Marine Life of Pondicherry – Common Sightings at Temple Reef

Marine Life of Pondicherry - Common Sightings at Temple Reef

Marine life of Pondicherry is very diversified in nature. From small marine organisms like nudibranchs to the largest fish in the world which are the whale sharks! You can spot them all at our home reef, which is Temple Reef.

marine life of Pondicherry
Artificial Reef at Temple Reef. CC Donarun Das

We built Temple Reef around 10 years ago. And even today, we keep maintaining and adding new artefacts to our beloved artificial reef! Artificial reefs are important to the marine ecosystems today. Because they help promote sustainable fishing habits. By having an artificial reef to fish at, fishermen are no longer fishing at natural coral reef sites. And this means that the natural reefs are not getting destroyed by trawler nets!

marine life of Pondicherry
Natural Reef at Aravind’s Wall.
CC Donarun Das

We usually take all our PADI Discover Scuba Divers and our PADI Open Water Divers to Temple Reef. Because from 5 metres itself, the reef is covered in thousands of fish! Like we mentioned, the marine life of Pondicherry is extremely diverse. And at Temple Reef you can see a whole lot of marine life!

scuba diving in India
CC Donarun Das

In this blog, we aim to throw light on all the beautiful marine life of Pondicherry that you can spot at our Temple Reef.
Here is a list of few of our favourite marine species!


lion fish
CC Donarun Das

The lionfish is one of the most common sightings at Temple Reef. Usually spotted as a lone ranger, these guys pretty much mind their own business. Beautiful to look at, the lionfish can prove to be extremely dangerous if you harass it and they feel they are in danger!


marine life of pondicherry
CC Donarun Das

We can spot various jellyfish at Temple Reef. Extremely graceful to look at, these guys can also prove fatal, if divers are found harassing them! It is our responsibility as scuba divers to only look at the marine life and not trouble it.
The jellyfish, make for some great photography subjects because of their beautiful colours and the textures of their bodies.

Moray Eel

marine life of Pondicherry
CC Tanvi Gautama

At the bottom of Temple Reef lays a car. And in this car, hide many eels! It’s always a delight to go to the bottom of Temple Reef and spot moray eels as they are always eager to see scuba divers! But you might was to do you PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality beforehand so that you can maintain your buoyancy without silting up the bottom!

Silver Moony

underwater photography
CC Tanvi Gautama

The main residents of Temple Reef is definitely the silver moony! Always found in a shoal, these cuties are not shy of scuba divers at all. This means you can take a closer look at these fish without them swimming away! But that does not mean it gives us a pass to touch and harass them.


nudibranch in India
CC Donarun Das

Tinier than your little finger, spotting nudibranchs is not always easy. But because of their distinctively bright colours, it is a little easier to spot them! There are over 3000 types of nudibranchs all over the world. And in Pondicherry, here are some of our favourite nudibranchs you can spot at Temple Reef!

Whale Sharks

whale sharks in India
CC Tanvi Gautama

Yes! The largest fish in the world does pay a visit to Pondicherry waters! Whale shark season runs from the end of January to April and is always a delight to see underwater. They are rightfully called the gentle giants of the oceans. Because they are always calmly minding their own business and gracefully gliding their way underwater. Learn some fun facts about whale sharks here.

Manta Rays and Turtles

turtle in scuba diving
CC Tanvi Gautama
PADI Deep Diver
CC Tanvi Gautama

Though not commonly spotted, we felt obligated to add these guest appearances to this list! Because mantas and turtles are definitely a part of the marine life of Pondicherry. But they are often spotted in our deeper dive sites. You can always do the PADI Deep Diver Speciality course and explore the deeper realms of the underwater world!
These are some common and some guest appearances you can see in at Temple Reef. We would advise you to brush up on your fish identification skills. Because then you can truly understand and appreciation the beautiful marine life of Pondicherry!
Send us a message on Instagram to book your dives today!