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South West Tours Option 1

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Duration

10 hours

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Tour Type

Specific Tour

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Group Size

Unlimited

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Languages

English, Francais

Overview

Place to visit
Floreal for shopping
Adamas diamond shop & model ship factory
Mare aux vacoas the biggest lake in Mauritius
Grand basin (indian temple)
Alexandra falls
7 coloured earth
More Information
ADAMAS
Founded in 1987,Adamas Ltd is the largest jewellery retailer in Mauritius exposing more than 20,000 pieces daily.  Certified by international laboratories : GIA,HRD,IGI & EGL,Adamas has a large selection of loose diamonds from 0.10 carats to 3 carats & from “D flawless” to “J I1”, in round, oval, pear, and other diamond shapes. For jewellery gold, silver, & platinum mostly set with precious stones and/or diamonds and/or pearls are presented; purely precious metal designs are also available in gold or silver.  Adamas Ltd provides a customized jewellery service with between 24hrs to 72hrs delivery depending on the model.
Also available: different shapes and sizes of loose Tanzanite, precious & semi-precious stones and fancy coloured diamonds (yellow,cognac,black, etc.).Diamonds of more than 3 carats are available upon request, as well as any large size precious stones.
Attached to the Floreal shop; a museum documenting the history of diamond cutting in Mauritius and presentation of the nature of the industry of diamonds with both traditional and new methods.  Visitors to the premises can actually meet with some of the diamond cutters from the factory who can explain the manufacturing process from start to finish through a guided tour.  With a bilingual and qualified staff, Adamas assures you quality service & a quality product, with certificates from world laboratories, fine brands represented, and internationally respected reputation.
Adamas Ltd represents a large selection of luxury Swiss watch brands such as Ulysse Nardin,Girard Perregaux,Panerai,Franck Muller, Montblanc, Oris, Raymond Weil, Movado,Maurice Lacroix, & Victorinox; Designer watches from global fashion brands are also available, as well as accessories such as watch straps,watch winders, jewelry boxes, from brands like Wolf & Hirsch. Adamas is also the sole representative of Montblanc in Mauritius, carrying the full range of pens, leather goods, cufflinks, watches, jewellery and other accessories in all of our shops. Adamas also represents the prestigious French jewellery brand FRED.
Ganga Talao Overview
Ganga Talao (commonly known as Grand Bassin in Mauritius) is a crater lake, about 550 metres above sea level, located in the mountainous Southwest district of Savanne. On the shoreline sits a temple along with a collection of small shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and other gods.
Ganga Talao is a major draw of crowds in Mauritius, with many people visiting the site to pray, meditate, play with the local monkeys, or simply to walk by the lake and enjoy the gorgeous surrounding views.
The lake of Ganga Talao is thought to be around 18 meters deep and is teeming with a healthy population of fish and eels – no doubt due to the leftover offerings they receive from Hindu pilgrims. However, it is strictly forbidden to fish here due to the sacred nature of the Ganga Talao lake.
History of Ganga Talao
In local folklore, the Ganga Talao lake’s history as a pilgrimage site goes back to 1887, when a Triolet ‘pujari’, or priest, had a dream in which he saw the lake’s water springing from the river Jahnavi, another name for the goddess Ganga.
News of this vision spread rapidly throughout the Hindu community in Mauritius, and when the priest subsequently visited the site with other people he found it looked exactly as it had in his dream.
Every year since then, pilgrims have trekked to the lake at the time of Maha Shivaratri, helped along the way by local people offering food and moral support en route. In 2007 a huge statue of the Hindu god Shiva was unveiled and remains the tallest statue in Mauritius at about 33 metres high.
Cultural Importance of Ganga Talao
The Ganga Talao crater lake is at the heart of one of the island’s most important Hindu festivals, Maha Shivaratri. Every year thousands of Hindus make the rugged journey to Grand Bassin for a touch of divinity.
Maha Shivratri celebrates the god Shiva, one of Hinduism’s three major deities. Pilgrims carry hand-made “kanwars” – shrines dedicated to Shiva, to Ganga Talao, and once they find a suitable place at the water’s edge, they perform their own private prayer ceremonies with offerings of fruit, incense sticks and lamps.
To fully grasp this festival’s significance, it is important to know the harsh history of the indentured Indian labourers in Mauritius.
The island’s Hindus are the descendants of half a million indentured laborers, subjects of the British Empire brought to Mauritius in the nineteenth century with the fake promise of a better life. However, the life that awaited them was far from that. Disease was rife aboard the vessels crossing the Indian Ocean, with cholera, smallpox, malaria and yellow fever. It claimed lives at sea and at numerous quarantines at the doorstep of Mauritius. Those who made it to the mainland worked as labourers in the sugarcane fields through tough conditions. It was not slavery, but it was far from what we call a normal healthy working environment In those dire times, one of their driving forces was their beliefs and their religion.
Mangal Mahadev at Ganga Talao
During your visit of this sacred site, you will inevitably be awestruck by the gigantic statue of Lord Shiva, the Destroyer. However, fear not about your doom, at Grand Bassin you will find the Hindu God of destruction smiling and as peaceful as ever.
The statue is f 108 feet (33 meters) high and is the highest known statue in Mauritius. It was completed in 2007 and the “Sthapan” (the ritual) was done during the 2008 Maha Shivratri festival. The sight of the Mangal Mahadev statue is quite impressive as it is a beautifully crafted majestic statue.
Important Info about Ganga Talao
Ample parking space and toilet facilities are provided at Grand Bassin/ Ganga Talao, and entry to the site is free, though donations for the upkeep and maintenance of the temples are always welcome.
Note: Kindly remember to remove your shoes before entering any of the temples.
If you have time to spare, you can combine your visit to Ganga Talao with other nearby attractions such as the Bois Chéri Tea Plantation or even try a hiking trip in the beautiful Southwest region of Mauritius.
The Alexandra Falls viewpoint
From the turn off after the sign, you will quickly get to a large parking area. Some merchant stands have been laid out next to the parking, but there were no merchants to be seen on our visit.
Alexandra Falls viewpoint in Mauritius Parking area at Alexandra Falls
The parking was also pretty empty and there were not many people (about ten to fifteen) coming and going while we were there. That’s about the most people we saw at the time of our visit I must say it was winter and the day, even if sunny, was pretty cold and windy, so I’m sure attendance must be higher during summer times. From the parking, the viewpoint is not very far. You first cross a charming little path, with some trees around and picnic tables. The path leading to the viewpoint from the parking. Then you get to a big circular area (not sure what it’s purpose is or was). Big circular area You cross a little river Crossing a little river to get to the viewpoint go up a couple of stairs. The whole process will not take you more than 5 minutes. And you get to the view point. The scenery is of course amazing! There is a wooden structure you can climb on to take in the full view. It is quite safe and sturdy, even for children to climb on. And there is also a wide green grassy area where children can run and play while you admire the view. Alexandra falls is straight ahead. And on the left, there is another waterfall called ‘Cascade 500 pieds” Or so I think… I’m actually not sure which waterfall is which! I might have swapped them around. Around the viewpoint, there are also some little paths. I’m not sure where they lead to but I don’t think they go very far. You might be able to find a ‘goyave de chine’ or two there when it’s in season! On our way back, we didn’t follow the path but diverted to the right after the bridge where you can have a look from the top of the closest waterfall. There seems to be a path on the other side too, may be leading to the other waterfall. I didn’t venture too close to the edge though, as we had children along and didn’t want them to get too close. To summarize: a short and nice visit if you are already in the area, may be picking some ‘goyaves de chine’ in Plaine Champagne or paying a visit to Grand Bassin.
Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth
The seven colored earth is a natural phenomenon and a prominent tourist attraction. The colors evolved through conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals.
It is a relatively small area ofsand dunes comprising sand of seven distinct colours (approximately red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow). Due to the tropical weather conditions, all water-soluble elements such as silicon dioxide have been washed out. The remains are the reddish-black iron- and aluminium oxides which create shades in blue, cyan and purple. The various colors developed due to the different compositions. And what is more fascinating is the fact that if you mix the colored earth together, they’ll eventually settle into separate layers. And you may also be puzzled as the colors might play tricks on you and may appear to be shadows millennia, the rocks were pulverized into sands which have the amazing property of settling into distinct layers: if you take a handful of each of the seven different colours of dirt and mix them together, they’d eventually separate into a colourful spectrum, each dot of sand rejoining its colour caste. Since the earth was first exposed, rains had carved beautiful patterns into the hillside, creating an effect of earthen meringue. At first you’ll notice shadows on the hills, creating the illusion of different colours, but soon you realise that the colours are real and the shadows were the illusion….200
Sunrise is the best time to see the Coloured Earths. Geologists are still intrigued by the rolling dunes of multi-coloured lunar-like landscape. The colours, red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow never erode in spite of torrential downpours and adverse climatic conditions.
The Colored Earth of Chamarel has become one of Mauritius’ main tourist attractions since the 1960s. Nowadays, the dunes are protected by a wooden fence and visitors are not allowed to climb on them, although they can look at the scenery from observation outposts placed along the fence. Curio shops in the area sell small test-tubes filled up with the coloured earths.
On the premises, you will also find a children’s playground and some giant tortoises
South West Tours Option 1
Mauritius
Cost: From €75
Duration: 8 hours
Tour Type: Specific Tour
Group Size: 4 people
Languages: English, Francais
8 Hours

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Floreal for shopping
  • Adamas diamond shop & model ship factory
  • Mare aux vacoas the biggest lake in Mauritius
  • Grand basin (indian temple)
  • Alexandra falls
  • 7 coloured earth

Included/Exclude

  • BOTH WAY TRANSPORT ONLY

Tour's Location

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