- Andaman and Nicobar - a group of volcanic islands in the Bay of Bengal. They were just north of the epicenter of the Boxing Day quake of 2004, and suffered dozens of aftershocks. The Nicobars were badly hit the by the resulting tsunami, while the Andamans escaped relatively unscathed.
- Lakshadweep group of islands lying 250 miles off the SW coast of India in the Arabian Sea with clear blue lagoons of coral atolls
- 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 surrounded by deep, undisturbed waters that have an astounding bio-diversity.
The third destination, Goa, is a blend of Portugese-Latin influence and Indian tradition. However, diving in Goa is not the best due to limited underwater visibility. Two rivers (the Mandovi and Zuari) drop their silt laden water into the sea so, on a good day, the visibility may be about 10 metres otherwise it may be as bad as 2-3 metres. That said, the sea life is really quite amazing.
- Havelock Island is the main diving destination
- Cinque Island - one of the best diving destinations in the island. With visibility up to 80ft, you can see black coral and sharks.
- Rutland Island - the shallow waters here make it a good place for training for open water divers.
- Snake Island - fabulous rock formations
Lakshadweep - diving here is often likened to diving in the Maldives. 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 Cochin or by plane to Agatti. Of the 10 inhabited islands, only two, Bangaram and Kadmat, are open to foreigners. See manta rays from October to December.
- Kadmat Island - an astonishing variety of marine flora and fauna.
- Bangaram Island - A tear-drop shaped island surrounded by a continuous strip of creamy sand. See black coral or dive the wreck of the Princess Royal at 32m, sunk in a battle over two hundred years ago.
Goa - the marine life in Goa is similar to that found in the Maldives. The presence of wrecks in Spanish and Portugese galleons and WW2 ships make the the fish life profilic. Most of the diving is from Grande Island but its worth going further afield to get better visibility. Consider Angria Bank (a 4 hour high speed boat ride but well worth the trip), Pigeon Island and Malvan Shoal.
Andaman & Nicobar: (for non-indians) a 30 day permit is issued on arrival at the Port Blair airport.
- Only three of the islands allow foreigners to visit.
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all islands except Bangaram
- Picking up corals is a punishable crime
- Accommodation is basic with no television, hot water or air-conditioning
- The reefs were affected by El Nino but there are signs of regeneration and the fish life is plentiful.
- The best season to visit is from November to March. You can visit outside of this time but the resort is closed from 1st May - 30th September during the monsoon season.
- The flight from Cochin to Agatti Airport itself in a small 10 seater Donear Aircraft. Check with your tour operator what your baggage allowance is.
There is a high threat of terrorism throughout India. Attacks have targeted public places, including luxury hotels, places of worship and major festivals such as Diwali. They have also targeted places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers, most recently in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. Check the latest Foreign Office advice before travelling.
|Language:||Hindi (Andaman and Nicobar)|
|Konkani and Marathi (Goa)|
|Natural hazards:||Earthquakes, tsunamis|
|Diving season:||December to April|
|Air temperature:||16C - 34C|