On the other side of India from Goa and Netrani Island is the Bay of Bengal. There are some great diving areas here as well, specifically, Pondicherry (now known as Puducherry) and Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag). Vizag is located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, which is the seventh largest state in India, covering over 160,000 square kilometers. The state is home to around 50 million people. Pondicherry is a territory made up of four unconnected districts. Overall, it is the third most densely populated areas of India.
Visakhapatnam is the largest city and financial center of the region with almost two million people. It is such a great and somewhat underrated diving location that recently, the local government has offered to pay the expenses and offer free scuba diving trips to 500 divers to promote diving in the area.
Pondicherry is known to be a quaint and peaceful place with French architecture, lots of history and very spiritual culture. It also happens that all four regions of Pondicherry are located on the Indian coast and are homes to a number of the best diving sites in India and the world. They are known for their coral reefs, shipwrecks, and diversity of sea life.
The most unusual sea creature that is native to the area is the goliath grouper which is a critically endangered species. These giant fish can grow up to 2.5 meters (8ft) long and weigh over 350 kilograms (771lbs). These fish have been victims of overfishing due to their large size and slow reproduction rate. You do need to be careful when diving around them though as they have been known to be aggressive and to ambush human divers. The area is also home to a wide variety of Indian Ocean’s marine life such as king, lion, parrot and tigerfish, orals, sea snakes and several different types of rays and reef sharks.