India is not often thought of as a diving destination; the busy city of Chennai (also known as Madras), even less so. But there is some good diving to be had in the waters near the city, and around nearby Pondicherry. Chennai scuba diving holidays are a great way to escape the city streets and see another side of India’s east coast.
There are sites all along the stretch of coast between Chennai and Pondicherry, which lies around 100 km to the south. Dives are mostly boat dives out into the ocean (and well away from the city pollution). Visibility is good – up to 40m at its best, 20-30m most of the time.
Chennai scuba diving holidays are best during the dry months when there is the clearest water: January-June and September-November (Chennai catches the edge of two monsoons). Water temperature is into the balmy high twenties.
You’ll find deep walls and colourful reefs plus similar marine life that you’ll see elsewhere in the Indian Ocean, in more established dive locations such as the Maldives. Commonly sighted fish include parrot fish, rays, barracuda, angel fish, trigger fish and grouper.
Turtles can sometimes be spotted, as can eagle rays, sharks and occasionally dolphins. There is some good macro diving and whale sharks have even been seen. Diving off Chennai is recently established and reefs are both uncrowded and in pristine condition. Dive Chennai currently have 10 dive sites in the area but new spots are still being discovered.
And if you want to vary your diving a little, think about hopping on a flight to either the Andaman Islands or the Maldives. Both are just a couple of hours away across the Bay of Bengal, and both offer some of the world’s best diving.
Chennai scuba diving holidays are a great way to explore the spectacular marine life beneath the waves in the Indian Ocean. It is also a chance to escape the heat, hustle and bustle of the city. Certified divers are welcome, or newbies can do a PADI open water qualification, or a trial dive in the area. To find out more visit Dive Chennai or Temple Divers.