Hindu festivals are a wonderful way to liven up your visit to Mauritius. The biggest festival of all is the 500,000+ strong Hindu pilgrimage to the sacred lake of Grand Bassin in Mauritius.
The origins of Grand Bassin constitute the subject of another legend. It is said that in the times when Gods and Goddesses travelled by the Pushpak Vimaan (flying vessels made of flowers), Lord Shiva showed his consort Parvati the splendid lands created by Lord Brahma. After these travels over the marvels of the earth, the vessel towered above a small island in the Indian Ocean. Parvati Captivated by the beauty of the isle and the emerald green sea surrounding it, requested that they alight there a while. From the east of the island, they reached the south cost. While the vessel landed, some drops of the River Ganga (which Shiva had kept in the locks of his hair, ever since he had saved mankind from danger of flooding from her gushing waves) fell into a crater which immediately filled up and turned into a lake. Ganga’s drops of water begged not to be left thus alone on this desert island.
Shiva promised that one day, men from the banks of Ganga River would settle here and would come each year on pilgrimage to the lake and would take its waters to offer to Lord Shiva.
Thousands of years later, Lord Shiva’s prophesy came true. Each year, some half of the population of Mauritius go the the lake of Grand Bassin, now known as Ganga Talao, during the Maha Shivratri Festival.