Dive Centers in Lakshadweep Islands
18 Sep, 2012
Adventure Holidays in Lakshadweep
Experience the most beautiful coral-rich habitats in the world!
Scuba Dive Centres, Lakshadweep
The search for the unknown is after all a basic human instinct. What lies beyond or beneath is more than what meets the eye. To satiate this urge we at scuba india undertake the plunge to help you learn, known and explore the underwater world in all its glory. We assure you nothing short of an exciting and memorable experience by providing you the best of scuba diving. ‘Scuba Dive Centres, Lakshadweep’
The Lakshadweep Archipelago
The Lakshadweep archipelago 8o N – 12o 30’ N, 71o E – 74o E), the tiniest Union Territory of India is located about 380 – 400 km off Kochi in the Arabian sea (Fig.1). There are 36 islands comprised of – 11 inhabited islands, including 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 6 newly formed/ submerged banks covering an area of 32 Sq.km.
Despite its smallness in terms of geographical landmarks, Lakshadweep has total lagoon area of 4,200 Km2, Large Territorial Waters (about 20000 Sq.Kms) and Exclusive Economic Zone (about 4,00,000 Sq.Kms)
The Inhabited islands are Kavaratti, Agatti, Bangaram, Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat, Bitra, Andrott, Kalpeni and Minicoy. Bitra is the smallest of all having only a population of 267 (Census 2001). The Island of Bangaram has been enumerated during 1991 census operation and has a population of 61 persons (Census 1991)
These islands lie about 220 to 440 kilometers away from the coastal city of Kochi in Kerala between 8o and 12o 13’’ North Latitude and 71o and 74o East Longitude.
Erstwhile group of islands known as “Laccadive Aminidivi and Minicoy group of Islands” was formed into a Union Territory in 1956 and renamed as Lakshadweep in the year 1973. Kavaratti is its capital (Headquarters).
Dive Centers in Lakshadweep Islands
Kadmat island is one of the most beautiful diving locations in India. An idyllic little island which forms part of the Lakshadweep archipelago, situated 407km. off the coast of Kerala in the Arabian Sea. Kadmat is just 8km long and only 550m wide at its broadest point.
The crystal clear water and the abundant marine life enhance the beauty of Kadmat. Against the vast expanse of the blue sea, the island looks like emerald. The huge shallow calm lagoon on one side with wall like reef made of marine live coral boulders block the incoming swells of the outer sea. Clear water with 20-50 meter visibility and a variety of fishes like Lion fish, Lobsters, Tuna, rays, sharks, shoaling jacks, fusiliers, sweet lips, groupers, rays, eels, turtles makes it a memorable destination for scuba divers.
Pristine beaches, lovely lagoons and the wealth of marine habitat make Kadmat a dream diving locale. The Scuba Diving Centre in the island has become an attraction for water – sport enthusiasts.
Kadmat is home to the first Laccadives Dive Centre and School. The Laccadives Kadmat Dive School offers beginner to advanced courses throughout the season (1st October to 1st May). The centre caters to certified divers as well. This is the only Dive school in India offering CMAS certification courses from Beginner (1 Star) to Instructor levels.
Lacadives has pioneered diving in India, setting up the country’s first dive center and (recreational) diver training facility in Kadmat, Lakshadweep in 1995. Since then Lacadives expanded it’s operations to Bangaram and Agatti in the Lakshadweep Islands. About 10 kilometers long and less than 500 meters at its widest, the island is a sliver of green in the blue waters of the Laccadive Sea. The northern tip of the island is home to the local residents of Kadmat, while the Lacadives Dive Center is located at the southern tip. The one road that lazily traverses the distance from north to south winds its way through coconut groves with views of the sea both east and west. This tranquil setting is where the dream-seed of Lacadives first took root.
The Dive Centre at Kadmat offers introductory and advanced courses through both PADI and CMAS and has certified more than 2000 beginners over the years. The charm of Kadmat, however, also brings experienced divers from around the world to our center to explore local sites like Shark Alley and Turtle City, where the names say it all. Our custom-designed dive boat offers adventurous visitors the opportunity to explore the reefs off Amini, Bitra, Suheli and Pitti. Days of diving at Kadmat end with evenings spent watching the sunset and waiting for the night sky. “We promise you more stars than you’ve ever seen from our Jetty at the edge of the Universe. So come discover the magic that is Kadmat”!!
The Wall (8-30 meters)
Without doubt one of the best sites at Kadmat, The Wall starts from a shallow shelf at 8 meters and drops in places to 30 meters. Almost a kilometer in length, this site is covered with beautiful soft coral and many little nooks that house lionfish, eels and all sorts of macro life. Eagle rays, devil rays, large tuna, barracuda and the occasional shark cruise the waters off the wall and large resident turtles are almost always spotted at the bottom. North Cave / Breath Of Life (5-25 meters): This dive never disappoints. With some of the liveliest reef in Kadmat, this site is full of plate coral and all kinds of marine fauna including schooling black jacks, large Napoleon wrasse, barracuda and batfish.
A large underwater chamber at 21 meters sometimes provides a resting place to passing nurse sharks. To top it all off, large numbers of resident turtles and great visibility almost all year around makes this site truly amazing. Turtle City (8-25 meters): As the name suggests, Turtle City is full of these slow, graceful mariners of old against a backdrop of beautiful reef. We’ve counted in excess of 35 turtles here on a single dive! And that’s not counting the ones on the surface. Double Reef (10-28 meters): Double Reef is a sloping reef with a variety of coral separated by two wide sand patches – one of the best spots to see resting sharks, rays and turtles. While the divers check out the resting sharks and rays, the resident batfish shoal usually comes in to check out the divers. Shark Alley (38 meters):
A classic deep dive into the blue to a ledge at almost 40 meters that is home to everything from grey-reef sharks to white-tips and occasionally some large nurse sharks. Covered in soft coral, this little spot between Kadmat and Amini has given us some amazing dives with stingrays, batfish and even a solitary tiger shark! Potato Patch (5-20 meters): An unusual site with mounds of pillar coral surrounded by beautiful sand patches. With loads of small fish amidst the coral and large shoals of jacks, fusiliers and cruising Napoleon wrasse, the Patch is perfect for beginners, intermediate divers and macro lovers. Jack Point (15-25 meters):
A superior dive on the sloping southeastern reef, Jack Point is full of soft coral patches and some very large coral heads that are home to resting turtles, fusiliers, blotched fantail rays, white-tip reef sharks and large schools of resident big-eyed jacks. The occasional current provides for a mellow drift dive. The Cave (8-20 meters): A beautiful spot on the western reef, the cave at 16 meters is a lovely highlight in the middle of a rich and vibrant reef. Home to an astonishing number of shrimp and glass fish, this reef is also great to spot scorpionfish, squatting pufferfish and patches of beautiful anemone. Turtles, jacks and large Napoleon wrasse cruise the waters around this site.
Bangaram Island – The Turtles
Thousands of them “live” in the big lagoon. It is an incredible experience to snorkel with them! Virgin Reef It have been ranked by many of the world’s experienced divers as being among the best anywhere. … Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Moray Eels and Hawkbill In this area turtles are common, as game fish.
Three Uninhabited Islands
There are three unihabited islands in the same Atoll, Thinnakara, Parali and the not very imaginatively named Parali- II.
Manta Point And Royal Sunk
Popular dive spots of Bangaram include Manta Point and the wreck of the Princess Royal sunk 200 years ago. (Link to Bangaram Dive Locations)
Minicoy Dive Center
Minicoy is the southern most island in the Lakshadweep group of islands. Situated 398 kms from Cochin , it is the second largest island in size. A crescent shaped island, has a huge lagoon on the western side. It has a tiny islet called Viringili on the southern tip of the island.
The island is set apart from other islands as culture, language and tradition are different from other islands. The island has a systematically arranged village system known as ‘Avah’. Each Avah is a cluster of houses which is headed by an elected elderly man called Bodukaka.
Traditionally all powers to manage village affairs are vested in him. Each village has a village house beautifully decorated and maintained. Mahl is the spoken language. MINICOY is an important centre for tuna fishing. The Light House of the island is one of the oldest and was constructed in 1885. It has a 20 bedded resort for accommodating divers and other tourists. Independent tourist cottages are also available in the island.
Minicoy is the only island in Lakshadweep having three large ship wrecks believed to be that of S.S Hoechst and other ships, within 8 mtrs depth on the island reef. It is believed that these ship wreck initiated construction of light house In 1885. These wrecks are virtual underwater museums and fish species found here are larger than average normal size found else where perhaps due to consumption of Ferrous of the wrecks. Manta Ray can be cited in almost all dive sites like Ragganmathi, Mulimatti, Rabberufarai during September – October and January – February.
Sharks, bull rays, turtles, school of jacks, red snappers, black snappers, napoleon wrasse, barracuda, sweet lips are in abundance at Bose Point, Murambu, Boduhavaligang . Other interesting species found here are hump back parrot fish and Giant Sweet Lips.
Dolphin Dive Center, Kavaratti
Kavaratti is the headquarter island situated around 404 km off the coast of Cochin. The beautiful calm lagoon in the island is ideal for scuba dive beginners. Open water outside the reef is equally beautiful. The dive center is conveniently located on the northern tip of the island very close to the entrance. Therefore access to dive spots are easy and quick from the dive center. The island has a 10 bedded resort catering to divers.
It is well known for turtles, soft corals sharks, rays and all kinds of tropical fishes. Dive Spots like Harbour Mouth very close to entrance is abundant with Giant Sea Fans, Giant Triveli , Gorgonians. Like wise Zing Zing Par at the southern tip is famous for big sharks, spotted eagle rays schooling barracuda. A dive at Governors Reef is a lesson in different types of soft corals of attractive colours especially of bright red. One can enjoy amazing cave dives at Wall of Wonder at north west side of the island. A dive at Turtle Nest is worth all different types of turtles there. One can have eye ball contact with grey reef sharks, spotted rays, bat fish and lot of groupers at Wind Mill Point. PADI certified instructors impart training to beginners as well as experienced.
Suheli is the uninhabited islands at Lakshadweep. It consists of two islands namely Valiyakara and Cheriyakara. LCRMN team stayed there for 15 days in the year 2002 and made extensive surveys. The team observed that the islands might be the best reefs among other islands before bleaching event.
The southern side of Cheriyakara reef slope got much affected by the reef slope. The survey results showed the occurrence of 21% live coral cover. The lagoon of these of these islands were very big (more than 18 km2) and consisted coral patches. The Porites corals were dominant in lagoon and they were in good condition. Those colonies affected by bleaching event also recovery fast.
One of the remarkable features observed by the survey team was that the islands consisted of rich resources of reef fishes. Suheli island is an important site for tuna fishery. Turtle nesting takes place in sand bar between the two islands.
For more information on Suheli excursions contact at: MintValley Cruise Division. visit: www.suheli.com
Bitra is the smallest inhabited island in Lakshadweep. It consists of a very vast lagoon (17 km2). Corals occur in patches in the lagoon. Extensive surveys were made in the year 2001 and results showed the occurrence of 32.5% live coral cover, the highest among all other islands of Lakshadweep. Bitra islands consisted of good live coral cover and seemed in pristine condition. The survey team observed that new recruitment of corals, in particular, Acropora and Montipora, than in other islands.
The vast expanses of the shallow lagoons provide an ideal setting for water sports enthusiasts. All the islands included in the various tourist packages offer kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, sail boats, wind surfers, snorkels sets glass-bottomed boats and other facilities to tourists who wish to indulge in water sports in the unpolluted lagoons. Kadmat, Kavaratti and Bangaram have facilities for scuba diving. Deep-sea fishing buffs can pursue big game fishing. Barracuda, Sail Fish, Yellow Fin Tuna, Triveli and sharks are abundant in the seas around Lakshadweep. Local boats with experienced crew can be hired.
Agatti Island Dive Points:
Lost Paradise: This lagoon is absolutely fascinating including a mile long reef with an abundance of various fish, a dazzling array of corals, free-swimming moray’s, sharks, tuna fish, turtles and a lot more … . Full Text
TRAVEL NEWS UPDATES:
Booking for Kadmat Island : http://www.kadmat.com/
Bangaram & Thinnakara – Beach Tent Camping Adventures! http://www.indianislands.com/thinnakara.htm
SPECIAL NOTE: Due to litigation, the private resorts are not operational in the Lakshadweep Islands (Laccadive Group). It includes Bangaram Island Resort, Agatti Island Resort and the Seashells. All other resorts ie: Kadmat Island Resort, Minicoy Island Resort, Kavaratti & Kalpeni (For domestic) are functional.
‘Beach Tent Camping facility’ is being arranged at Bangaram & Thinnakara Islands.
Ship Packages: http://www.mvkavaratti.com/