Ganga Talao Experience #SeeMauritius
On our 3rd day in Mauritius we booked an all day tour with Solis Tours.As we were such a large group we needed a 22 seater bus.
Our day started at 9am where our lovely driver and tour guide Ali picked us up.In today’s post I will share our beautiful and spiritual experience at Ganga Talao.
Mum visited here in 2010 when she made a pilgrimage for the Hindu festival of Maha Shivarathri.On hearing Mum’s experience I knew I really wanted to visit.
So what is 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 1800 feet above sea level.”
“According to Hindu legend, the God Shiva and his wife Parvati were circling the earth, with the sacred river Ganges balanced on Shiva’s head. Shiva noticed a beautiful, deserted island and decided to land, but in the course of touching down there, he spilled a few drops of the Ganges onto the island, creating a small lake. The Ganges, to no surprise, wasn’t thrilled with having some of her precious water left behind on the island, but Shiva replied by saying that some day the people who resided along her riverbanks in India would settle on this deserted island and come to worship her there.
And so was born the sacred lake, Ganga Talao, now home to the biggest annual pilgrimage of Hindus outside of India. Each winter, hundreds of thousands of Hindus descend upon the lake, some coming from as far away as South Africa, to give offerings to Shiva and this distant “tributary” of the Ganges. It’s one of the most important events on the Mauritius calendar.”
The most incredible thing was how the weather had changed from bright and sunny to dull and gloomy.All the pics I took , have a misty look to them.All around the lake and beautifully crafted statutes of Indian Gods and Goddesses as well as little prayer tables in the Lake where one can offer a prayer to the God’s.Mum had brought along fruit as an offering as well as a sari.In Hindu culture before a wedding an offering and prayer is done at a temple and with it been two days before the wedding when we made this trip it was perfect.As a family we did a prayer in the lake literally on the little tables provided while the fish swimmed around our feet.Fish pedi anyone ? We wheeled Gran into the Lake to complete this prayer.
After the prayer we headed inside to the temple and awaited out turn for the priest to do a family prayer for us.Mum explained that we were here as a family and about the wedding taking place.The priest performed a very spiritually moving prayer that left a lump in my throat and wet eyes with many of us present.
Once we finished our prayers mum told me to go to a little temple on the top of Ganga Talao which was a temple dedicated to the Goddess .I ran up quickly to offer a prayer and make some wishes.I was the only person inside the temple.The priest said a few prayers tied on my hand a string which is very much like the red strings all hindus wear.And then the biggest surprise ever, in Hindu temples all the statues of Gods and Goddesses are dressed with beautiful saries and jewellery.The priest took out of the Goddess’s hand the most beautiful and very expensive bangle.Now most bangles don’t fit me as my hand is rather big BUT this one did.
On returning to the bus I proudly showed everyone my beautiful treasure and everyone had said how blessed and lucky I was.It is believed in the Hindu religion getting a gift like that is a blessing from God and that your wishes will be granted.So let’s see.
This experience at Ganga Talao has left me feeling very spiritual.I missed my Dad and my cousin a lot during the prayer but I know they both were there in spirit with us.
Look out for more blog posts on my time in Mauritius.