After my first experience and my first meeting with the fascinating underwater world of Mauritius, I go today a little more inland. My goal for today is the crater “Trou aux Cerfs” and then “Grand Bassin”, a Hindu temple with a unique history.
Also today, I wish I would live in the south, because to pass by Port Louis in the morning hours is a true test of patience. Nevertheless, you get used to it and accordingly the plan will be adjusted. On the way to “Trou aux Cerfs” we cross Curepipe, the largest inland city. Generally, I enjoy this car drives because the mosaic ”Mauritius”is only completed by this particularly small yet very present part. The people, the buildings, the traffic, the small stalls and much more are a substantial part and should not be pushed aside of the “tourist attractions”. Curepipe is located on a plateau in the center of the island, the extinct crater “Trou aux Cerfs” in the midst of this. The way up is no problem, only a two minute walk is required to enjoy the view. Now who is expecting to see rocky, black volcanic rock and lava, unfortunately, is on the “wrong track”.
Throughout the centuries, and probably even more, a lush vegetation made this crater to his home. Although the crater shape is clearly visible, almost nothing remembers of the dangers which this volcano once entailed. “Trou aux Cerfs” presents itself in various shades of green from trees, grasses and bushes and is now fertile ground for this life. Despite the unique sight you should not forget to look around. A view over Curepipe up to the west coast and even further takes your breath away. “Trou aux Cerfs” can be walked around or you can even descend slightly. For this purpose, it is advisable, however, to have a knowledgeable local guide.
After the complete change in imagination of a volcanic crater, the tour towards “Grand Bassin” can go on. On the way, we pass “Mare aux Vacoas,” which is the largest drinking water reservoir in Mauritius, framed by a surprisingly colorful landscape.
During the drive, I can relax a little bit and write, as suddenly a huge statue on the horizon arises. The Hindu main god “lord Shiva” projects an imposing height of around 33m and seems to welcome one to “Grand Bassin”. Currently, his wife “Parvati” on the other side of the street, is built in the same impressive size. A stop is inevitable and the size only affects me when I am standing at the foot of Lord Shiva; an architectural masterpiece. About 300 meter further one can see the holy see ”Grand Bassin”. ”Grand Bassin” should be connected through the underground with the Ganges in India. So holy Ganges for Hindus is in India, so sacred is “Grand Bassin” for the Hindus in Mauritius, which account to 50% of the population.
According to the legend, Shiva carried water from the Ganges with him on his journey around the world and at his stop in Mauritius he spilled a couple of drops of the holy water. The temple is elaborated down to the smallest detail. The statues of Hindu deities are enthroned on the water and in the temple, colorful and venerable. The tolerant Hindus welcome visitors warmly. The more their religion and culture should be respected, take off your shoes when entering the temple, and not carelessly penetrating and photograph ceremonies. The temple is especially recommended for religion and culture lovers, although a visit, in my opinion is generally profitable. The attention to detail, the numerous faithful, lovingly decorated offerings of fruits and flowers and the hospitality are worth the experience and I would definitely not want to miss out on this. Another aspect of the dream island of Mauritius, next to the world-famous beaches. Simply unforgettable!