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02Explore a Sacred Lake and Its Temples

In the south of Mauritius, tucked in between the mountains near Black River Gorge National Park, you'll find one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites outside of India. The Grand Bassin crater lake was only discovered in the 19th century after a priest dreamed of it. Known to locals as Ganga Talao, this holy lake is surrounded by lush greenery, statues of several deities, and a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and other gods. Overlooking the calm waters is the 108-foot tall statue of Mangal Mahadev, one of the tallest Shiva statues in the world. Plan to arrive during the Maha Shivaratri, an annual Hindu festival celebrated in South Asia. Mauritian devotees are known to celebrate the festivities and share their culture with travelers.

Huge Shiva statue in grand Bassin temple, Mauritius. Ganga talao. Tomasz Banaczek / Getty Images