Ganga Talao © Mauritius
Located in a secluded mountain area in the district of Savanne, and bordering a national park, Ganga Talao (or Grand Bassin) is a crater lake considered to be the most sacred Hindu site in Mauritius. According to legend, Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati were travelling over Mauritius carrying the Ganges River, and a few drops spilled and formed Ganga Talao. On the shores of the lake is a temple dedicated to Shiva, and a number of other shrines, and every year many Hindus from around Mauritius make a pilgrimage to the site, often walking barefoot from wherever they live. One of the main sights at Ganga Talao is the 108-foot (33m) statue of Lord Shiva in the middle of the lake which is the tallest statue on the island, and an exact replica of the Shiva statue of Sursagar lake in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. The lake, deep in the heart of Mauritius, is a popular attraction and has become quite commercial, with plenty of stalls selling souvenirs and snacks. It is nestled in a picturesque mountainous area and is well worth a stop if you are in the region. There are some monkeys living around the lake and temple which can be very entertaining but are liable to steal anything you leave lying around.