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Ganga Talao, Mauritius

Indo-Mauritian cultural highlights, Mauritius

Enjoy a full-day, private tour to discover more of Mauritius’ Indian heritage.

After the abolition of slavery, half a million indentured Indian workers came to Mauritius in the late 18th and early 19th century, to work in the sugar cane fields or head on to other colonial outposts. This migration played a large role in the island’s history and heritage, and the Indo-Mauritian population today is by far the largest ethnic group in Mauritius, at over two-thirds of the population.

First you'll stop in the central town of Phoenix. Here, you’ll visit Seetanah, a quiet Indian woman whose samosas are renowned across the island. She will demonstrate her techniques, before giving you the chance to have a go. Before you leave, you can sit down to sample some, along with her homemade chutney.

The next stop is Aapravasi Ghat. The arrival point for one of the largest migrations in history, some of the original stone buildings remain at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s also a large museum which recounts the history with a selection of photographs, models and exhibits.

From here, your driver-guide will take you on a short walking tour in Port Louis, bringing you to the Indian merchants who sell spices and vegetables in the market. There’s also the opportunity to visit the handicrafts market upstairs if you wish.

Driving out of Port Louis you'll stop briefly at Kaylasson Hindu Temple, before arriving at a local Hindu family’s house. Stopping to have lunch, you'll experience the traditional seven-vegetable curries served on banana leaves with rice that are normally served during Indo-Mauritian weddings. Please note, this part of the tour is not private.

After lunch you'll visit Ganga Talao, also known as Grand Bassin, where the largest Hindu temple of the island is built around a sacred lake. During the Maha Shivaratri Festival, thousands of worshipers walk from all across the island to this crater lake, set among the mountains and on most days, visitors to the temple mix with devotees praying or making offerings at the lakeside. Your guide will explain some of the background to the temple and lake before returning you to your hotel.

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