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Old November 21st, 2011, 07:48 PM   #1
KavirajG
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Smile Ganga Talao - Hindu Pilgrimage Site (Mauritius)

Ganga Talao (Grand Bassin) - Hindu Pilgrimage Site | Mauritius-India Connection

Ganga Talao or Grand Bassin is a crater lake situated in a secluded mountain area in the district of Savanne, deep in the heart of Mauritius. It is about 1800 feet above sea level.
It is considered the most sacred Hindu location in Mauritius as well as a major tourist place of interest.
There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and other Gods including Hanuman, Lakshmi, and others along the Grand Bassin. During Shivaratri, many pilgrims in Mauritius walk bare feet from their homes to the lake.

History

In 1897, Shri Jhummon Giri Gosagne Nepal, a ‘pujari’ (priest) of Triolet (Northern part of Mauritius) together with a 'pujari' priest from Goodlands Sri Mohanparsad saw in a dream the water of the lake of Grand Bassin springing from the ‘Jahnvi’, thus forming part of Ganga. The news of the dream spread rapidly and created quite a stir in the Hindu community. The following year, pilgrims trekked to Grand Bassin to collect its water to offer to Lord Shiva on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. The lake was then known as the ‘Pari Talao’,

During the Maha Shivaratri most of the devotees from all parts of the island leave their homes and start a journey to Grand Bassin on foot despite the fact that cars and buses are also preferred means of transport. It has been a tradition that volunteer people offer foods and drinks to the pilgrims (the devotees). Devotees often built Kanwars which are then carried to the sacred lake. Maha Shivratree in Mauritius is, for many Hindu families, a favorable time of the year to meet up, march and offer prayers together at Ganga Talao. On the very day of the festival, everyone goes to his/her local temple and offers the sacred water collected at the lake.

The site is predominantly managed by the Mauritius Sanathan Dharma Temples Federation (MSDTF) and Hindu Maha Sabha but many other Hindu associations are also involved when the festival is closing in.

The name "Ganga" is associated with the Ganges River in India and "Talao" means pool. The Hindu regards this lake as sacred. A vestige of the original forest is still found along the lakeside.

In the courtyard of a temple, at the entrance of the site, a metal statue honours this first pilgrim, the pandit Shri Jhummon Giri Gosagne. The story of this discovery is engraved at his feet and constitutes a valued heritage especially for the Hindu community in Mauritius.

The Site

Ganga Talao is also a major tourist destination. Visitors come there to meditate and to go sightseeing as well. They include the local people, pilgrims from India and visitors from many other countries. After the prayers, they take snaps and record the outstanding colourful statues of Dévi, Hanuman and Shiva at the lakeside or yet other spots and nooks of the site.
The Ganga Talao also fascinates the visitors by its abundant fauna: as much by the various fish that it boasts as by the presence of the monkeys which come from time to time plunder the offerings and give a show under the amused eyes of the visitors.
Here, nature and men seem to be able to coexist peacefully.

Hanuman Hill

Located from within the lake, a nearby hill honours the monkey god, Hanuman. The latter is often represented to lift a mountain with a hand. At the top of the hill, a small temple houses Lord Hanuman. High above, one can get a panoramic view of the site and the surrounding areas. The hill is about 200m high and monkeys can be found roaming around.

Mangal Mahadev - Shiva Statue

This 108-foot-tall Hindu god, standing with his trident in the middle of the lake, is a faithful copy of the Shiva statue of Sursagar lake in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. It was inaugurated in 2007 and the "Sthapan" was done during the Maha Shivratri period of 2008.
A statue of Durga Maa Bhavani of 108 feet is being planned next to Mangal Mahadev statue.







One of the first videos recorded on the pilgrimage - February 1992


Last edited by KavirajG; January 21st, 2012 at 08:52 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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http://s1090.photobucket.com/albums/...Ganga%20Talao/













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Old November 21st, 2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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http://s1090.photobucket.com/albums/...lao/Snapshits/







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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:04 PM   #4
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http://s1090.photobucket.com/albums/...oms/?start=all

Deities along the rim

















Mangal Mahadev


Hanuman Hill




Deity on Hanuman Hill

Last edited by KavirajG; November 21st, 2011 at 09:06 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:08 PM   #5
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Main temple






Down to the lake


Small Kanwars


Prayer function at one of the temples




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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:12 PM   #6
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Monkeys roaming around on Hanuman Hill












Last edited by KavirajG; November 21st, 2011 at 08:21 PM.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:34 PM   #7
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CC:carrotmadman6

Maha Shivratree 2011

Pilgrims on the roads













Nearing to Ganga Talao - Mangal Mahadev visible




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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:39 PM   #8
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Ctd:

The sacred lake & pilgrims









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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:41 PM   #9
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Ctd:

Pilgrims at the lake









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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:44 PM   #10
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Ctd:

Hanuman Hill & View from the top







Devotees offering prayers at the main temple



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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:46 PM   #11
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Ctd:

Mangal Mahadev







Devotees' Gathering


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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:48 PM   #12
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Devotees and Kanwars









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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:49 PM   #13
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 01:54 PM   #14
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Just amazing!! also never knew Mauritius had this # of Hindus in their demography!!!
From the photo the # is sizable.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pradeeptnair1 View Post
Just amazing!! also never knew Mauritius had this # of Hindus in their demography!!!
From the photo the # is sizable.
There are about 700,000 Hindus in Mauritius, approx. 55% of the population. They were part of the wave of Indentured Laborers who were brought to the island during colonial rule in Mauritius from 1840 to the early 1900s. Most of them came from Bihar and UP.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #16
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Ganga Talao, A Haven for Monkeys




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Old December 5th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #17
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Mangal Mahadev













GEOlocation.WS
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Old December 5th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #18
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Pratibha Patil, President of India, offering puja at Ganga Talao

27 April 2011
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Old January 14th, 2012, 05:38 PM   #19
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Video Footage of Maha Shivratree - 2011

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Old January 15th, 2012, 11:07 PM   #20
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Very nice KavirajG. I had also visited this shrine in January last year.
I have had a good experience of the place.

thank you very much for bringing this beautiful place to the forumers
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