Top Snorkelling Destinations in India

Few holiday activities pack as much punch as snorkelling does — the thrill of swimming alongside exotic marine life, the serene restfulness of the deep blue and the exquisite beauty of a palm-fringed ocean holiday come together to create an experience like none other. With close to 7,500 km of coastline, India has several, often-overlooked, snorkelling hotspots.

· Havelock, Andaman Islands

Considered by many to be the best dive spot in the world, Havelock is a gorgeous tropical island in the Bay of Bengal. Silken sands, azure waters and lush green forests lend an aura of mystery and magic, while the view underwater features turtles, coral, fish, eel and the odd octopus. Elephanta Beach is perfect for beginners, while The Lighthouse makes for a more adventurous experience complete with lobsters and sea snakes.

· Tarkarli, Maharashtra

A stone’s throw away from Maharashtra in the Sindhudurg District is Tarkarli — a picture-perfect beach laced with dense vegetation and embellished by the sparkling waters of the Arabian Sea. The 20 foot-deep sea bed is studded with coral reefs that cover the entire expanse of the undulating coast. The waters are also home to hundreds of exotic species of fish, making for some interesting viewing each time you dive into the crystal-clear blue.

· Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

Although far lesser known than its island counterparts, Pondicherry’s warm waters offer a remarkable diving experience. Spots such as Four Corners, Arvind’s Wall, The Hole, Danny’s Eel Sanctuary and Cool Shark Reef are popular dive spots. Expect to swim beside parrot fish, sea snakes, crustaceans, triggerfish, lion fish, groupers and many, many eels. If you’re lucky, you may just bump into a reef shark or a turtle.

· Netrani Island, Karnataka

Netrani, or the Pigeon Island as it is more popularly known, is as famous for its pigeons as for its coral reefs. The island can be visited from Maharashtra, Goa or Bangalore, and harbours an array of barracudas, reef sharks, stingrays, manta rays, stonefish and turtles. The island is surrounded by sharp rocks, which makes it impossible to set foot on it. Diving expeditions are conducted from boats.

· Bangaram Island, Lakshadweep

Much of Lakshadweep is still uninhabited and unexplored, which makes this spot that much more intriguing and sublime. Bangaram’s clear waters will enchant you with their vivid marine life and coral reef. A historic snorkelling tour is also offered here, which leads you to the wreck of Princess Royal, a battleship that was sunk during the British-French war. Manta Point is also famous for its vivid fish and other aquatic life.

· Grande Island, Goa

Dolphins accompany your boat as you head to Grande Island, Goa’s most popular dive spot. The island has seven dive spots, the most popular of which are the Umma Gumma Reef, Suzy’s Wreck — the site where SS Rita sank, and Shelter Cove — a mating spot for squid and cuttlefish.

For more information about the best ways to spend your beach holidays in India, look no further than Musafir — India’s most comprehensive portal for booking cheap flights online and holiday packages.

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