What would Mauritius be without its population, which forms a rich diversity of traditions, customs and religions? Indeed, Mauritius would not be the same without all these sacred places, which stand at a short distance from one another. Let’s take a look around!
1. Jummah Masjid Mosque
Built in the middle of the 1800’s, the Jummah Masjid Mosque is situated in the heart of Port Louis, on Queen Street. This majestic edifice cannot go unnoticed with its tall white façades and elegant sculptures. We recommend that you go around the building before you enter it. Inside, it is peaceful and green – a quiet retreat from the bustle of the city and an ideal place for praying. This mosque, which is close to China Town, stands as a token of the island’s cultural diversity. A nice place to visit during the day.
2. Kwan Tee Pagoda
Chinese Mauritians represent only 3% of the general population, but the heritage of their ancestors is still visible, especially in Port Louis. If you did not already know, there are 11 pagodas on the island, all located in the capital city, and the oldest – Kwan Tee Pagoda – is found in Les Salines. Built in 1842, it is the oldest temple of the city and of the southern hemisphere. Inspired by traditional Chinese pagodas, this holy place is attended by devotees who come to ask for protection.
3. Ganga Talao Sacred Lake
This most sacred Hindu place and pilgrimage site for the MahaShivaratree celebrations, Grand Bassin is guarded by two impressive statues at the entry. According to the legend, someone has poured water from the Ganges back in the 1970’s, making it a sacred lake. It is a peaceful and yet curious place for those who are not used to Hindu culture and its profusion of temples, statues, incense smoke, fish, giant eels and monkeys… A little piece of India full of emotion and mystery to visit absolutely!
4. The Chapel of Cap Malheureux
You cannot miss it! Located on the seafront, the chapel of Cap Malheureux has become an item because of its flaming red roof beautifully contrasting with the blue of the sky and the sea. If you go there on a Sunday, you may attend the church service and listen to religious songs while observing the simple and picturesque life of this chapel. If you are looking for a picture-postcard view, that is the place to be. Hopefully, you will meet some fishermen returning from sea with plenty of fish to sell.
5. Kaylasson Temple
Still in the vicinity of Port Louis – in Sainte Croix more precisely – you will find the oldest Tamil temple of Mauritius, which was first built in 1854. It is actually the major place of worship for the Tamil community of Mauritius and a heritage-listed site. More interesting is the architecture of the temple, which reflects the parts of a human body, with six stations representing different organs and the lotus as the head. Such an analogy is meant to teach devotees to respect the temple as much as their own body. Why not take a closer look at it by yourself?
Indeed, Mauritius is not just sun, sand and sea… The various faces of the island are worth a little exploration!