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Diving Destination

Corporate Travel Agents to India : Information on the Diving Destinations in India.

DIVING IN INDIA

It's a subcontinent of surprises. A cauldron of cultures, of climes, of people. Desert and tropical rain forest. Remote village and restless metropolis. Mysticism and masala dosa, pranic healing and paragliding. A hundred clichés and then a hundred faces you never knew existed.

So its diving you're looking for. There are three main centers of diving in India. Andaman and Nicobar group of islands in the Bay of Bengal, Lakshadweep group of islands in the Arabian Sea and 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 atolis, Andaman and Nicobar are volcanic islands surrounded by deep, undisturbed waters that have an astounding bio-diversity. The third destination Goa, has many exciting things to do, on land as in water.

Your adventure will begin long before your diving ever does. In fact it will begin the moment you step into the country. World class diving often lies in out of the world places. Getting there may not always be fun. Travel routes that run across valleys and plains, through breathtaking landscapes, and at the end of it all, the experience of diving in sites so pristine and untouched - of which you could probably be a pioneer in one of the last remaining diving frontiers - India.

The tropical rain forests that loom close to the seashore are home to unique species of birds, and to tribes that still haven't learned to use fire . Andaman is an experience quite unlike another. And if you find yourself using more mosquito repellent here than ever before, you'll be using a lot more camera roll too.

DIVE SITES

Around PORT BLAIR

The waters around Andaman have spectacular bio-diversity, and dive conditions that are ideal for an experienced diver.

Cinque Island

One of the best dive destinations in the island, it has clear emerald water with a visibility of up to 80 feet. The deep dive offers a terrific variety of marine life, including black coral sightings of sharks and is ideal for the experienced diver.

Rutland Island

The shallow waters here have a good representation of most smaller fish and coral, and a good place for training open water divers.

Snake Island

Awesome rock faces and a spectacular dive landscape. Marine life includes Trigger fish, Grunts, Goatfish and Rays.

HAVELOCK ISLAND

This island is located approximately 4 hours from the Port Blair airport by inter-island ferry. The dive center located on the island offers a wide range of largely unexplored dive sites rich in underwater marine life.

Miscellaneous Information

The nearest decompression chamber is at the Naval Base in Port Blair. Foreigners are only allowed to visit certain islands in Middle. Little and South Andamans.

Best time of the year

Between November and May.

Climater

Tropical - between 23-28 degree Celsius.

Languages spoken

English, Hindi, Bengali and Tamil.

L A K S H A D W E E P

Be warned. There are some things that are really hard to find in Lakshadweep. Like fast cars, or shrinks, or tranquilizers. They do have all that water though. Bright and clear as liquid glass. Fringed by white stretches of sand where the only throngs you'll ever see are of the sandpipers on the shore. And you could sleep by the seaside with the night sky as your ceiling. Therapy has never felt better.

Geographically similar to that other divers' haunt, Lakshadweep is like Maldives without the crowds. 400 kilometers off the coast of Kerala, this group of 36 coral islands and atolls can be reached by a twenty-hour sea journey from Cochin. Of the ten inhabited islands, only two, Bangaram and Kadmat, are open to foreigners and there are dive centers on both these islands. The lagoons are home to a spectacular world of marine life, so unexplored, you may well have a site named after you.

DIVE SITES

AROUND KADMAT ISLAND

Surrounded on the eastern and western side by the lagoon, Kadmat is the ideal haven of solitude. This little island has an astonishing variety of marine flora and fauna. Some of the dive sites explored till date are beyond any sort of written description, they are ethereal moments of pure wonder.

The Wall

A wall of soft coral starting at 12 meters and cascading down to the deep blue. Dive amongst turtles as resplendent as their surroundings.

Sting Ray City

A 21-meter dive along the sand dunes, abundant with Sting Rays.

Cross Currents

Locate between the islands of Amini and Kadmat, drift dive along with schools of Snapper, Fusilier and Sharks at 15-21 meters.

Jack Point

A drift dive between 21-30 meters with different types of fish like Jack Fish and King Fish.

Garden of Eden

An abundance of table coral at 12-25 meters along with varieties of small fish and Groupers.

East Channel

Located between 9-20 meters an abundance of soft coral and tuna.

AROUND BANGARAM ISLAND

A tear-drop shaped island surrounded by a continuous strip of creamy sand. The temperate blue-green waters of the Indian Ocean are an irresistible invitation to the scuba diving fraternity of the world.

The exquisite black coral formations along with Angel Fish, Clown Fish, Butterfly, Surgeons, Groupers, Mantas, String Rays and wondrous marine life found in the Lakshadweep.

Visit the wreck of the Princess Royal at 32 meters, sunk in a battle over two hundred years ago, or if luck is on your side, have the pleasure of being escorted by a pod of 10-20 Dolphins........

Visit the dive sites Manta Point, Shark Point and The Wall. Dive amidst a submerged reef with shoals of Giant Parrotfish.

Bangaram - a place on the edge of the world. A bit of paradise.

Miscellaneous Information

For both the dive centers, the nearest decompression chamber is a 2 hour chopper ride to the Naval Base at Cochin.

Best time of the year

Between November and May.

Climate

Tropical - between 25-28 degree Celsius.

Languages spoken

English, Malayalam, Mhal

G O A

Goa is a little bit of Rio de Janeiro meets Ibiza. But then Goa is a lot of things. This little seaside state, with an identity that's a seamless blend of Portuguese-Latin influence and Indian tradition, was cracking enough to have been one of the Millennium destinations of the world.

The waters are safe and temperate, the absence of riptide currents making them ideal for learners and novice divers. And when you aren't wiggling in and out of your wetsuit, you could be sunbathing or bungee jumping, visiting temples or haunting the flea market. Like we said, Goa is a lot of things.

The three hundred years of Portuguese rule has left an indelible imprint on the collective psyche of Goans. It shows in their music, their architecture, their culture. It's also why Goans make the most wonderful vindaloo this side of the Indian Ocean.

DIVE SITES

The marine life in Goa is similar to that found in Maldives. The presence of wrecks in Spanish and Portuguese galleons, World War II ships make the fish life prolific.

Grande Island

Much of the local diving is conducted around this island. Some of the sites near the island include Suzy's Wreck, Davy Jone's Locker, Sail Rock, Turbo Tunnel, Surge City, Uma Guma Reef, and Bounty Bay.

Angria Bank

A four-hour high-speed boat ride takes you to this world class dive site 120 miles from Goa. A vast underwater landmass about half the size of the state of Goa, it offers an amazing wealth of coral and fish. A 'live-aboard' is available with the local dive center to make diving at this site an unforgettable experience.

Pigeon Island

This rocky outcrop has interesting marine life as well as good visibility.

Malvan Shoal

Some interesting shallow sites in the water between Vengurla and Malvan, 2 hours away from the capital city of Panaji.

Miscellaneous Information

Decompression chamber is available about an hour away by road from any of the dive sites.

Best time of the year

Between November and May.

Climate

Tropical - between 25-28 degree Celsius.

HOW TO GET THERE

ANDAMAN & NICOBAR

BY AIR

These islands are located about 1250 kms from Chennai (Tamil Nadu). The capital, Port Blair is served via Indian Airlines and Jet Airways. Indian Airlines flies from Calcutta to Port Blair six days a week (except Sundays). Jet Airways has a daily flight from Chennai to Port Blair. Indian Airlines flies four days a week to Port Blair from Chennai. Both inbound and outbound tickets should be booked well in advance for these sectors.

BY SEA

It is possible to sail to Port Blair from Calcutta and Chennai every week. The crossing takes about 3-4 days. All ships plying on this route are under the auspices of the Directorate of shipping , Govt. of India.

PERMITS

It is advisable to carry a few extra passport photographs and copies of your passport as you would need to submit these to the authorities at Port Blair on arrival for your permit to visit the island.

LAKSHADWEEP

BY AIR

These islands are located about 400 kms from Cochin (Kerala State), Indian Airlines operates daily flight (except Sundays) from Cochin to Agatti. On arrival at Agatti, you will be transferred to either Bangaram or Kadmat Island by private resort boats. It is advisable to book both your inbound and outbound tickets well in advance.

BY SEA

There is a ship service that takes about 20 hours to reach Lakshadweep from Cochin. Tickets can be obtained on arrival or by your travel agent.

PERMITS FOR BANGARAM

All foreigners need to send their names, nationality, date of birth, passport number, date of issue and expiry to the resort. The resort at Bangaram will obtain the permits through the Lakshadweep Administration. A minimum of 3 days is required for this.

PERMITS FOR KADMAT

6 photographs along with the first and last three pages of your current passport have to be submitted to the office of the dive center. Permission for Kadmat comes from the Home Ministry via Lakshadweep Administration. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for this process.

GOA

Most of the scheduled flights from Europe, UK & USA arrive at Mumbai from where there are daily flights to Goa. The flying time from Mumbai to Goa is just under an hour. This sector is served via both Indian Airlines and Jet Airways that have daily flights to this destination. It is advisable to book both your inbound and outbound sectors well in advance. The visa issued for India is sufficient documentation for your trip to Goa, no individual permit is required here.

PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR TRAVEL AGENT DETAILS FOR FLIGHTS AND SHIP TIMINGS . THE AIRFARE / SHIPFARE AND TIMINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

For Reservations and more information on diving holidays please send us an Email: tours@primetravels.com