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  • Tuesday, February, 2024| Today's Market | Current Time: 03:15:39
  • Maha Shivaratri is one of the most auspicious festivals, celebrated with much intensity and devotion in Mauritius. The devotees make a pilgrimage to Ganga Talao, a deep crater lake and Shiva temple in the south west of the island, where they gather to worship, chant, meditate and make offerings of leaves from the sacred Bael (or Bilva) tree.

    Before the long journey, thousands of pilgrims take the time to carefully decorate their ‘Kanwars’, an ornamental bamboo pole traditionally carried on the shoulders with water pots balanced at either end – though in recent times these are often far more elaborate affairs. Once at their destination, pilgrims observe a fast and along with Bilva leaves, make special food offerings to Shiva based on seasonal fruits and root vegetables. They also collect holy water from the lake to take back to their own local temple where it’s offered to the Shiva Linga (a symbolic representation of Shiva used for worship in temples). The most devout worshippers remain for the prayer rituals of Char pahar ki puja, a four-part ceremony which takes place overnight. However, COVID protocols are strictly being followed this year.

    Ganga Talao is a crater lake situated in a secluded mountain area in the district of Savanne, deep in the heart of Mauritius. It is about 550 m above sea level. It is considered the most sacred Hindu place in Mauritius. The Shiv Mandir is located on the bank of the lake and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are temples dedicated to other Gods including Lord Hanuman, Goddess Ganga, and Lord Ganesh along the Grand Bassin. The lake premises has a number of statues of various Hindu and non-Hindu deities, the most prominent of these are the massive statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga.


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