Explore the fascinating site of one of the largest annual Hindu pilgrimages outside India at this sacred lake nestled in the mountainous highlands of Mauritius.
Ganga Talao is a fascinating daytrip destination. Visit this legendary crater lake to admire the colorful Hindu temple, shrines and statues that rest on the water’s edge.
As you approach this sacred site, marvel at the 108-foot-tall (33-meter) statue of Lord Shiva, one of Hinduism’s supreme deities. This statue is the largest in Mauritius, guarding the entrance to Ganga Talao with a trident in its grip. Follow pathways to the deep crater lake. Spot colorful fish and giant eels in the water.
Pack a picnic to enjoy with vistas over the dense surrounding hills. Walk along the water’s edge and admire flower-adorned shrines. Look for statues of other Hindu gods, including Ganesha and Parvati, which rest by the lake. Pluck Chinese guavas from the trees and savor the sweetness of this abundant fruit.
Stroll across the grounds to the Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and other gods. Admire its decorative rose-pink exterior. On entry, all shoes must be removed. Although photos are permitted, visitors must behave respectfully. This silent, tranquil space is perfect for quiet reflection and meditation.
If you are vacationing on the island during February or March, take part in the Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri for an incredible cultural experience. According to legend, Ganga Talao’s water is of the same sacred quality as India’s holy river, the Ganges. In the 10 days leading up to Maha Shivaratri, hundreds of thousands of Hindus trek from their homes to this pristine, ancient Mauritian lake. Some travel from as far away as South Africa.
Mauritius is an African island strongly populated by Hindus. Maha Shivaratri is an important festival in Mauritian society. Observe pilgrims offering sacrifices in the form of fresh flowers and incense sticks in front of the statues surrounding Ganga Talao. Afterward, they collect holy water from the lake to take back to their villages.
Ganga Talao is a beautiful and culturally significant Mauritian destination, whether or not you are here during the annual Hindu festival. Reach the lake by taxi in 20 minutes from the town of Curepipe.