Do you believe in magic? You will, once you experience the symphony of vivid corals, fascinating seabed gardens, mysterious remains of sunken ships, and charming schools of fish in Andaman and Nicobar islands. Scuba diving in these islands, situated in the Bay of Bengal, is the best way to explore one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world.
Here’s our pick of the islands’ finest diving spots:
Barely 50 km from Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Havelock is home to quite a few popular diving sites. If you are a novice looking for some hard corals and soft underwater currents, Aquarium – a fringing reef spot – is a safe bet. To spot Dugongs – the sirenian tusked mammals – head to Mac Point, known for its rugged underwater milieu.
Havelock Island Diving
Fancy a swim with the turtles? Barracuda City is the diving destination.However, you need to have a previous diving experience to get into these waters. In fact, certified divers could also try their hand at some night diving at Lighthouse, in the eclectic company of lobsters, lionfish, octopus, as well as colourful varieties of hard and soft corals.
If time permits, diving at Seduction Point, Pilot Reef and Minerva Ledge are definitely experiences worth having!
There are myriad underwater treasures waiting to be explored on this little island, located 67 km from Port Blair. K Rock is Neil Island’s beautiful gift to diving enthusiasts, who wish to experience the volcanic rock standing on a sandy seabed. Margherita’s Mischief is another instant hit among amateur divers, thanks to its calm waters, sandy boulders, and exciting inhabitants (batfish, angelfish, soldierfish, and yellow snappers, to name some).
Neil Island Diving
On the western end of Neil Islands, Bus Stop offers a memorable diving experience with its tiny reefs and crystal clear seas. The experienced diver is advised to venture a little further to Junction, located between Neil Island and Havelock Island, for an adrenaline rush like no other.
Things to remember
Although Havelock and Neil Islands are the most sought-after diving destinations in Andamans, there are others, like the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Wandoorand Jolly Buoy at Port Blair, that are sure not to disappoint. North Point in Cinque Island, Bala Reef in Little Andaman Island, Corruption Rock, located between Rutland Island and ChidiyaTapu, and Campbell Shoal off North Button Island are lesser-known, yet stunning diving sites.
Corruption Rock Diving
No matter which place(s) you choose, before going for scuba diving in Andamans, there are certain things to be kept in mind. For starters, scuba diving requires professional guidance and supervision. So, it’s best to do your research on scuba diving organisers or resorts offering the same.
It’s perfectly fine if you don’t know how to swim. Anybody above 10 years of age, not suffering from asthma and cardiac diseases, can try their hand at diving. Remember to carry an extra set of clothes, towels, comfortable footwear and water bottle.
The best time of the year for scuba diving is from January to May. It’s also the perfect season to master the art of underwater photography. Because it’s only natural to want to capture magical moments!