Oceans hide so many mysteries. From colourful schools of fishes to terrifying monster like creatures all hide inside the deep trenches. The underwater life has become more interesting after Aquaman movie because who knows what else is inside those depths.
When I was in Pondicherry, trying to get my surfing certification (which failed miserably), I met a group of divers who had come all the way from Portugal just to explore the shipwrecks. They told me about Wreck diving and how popular it has been in Europe. I researched a little and figured out that wrecks in India are still being discovered and some of the destinations have gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. This article is written after a detailed research and the information collected from other wreck divers.
An ocean lover would know how magical scuba diving feels like. Traversing between Corals, fishes and the crystal clear blue water is nothing but a magical experience. In India, scuba has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Destinations like Lakshadweep, Andaman, Pondicherry, Goa, Malvan, Kovalam and Udupi offer an amazing dive experience. Institutes in Andaman and Pondicherry also certify you in diving and training you to become an expert in deep sea diving.
But when you have gained an expertise in deep sea diving and have seen the best of it, then what comes next? Read on to know the answer
What is wreck diving
Oceans are merciless. Typhoons and high currents often damage ships, many of which submerge in the ocean. Due to the mass, it goes deep into the ocean’s surface and settles there. Many such wreck sites have been discovered in the past. They are used by the divers to satisfy their zeal to enjoy the underwater life from a different perspective and the activity is known as wreck diving.
Best places in India to enjoy wreck diving
Indian sea routes have an interesting past. From being the biggest trade routes and have open relations with Rome, Greece and Persia, to the point of arrival of the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British
In the last few years, many such ships have been discovered in different parts of Indian coasts. With adventure tourism booming in India, wreck diving is becoming an interesting sport among the expert divers.
The reason to keep Pondicherry on top is because it is the most accessible of all the places for wreck diving experience. Being an awesome spot for scuba diving in general, Pondicherry has a number of sunken shops settled permanently on sea’s surface. Many of these ships are from the time when The Dutch and French settlers arrived here and were met with resistance. Today these sunken ships on the coast of Pondicherry serve spots of wreck diving.
How to apply – Temple Adventures conducts diving in Pondicherry. They also provide scuba training which a much better option than travelling all the way to Andaman and burning a huge hole in your pocket. For more details, contact them here - https://www.templeadventures.com/diving/certified-divers/wreck-diving
The remotest group of islands is a dream destination for any Indian traveller. Leave the complex process of travelling and getting permits behind, Lakshadweep is a heaven for the underwater diving enthusiasts. Among all the spots where the diving is conducted, Bangaram Islands is one of the favourites. The reason, it is the site of Princess Royal shipwreck. This 200 year old British battle ship was sunken by the French. Since the water visibility is the clearest in Lakshadweep, it is a fun experience to see the remains of the ship up close which is also dotted by marine life.
How to apply – You can find out more about diving programs in Lakshadweep with Padi India - https://travel.padi.com/d/lakshadweep/
Lacadives (https://www.lacadives.com/) also conducts diving programs in Lakshadweep while they are mainly based in Andaman. Lak Scuba is also an experienced diving company based in Lakshadweep.
The popular wreck diving site in Andaman is known as Vinnie’s Wreck which is located near Havelock Island. Compared to other sunken ships, this is fairly new, only 30 years old. This is the only shipwreck where going inside the ship is not possible since the metal has not started rotting yet. Still, it is a great spot to enjoy colonies of fish as the wreck site is slowly being converted to an artificial reef.
Other popular wreck sites include the Inket at Duncan Island. Inket was a Japanese Ship stationed here during World War 2. The clear water offers uninterrupted views of the hatches and cargo hold area.
How to apply – Barefoot Scuba (http://www.barefootscuba.in/) and Lacadives (https://www.lacadives.com/) conduct a number of diving programs here along with training sessions for beginners and advanced levels.
How can you forget Goa when talking about Shipwrecks, diving and oceans? Adventure lovers can head to these dive sites where many old Portuguese ships are still lying on the surface and many of which have now turned into artificial corals. Many believe that different corners of Goa are dotted with more than 600 shipwrecks. St George’s Reef Wreck is probably the most popular dive site in Goa. It is lying 15 meters below since 1860 and its hull is the most noticeable part. Double Boiler and SS Rita are another two of the wrecks that are popular diving points. SS Rita or Suzy’s Wreck is resting near Grande Island. With time, this British Ship turned into an artificial Coral, providing a breeding spots for marine life.
How to apply – Baracuda Diving (http://www.barracudadiving.com/) and Dive Goa (https://divegoa.com/) offer trips to various wreck sites.
Vishakhapatnam or Vizag is the newest site where a shipwreck was found a few kilometres from the beach. Calm, crystal clear water plays a great role in making diving experience rewarding. This 150 meter long shipwreck is located near Bheemunipatnam — a fishing village about 45 kilometres from Visakhapatnam. Pakistani Submarine INS Ghazi and Japanese submarine Ro-110 have sunk somewhere near Vishakhapatnam and while they are not accessible, who knows one may get to enjoy an amazing underwater trip in Vizag sometime in future.
How to apply – Livein adventures (http://liveinadventures.com/) is one of the experts you can contact for wreck diving in Vizag.