Scuba diving in Netrani Island (Karnataka, India)

Scuba Diving in Netrani Island, Karnataka (2024)

Exploring the depths through scuba diving in Netrani Island holds a special place in my heart. Here, I initially delved into snorkelling and scuba diving, marked by the innocence and excitement typical of a beginner. Despite my novice behaviour during those early attempts, I returned to the island after obtaining my certification.

The subsequent dives during my second and third visits proved remarkable. Witnessing the vibrant marine life and immersing myself in the underwater world brought immense joy and satisfaction. Netrani Island, with its rich aquatic tapestry, became a cherished destination for my scuba diving adventures, marking the growth and evolution of my underwater exploration skills.

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Where is Netrani Island?

Nestled off the Murdeshwara coastline, Netrani Island, resembling a heart in its shape, is a petite gem just a brief boat journey away from the mainland, spanning approximately 20 kilometres. Renowned as a prime diving location in Karnataka, this island boasts a vibrant coral reef, making it a favourite among diving enthusiasts.

On favourable days, the underwater visibility stretches to an impressive range of 10 to 15 meters, enhancing the allure of the diving experience. Interestingly, Netrani Island goes by various names, including Pigeon Island, Bajrangi Island, and Heart Shape Island, adding a touch of intrigue to its diverse identity.

About Murdeshwara

Situated on the western coast of Karnataka, India, Murdeshwara is a renowned town celebrated for hosting the world’s second-largest Shiva statue. Nestled along the shores of the Arabian Sea, this coastal town is home to a majestic Shiva statue, standing tall at an impressive height of 37 meters.

How to Get to Murdeshwara and Netrani Island?

Murdeshwara, located approximately 490 kilometres from Bangalore, is conveniently accessible from the city by opting for an overnight bus journey. Regular trains and buses connect Bangalore to Murdeshwara, offering multiple travel options.

  • By Bus – For those choosing to travel by bus, bookings can be made on the Redbus website, or you can head to the Majestic bus stop in Bangalore to catch a bus bound for Murdeshwara. The bus ride typically spans around 9 to 10 hours.
  • By Train – Alternatively, Murdeshwara boasts a railway station on the Mangaluru-Mumbai Konkan train line. Train reservations can be secured through the IRCTC website, and planning and booking tickets for a smoother journey is advisable.

To explore Netrani Island, located approximately 19 kilometres off the coast of Murdeshwara, a one-hour and fifteen-minute boat ride is the sole means of reaching this captivating destination.

Discover Scuba Dive at Netrani Island

Recalling my initial foray into scuba diving with the Discover Scuba Dive, undertaken several years ago, memories of the experience are somewhat hazy. At that time, being in the water didn’t instill much confidence in me, and my underwater exploration was driven more by the desire to check off a bucket list item than a genuine passion for diving. Consequently, I can’t recollect encountering marine life during that initial dive or snorkelling session.

However, a recent return to Netrani Island for a series of dives provided a stark contrast. The visibility at the dive sites surpassed any on the mainland of India. One remarkable highlight of these dives was the fortunate timing during the cuttlefishes’ mating season, offering captivating glimpses of these fascinating creatures.

For those considering diving at Netrani Island, a few essential points merit attention:

  • Boat dives are the norm, involving either a back roll or a giant stride entry into the water. Beginners typically opt for the back-roll method.
  • Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) groups are large, with alternating daily schedules for diving and snorkelling.
  • Each pair of beginners in Discover Scuba Diving is assigned a dedicated diving instructor.
  • The optimal period for scuba diving at Netrani Island falls between October and February.
  • Watch for dolphins, as they might grace the journey back to the mainland after your dive.
  • Jellyfish sightings during my second visit added an extra layer of excitement to the underwater experience.

Given the rough ocean conditions, seasickness is a potential concern. I highly recommend taking seasickness tablets to ward off discomfort before embarking on the boat journey.

Dive Sites for Experienced Divers


The nursery serves as the universal dive site, welcoming divers of all levels, including beginners. This enchanting site teems with a plethora of fish species and captivating cuttlefish. We were fortunate enough to spot a majestic lionfish during our exploration. If you opt for the Discover Scuba Dive (DSD) experience, rest assured that your underwater adventure will unfold at this remarkable location.

Dive Logistics at Nursery

  • Dive type: Boat dive.
  • Dive site: Open (Sea).
  • Depth: 10 metres (maximum).
  • Visibility: 10 to 15 metres. During my second time, the visibility was around 3 to 4 metres.
  • Suitable for: beginners.
  • Wet suit: Not required but suggested. The water is warm and is not cold.
  • Current: During my dives, very mild or no currents at all.

The dive site lacks restrooms and changing facilities, so it’s crucial to don your swimsuit before boarding the boat at Murdeshwara. However, for unexpected situations, a compact emergency toilet is available on the boat.


Located at a slightly greater distance from Netrani Island, the T55 dive site ventures deeper into the ocean. Despite its more distant location, this site boasts a scattering of corals, accompanied by an abundance of vibrant fish species.

Dive logistics

  • Dive type: Boat dive.
  • Dive site: Open (Sea).
  • Depth: 14 metres (maximum).
  • Visibility: 10 to 15 metres. During my second time, the visibility was around 3 to 4 metres.
  • Suitable for: Open water certified divers and above.
  • Wet suit: Not required but suggested. The water is warm and is not cold.
  • Current: During my dives, very mild or no currents at all.

Marine Life at Netrani Island

Netrani Island is renowned for its thriving marine ecosystem, featuring numerous healthy coral reefs that serve as a magnet for diverse marine life. The underwater landscapes of these sites are inhabited by an impressive variety of creatures, including parrot fishes, eels, butterflyfishes, barracudas, bamboo sharks, nudibranchs, lionfishes, and more. It’s worth noting that, while observing a playful dolphin from the boat, the underwater world holds an even richer spectacle.

For an extraordinary experience, consider visiting during the cuttlefishes mating season, typically occurring around November. This period offers a breathtaking display of cuttlefishes, showcasing their remarkable ability to change colors—an awe-inspiring sight that adds an extra layer of wonder to your diving adventure.


Scuba Dive Centres

Several dive centres operate in Murdeshwara, offering services to scuba enthusiasts keen on exploring the wonders of Netrani Island.

Netrani Adventures

  • Dive centre: Netrani Adventures.
  • Cost: Around INR 5000 per person for Discover Scuba Diving (one dive only) and INR 2500 per dive for Certified divers.

I have engaged in diving with Netrani Adventures twice, and each time has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. As one of the more seasoned and established dive centres in Murdeshwara, Netrani Adventures boasts a wealth of experience and longevity compared to other operators in the region.

Dive Goa

During one of my visits to Murdeshwara, I had the pleasure of diving with Dive Goa, and the experience was truly exceptional. Ajey, the instructor, exudes passion and brilliance in his approach. I thoroughly enjoyed my diving sessions with them.

[14 December 2022] Update: Dive Goa does not operate at Murdeshwara / Netrani Island any more.

  • Dive centre: Dive Goa.
  • Cost: Around INR 5000 for Discover scuba diving (one dive) and INR 5500 per person for two dives for a certified diver.
Raksha diving

I had the opportunity to dive with Dive Goa during my visit to Goa, and as expected, it was an incredible experience. I consistently find their services commendable and highly recommend them to anyone planning a diving adventure in Goa.

Other Dive Centres

Additional dive centres based in Murdeshwara that facilitate scuba diving trips to Netrani Island include Reef Adventures and Aqua Ride. It’s important to note that I haven’t personally availed the services of these specific dive centres.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Scuba Diving in Netrani Island

Q: How far is Netrani Island from Murdeshwara?

Access to Netrani Island is exclusively by boat, with the journey departing from Murdeshwara Beach taking approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

To mitigate the effects of potential seasickness, it’s advisable to take a sea sickness tablet, particularly as the water conditions can become a bit choppy.

Q: Do you need to know how to swim for scuba diving on Netrani Island?

No, if you are doing the Discover Scuba Diving (non-certified divers). And yes, if you are a certified diver.

Q: How much does it cost to scuba dive on Netrani Island?

As per the prices provided on the Netrani Adventures website, the costs for scuba diving at Netrani Island are as follows:

  • Discover Scuba Diving (for beginner divers) – INR 4999 for one dive.
  • Fun diving (for certified divers) – INR 2500 for one dive.
  • Open water certification – INR 24999.
  • Advanced Open water certification – INR 19999.
  • Rescue diver certification – INR 21499.

Q: What is the best time to dive on Netrani Island?

While the prime months for diving at Netrani Island are generally considered to be between October and February, for optimal visibility, it is recommended to plan your dives specifically in the months of December and January. These months are suggested for those seeking the best underwater visibility during their diving experience.

Q: What is the maximum depth you will dive?

For Discover Scuba Diving participants, the maximum diving depth is set at 8 to 10 meters.

Q: How long will I be underwater?

During Discover Scuba Diving, the typical duration underwater ranges from 15 to 20 minutes, subject to individual air consumption.

Q: How long is the scuba dive trip?

The dive trip typically commences around 8:30 or 9 AM from Murdeshwara beach, concluding at approximately 4 PM.

Closing Notes

The dives at Netrani Island left a lasting impression, and my second visit was truly enjoyable. The underwater experience was rich with stunning sights, from the captivating fish to the vibrant corals. Adding to the overall positive experience, the staff at the dive centre were not only cool but also highly knowledgeable. Their expertise contributed significantly to my enjoyment of the dives.

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