Mauritius is an island with a rich natural but also cultural heritage. This island will suit families as well as couples or honeymooners. From idleness to the beach under the coconut trees to water or land activities, including cultural outings, you will have a memorable stay in Mauritius.
Among the flagship activities of Mauritius, there is the visit of Grand Bassin. Also called “Ganga Talao”, this site is a natural body of water that fills the crater of an ancient volcano. Water is considered a source of the Sacred Ganges. This Hindu place of worship is a must-see during your stay in Mauritius.
Mauritius is an island with a vast religious mix. But, there is no official religion on the island. Hinduism is a significant place. It practised by more than half of the Mauritian population.
Grand Bassin is far from being the only Hindu place of worship on the island. There are indeed more than 150 temples in Mauritius. The three fundamental principles of this culture are Karma (retribution for deeds), Maya (illusion of appearances) and Samsara which is the reincarnation cycle. You will find traces of this culture over the island with the many temples and festivals or other events in bright colours.
The history of Grand Bassin
From the XIX th century, Mauritius already had many Indian workers who lacked a place to gather. A place of worship that would remind them of the sacred river, the Ganges. This river is a place to purify one’s soul. In 1897, a Hindu priest, Shri Jhumma Giri Gosagne, had a vision. He saw the waters of the Great Basin flowing into the Ganges river. Since then, this place has become sacred to all the Hindu population present in Mauritius.
Today it is a place of pilgrimage from which a powerful spiritual atmosphere emerges. Each year in February or March, thousands of pilgrims walk from their homes to Grand Bassin for a lavish ceremony. This custom aims to celebrate the Maha Shivahatree, which is the night of the god Shiva. An impressive statue, 80 meters high, with his effigy, was built to overhang this body of water.
On this day, the faithful light a candle in the plate of offerings, and they place flowers or fruits on the altar of one of the temples of the Great Bassin. And more significantly, the one built on the heights of the lake. Indeed, you will find other Hindu temples on the banks of the Grand Bassin. This colourful ceremony is not to missed under any circumstances during your stay in Mauritius.
Grand Bassin, also a natural site
Grand Bassin is an essential place of worship and also a great natural site. Grand Bassin is wealthy not only for its luxuriant nature but also for its incredible fauna.
Indeed, Grand Bassin surrounded by a large forest where all kinds of animals have taken up residence. You will see, among other things, a colony of monkeys that have ultimately settled down and taken possession of the place.
Mauritius is an island where you will discover vibrant culture and impressive flora and fauna.