Ganga Talao lake in Mauritius
|Surface elevation||550 m (1,800 ft)|
Ganga Talao (Hindi: गङ तलओ; also known as 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. The first group of pilgrims who went to Ganga Talao were from the village of Triolet and it was led by Pandit Giri Gossayne from Terre Rouge in 1898.
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.
Origins of the Maha Shivratri - In 1897 Shri Jhummon Giri Gosagne Napal, a ‘pujari’ (priest) of Triolet 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 leave their homes and start a journey to Grand Bassin on foot. It has been a tradition that volunteer people offer foods and drinks to the pilgrims (the devotees). No one knows the depth of Ganga Talao lake.
Mangal Mahadev - Shiva Statue
This 33 m (108 ft)-tall Hindu god, standing with his trident at the entrance of Ganga Talao, 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. It is also the highest known statue in Mauritius. There will be a statue of Durga Maa Bhavani of 33 m (108 ft) as well next to Mangal Mahadev statue.