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|Diving Sites in India That Will Blow Your Mind|
|(Monday, 29 September 2014) Written by MichelMason|
(Image credit: http://www.liveindia.com/lakshadweep/Lakshadweep_Scuba_Dive.jpg)
A professional scuba diver in the waters off the Lakshadweep Islands
India has a 7,500-km long coastline, most of which is unexplored. The Indian peninsula is flanked on the east by
Arabian Sea, on the west by the Bay of Bengal, and towards the south by the Indian Ocean.
One can see the immense scope for spectacular scuba diving sites here. However, given the length of this coastline, India has relatively few fully developed scuba diving sites, let alone those that would make for a great diving
But that which it lacks in numbers, it makes up for in quality. We are bringing to you three diving sites in India that
would make for a great and unforgettable diving experience. These are quite popular in the scuba diving circles. However, if you are new to this space, an exciting journey of discovering new lands and waters awaits you.
Also known as Pigeon Island, Netrani is a beautiful coral island off the coast of the southern state of Karnataka.
This little known island is a hub of snorkeling and scuba diving activities.
It boasts of having the clearest waters in India which gives divers a surreal experience. The island, cut off from the mainland, is secluded and hence in pristine condition. Signing up with any of the local scuba diving operators would be a great way of experiencing the waters around the island for those who are slightly low on confidence of
plumbing the depths of the sea on their own.
If you are on an extended trip to India, touching base in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, is a good idea. There is
a lot of sightseeing you can do in this capital city as well as around it. Bangalore has great resorts and hotels fitting all budgets, and a number of activities to do. After having your fill of this mainland you can head to Netrani for your diving. There is a train to Bhatkal from Bangalore every two hours, from where Netrani is a short boat ride away.
Netrani is also accessible from Mangalore, Goa, and Mumbai.
More than 200km off the southern western coast of India is the archipelago of Lakshadweep. A string of 32 stunningly beautiful islands, with sun-drenched white sands and glittering green waters, this is also a great attraction for
scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts in the country. This popularity has led to the establishment of scuba diving facilities and world-class accommodation options for tourists. The archipelago is cut off from the mainland with
some of its islands even today restricted from tourism. This does not feel like India because of the low number of people and the seclusion of this place in general. It is operated as a Union Territory by the state of India, which means it has its own administration.
But this seclusion is also the reason why these islands are so beautiful and a magnet for scuba divers from all over the world. The waters are clear, the biodiversity mesmerizing, and the facilities top-notch.
Though Lakshadweep is out of most people’s way, reaching here is not difficult. It does, however, require you to get
to the southern tip of India. Kochi (formerly Cochin), in the southernmost state of Kerala offers regular flights to Lakshadweep (Agatti island, to be specific), which take about an hour and a half to reach their destination. Kochi is
well connected with other cities of India as well. One can also travel to the islands by water. Ships operating from Kochi
take 18-20 hours to reach there.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Another of lesser known tourist attractions in India, the Andaman and Nicobar islands score highly in the minds of scuba divers for the same reasons as Lakshadweep.
For one, the landscape is so beautiful you have to see it to believe it. It’s a huge tropical rainforest with very rich flora and fauna, including in the surrounding waters. It is again cut off from mainland India, and has a very low population.
For another, its unspoiled waters and vast expanses of beaches have made it ideal for water sports.
Scuba diving, snorkeling, trekking, game fishing, sailing, para-sailing, windsurfing, you will find a number of adventure sports here to give you the adrenalin rush you crave. However, “scuba diving is the biggest activity on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands other than lying around and eating seafood.”
The region has a pretty long and impressive history of its own, though often dark in recent times. Those with an
interest in things past should plan a longer stay here and explore its many tourist attractions for a well-rounded vacation.
The islands are fairly easy to reach. There are daily flights to the capital Port Blair from Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata. One can also reach these islands by sea, though this would make for a very long journey, typically taking over 2 to 3 days. Ships operate from Kolkata, Vizag, and Chennai three to four times a month.
These are the most popular diving sites off the coast of India. A quick Google search will give you all the information
you need on them. However, if you have any questions or want to share your own experiences in any of these sites,
do leave a comment and let us know!
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