With over 8000 kilometres of coastline, India offers a wide variety of diving locations where you can discover the beautiful underwater world of the Indian subcontinent. In this article, you can read more about the best diving locations in India and how to apply for the India visa.
Murdeshwar is located on the west coast of India, in the state of Karnataka. This city is mainly known for the second-highest Shiva statue in the world and the Murdeshwar temple. Just off the coast of Murdeshwar is the island of Netrani. This island is also known as Heart Shape Island or Pigeon Island and is called ‘The Heart of Indiaʼs Divingʼ by the locals. The island is largely uninhabited due to its inhospitable terrain and steep cliffs, so it is advisable to take a boat to the island from Murdeshwar. The island can also be reached from other nearby cities like Mumbai, Mangalore, Bhatkal, Bangalore or Goa.
The period that is suitable for diving here is very short, namely between December and January. This is because there are fairly strong currents in this area the rest of the year. For the same reason, this area is only suitable for experienced divers.
The Andaman Islands, or Andamans, belong to an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean. The archipelago is located about 130 kilometres southwest of the coast of Myanmar. While the Andamans and Nicobars are part of the Indian territory, the Coco Islands belong to Myanmar. The best diving locations of the Andaman Islands are found on the two southernmost islands of the archipelago: Havelock and Neil. The other Andaman Islands are inhabited by the Andamanese, an indigenous population whose privacy is protected by the Indian government. Some Andaman islands can be visited with a permit, while access to others is prohibited. The islands that can be visited are a true tropical paradise with white sandy beaches, fresh seafood and a rich diversity of birds.
The Andaman Islands are accessible by domestic flights from Chennai and Kolkata. The southern islands of Havelock and Neil are best reached by boat from Port Blair, the capital of this archipelago. Since the Andaman Islands are part of the territory of India, you do not need a separate visa for a trip to these islands. The islands can be visited without any problems with an India visa. This visa is valid for 30 days, enough to spend some time in this tropical paradise besides visiting India.
The state of Goa may be the smallest state in India, but it is also the richest. Goa is located on the west coast of India, on the Arabian Sea. Goa has been an important trading centre in India for centuries, and it still remains one to this day.
Today, Goa also offers unforgettable diving experiences. Storms, sandbanks and hidden cliffs have sunk many ships off the coast. Diving here therefore gives you the opportunity to discover these shipwrecks surrounded by vast coral gardens.
East coast of India
On the east coast of India, in the Bay of Bengal, there are also many beautiful diving locations. Pondicherry and Visakhapatnam, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, are two of them. Pondicherry is perfect for people who are looking for peace and quiet. It is a picturesque and peaceful place where much French colonial-era architecture can still be seen. The diving locations in this region are renowned and are among the best in the world. The underwater world here offers the opportunity to admire a variety of shipwrecks, coral reefs and marine life.
Visakhapatnam, with a population of over two million, is the largest city and the biggest financial centre in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Compared to Pondicherry, it is not yet a well-known diving site and therefore the local government decided to promote diving in the area by offering free diving trips to 500 divers.
Do not forget to apply for your India visa
When planning your diving trip to India, remember to apply for your India visa. You can easily apply for this visa online, without having to visit an embassy or consulate. The visa costs £39.95 and has a validity period and maximum stay of thirty days. Thirty days gives you enough time to discover your favourite diving location in India.