoga Meditation techniques. We majorly covers Dental care, Exotic spa, Ayurvedic Treatment across various top hospitals in India. "
Anand Singh (Holidays Points), 2011
HOLIDAY2ANDAMAN
Andaman Islands

holiday2andaman
Port Blair
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
India
E-mail : [email protected]

"We are one of the leading Travel Company in Andaman Islands, home of best beaches in the world. Based in Port Blair we can supply all travel related services.
Hotel . Resorts Booking . Car on hire . 40 Seater Air Conditioned Coach Available . Ferry Tickets Arrangement for Havelock Islands . Boat Charter . Airport Pick up and Drop . Bird Watching Trip . Snorkelling trip in Havelock Island . Game Fishing . Scuba Diving . Sightseeing trip in Port Blair . Baratang Island Same Day Trip . Ground Handling "
Santosh Kumar (holiday2andaman), 2011


Books to Take to India

Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean
by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers, Harper Collins, 400 Pages, Paperback
An excellent, comprehensive guide to reef fishes, which is small and light enough to pack regardless of amount of diving equipment. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to identify the fish they see whilst diving the tropics.
Read the full review...
Lonely Planet India
Colour maps - insider tips - reviews for all budgets - published 2015.


Comments

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