Dive right in! Head to Mumbai's first underwater festival

By  Shraddha Uchil | Mumbai | Posted  20-Apr-2017

Escape the merciless heat by heading to the city's first underwater festival, where you can learn to scuba dive, play hockey in the pool, or stay on land and try slacklining

Attempt playing hockey
Attempt playing hockey

If April is this unbearable, May is bound to make us feel like we're chicken wings cooking in a deep fryer. Giving us a glimmer of relief from this morbid inevitability is the first edition of the Mumbai Underwater Festival, which is coming to the city next month.

The two-day festival will feature an array of aqua-sports, and will be held at the Prabodhankar Thackeray Krida Sankul, a sports complex in Vile Parle (E).

Expect everything from scuba diving to unconventional water sports, as well as a variety of on-ground activities for those who'd rather not step into the water.

"We held an underwater festival in Pune last year. That was India's first ever festival of its kind, but at that point, we were just testing the waters," says Kshitij Mittal, who, along with Ankit Saboo, founded Finkick Adventures to make underwater activities more accessible to people.

Underwater Cycling
Underwater Cycling 

Make a splash
"Interest in scuba diving is growing in India, but not at the rate with which it could be. So we realised that the best way to make it happen is bring everyone who is curious to explore it together in one space. This way, they're comfortable knowing that others, too, are here to try their hand at it for the first time," adds Mittal.

The festival will feature an introduction to scuba diving for non-swimmers, while certified divers (with PADI, SSI, or CMAS certifications) can take it a notch higher with an underwater obstacle course or cycling in a 17 feet-deep pool. Swimmers, meanwhile, can play a fun game of underwater hockey. "We also have a session on diving for the disabled with certified instructors," reveals Mittal.

Balancing on a Slackline
Balancing on a Slackline

Get on a skateboard
Although the festival includes the word 'underwater', there are plenty of activities for those who'd rather stick above the water, too. You can try your hand at skateboarding and slacklining. Participation for all activities is open to those aged 10 years and above. Additionally, there are photography exhibitions, talks, film screenings and slackline performances that you can catch as a visitor.

"There's no one umbrella under which divers can meet. That's what we're trying to create — a community," Mittal sums up.

ON: May 6 and 7, 9 am to 6 pm
AT: Prabodhankar Thackeray Krida Sankul, Vile Parle (E).
LOG ON TO: mumbaiuwf.com
CALL: 8380087062 
COST: Rs 500 onwards