Mauritius has a large population of Hindus and beautiful temples can be seen all over the island. The main one, however, and considered to be incredibly sacred, is Ganga Talao in Grand Bassin.
Almost all the staff we spoke to at our hotel told us this was a must visit, so on a Monday, considered an auspicious day, we made a trip to the famous temple.
It was magnificent, beautiful and just so peaceful. It is open to everyone, and there were lots of fellow tourists taking in the idols, the views and just the beauty of it all.
During Maha Shivaratri which is an annual festival celebrated in reverence of Lord Shiva, a vast number of pilgrims come from all corners of the island, mostly on foot, to pray in the temple and cleanse themselves with the lake’s holy water.
The lake is a crater lake, 550m above sea level. The water is considered to be formed from a drop from the Ganges, according to a story that Lord Shiva accidentally dropped a few drops of the Ganges when he was carrying it on his head, forming the lake, whilst he was showing his wife the most beautiful places on earth.
There are other stories but this one is my favourite.
The connection with the holy ganges is what makes this temple so special to so many Hindus, who come here to worship during key festivals as well as whenever they want some peace and prayer time.
The inside of the temple is tranquil, peaceful and a fantastic place to just take a moment and pray.
If you wish, you can also have a little prayer session with the priest, which I did and he was really good in terms of explaining what to do and the significance of it.
Much to my delight, there were lots of cats wandering around outside the temple but they were sadly very shy cats, and rather lazy and sleepy.
Just outside the temple, there is a massive 33m statue of Lord Shiva. It is so grand and impressive, and I have never ever seen anything quite like it.
On the opposite side of the road is work on an equally massive statue of Durga Maa, which already looks stunning but is not completed yet.
Even if you are not Hindu, or particularly religious, the temple is a must visit to see the grandeur and the beauty of it. It is just stunning!