Mauritius – Beautiful Kaylasson Temple in Port Louis

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This beautiful Hindu Temple is located in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. The name of it is Sri Sockalingum Meenatchee Ammen Temple, also called Kaylasson Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva – the Destroyer and to the Tamils of Mauritius, the temple is an important place of worship. It's also the most popular place of the Cavadee festival for the Indo-Mauritian population. This temple is one of the oldest Tamil tradistional temples in Port Louis and certainly one of the most impressive I have seen so far. But you don't need to be a devotee in order to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the temple.



When I go to Port Louis, I usually only walk around in the city center. But this temple is located on the outskirts and I had decided to visit it this time. It took me 30 min to walk from the city center, but it's relatively easy to find. I walked off Royal Street all the way. The entrance is located next to the road, so you will not walk passed the entrance by mistake. It was very quiet. When I arrived, there were only two pairs of shoes at the entrance to the first building, so there were plenty of room to experience it as a peaceful place. A man, or an employee I guess, was standing at the entrance. He made sure that visitors took there shoes off. We had a litte talk before I entered. He told me a little about the temple when I asked if I could take pictures. There are also a couple of signs with information about when it was built etc.




This first building took my breath away. It's not possible to take photos that will do complete justice to all these intricate, carved statues and an interiour with such bold colors. Hinduism has several gods and I am sure all of them are represented here. I recognise some of them, but must admid I don't have too much knowledge of all the gods.




The Kaylasson Temple was constructed in 1854 by Tamil traders on the island. The architecture is the Dravidian style and constructed in accordance to the principles when it comes to buildings that are places of worship. The traditional decorations you will see in the temple, are all handicrafted by Indian artists.







After taken time to inspect the frist building, I continued into a courtyart to the next building. Before entering the building, I took a look at the building outside. There are so many colorful figures of Hindu deities that it took me some time before I went inside. These deities are arranged to portray mythologial scenes. I actually wished I knew more about the different gods and some of the most important scenes, so that I would have recognized them.





Before I entered the building I took a look at the ceiling, which is decorated all over. There is plenty to look at before entering. When inside there are several shrines dedicated to the Hindu deities that are venerated in Tamil Nadu.






There are some historians who believe that Hindus had already settled in Mauritius at the beginning of the French colonization which started in 1715. Many immigrants arrived Mauritius during this period. Among them were the Tamil Hindus from India. When they came, they brought with them their culture and religion. But the Hindus didn't have any temple on the island before 1850. That was the year when the first temple was built.





I walked the same way out of the main temple and put on my shoes. The area has several buildings and a shaded garden. Definitely a temple that can be recommended. I used approx.1 hour at the temple and felt I had enough time to benefit from the visit. It's absolutely beautiful.

Sources: Information at the temple
https://www.ilemaurice.mu/en/mauritius/pre-independence/colonisation.html


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All the photoes are mine, Ulla Jensen (flickr, Instagram and facebook)

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