Mauritius: A Jewel in Indian Ocean
Last week my colleague, Zubin, traveled to Mauritius, the little jewel of an island in the Indian Ocean. The turquoise blue and green water, covered all around by coral reefs, the palm-fringed beaches and sun-kissed sands, Mauritius has always been a popular destination for many. It’s a picture perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and recharge. Zubin was kind enough to share some of the pictures he’s taken, along with a brief on what Mauritius is all about.
On east coast of the island lies Belle Mare. The swaying casuarina and coconut trees makes it an ideal place for enjoyment of the warm Mauritian waters and peaceful strolls. Le Coco Beach is bright, colourful, different and full of joie-de-vivre.
The east coast has exquisite coves and emerald lagoons. A boat ride from Belle Mare to Grand River South East is a very lovely ride. One can go diving under the Grand River South East Waterfall, or have a picnic on the banks of the river.
From Belle Mare he headed to Grand Baie, which is a one-hour road journey. Located in northern Mauritius, Grand Baie is a shopping and water sports paradise. In fact it was the first place to experience the tourism boom and there are unlimited options available to tourists in terms of entertainment. The place comes to life at night with several discotheques doting the streets of Grand Baie. It also has beautiful sunsets. The golden sun rays piercing through the clouds is an absolute treat for the eyes.
Next stop was Black River, which is on the western side of the island. Its a 2-hour drive from Grand Baie and one can indulge into water sports activities like snorkel ling, scuba-diving, para-sailing etc. A very intriguing activity here is feeding dolphins. Catamaran Cruises organize such excursions in Black River. Their package costs MRU 1500 to 2000 (US $50 approx), which includes lunch, unlimited drinks, water sports.
Snorkeling was a fun experience as you can spot different kinds of fishes and you can also see dolphins moving around. They don’t come close to you as they are shy creatures, but if you are lucky you might get to see them dance and dive. But in order to catch a glimpse of dolphins one has to come early morning.
The following day he traveled to Grand Bassin in South Mauritius, which is again at a one-hour distance. Situated in a secluded mountain area in the heart of Mauritius, it lies about 1,800 feet above sea level and is surrounded by natural scenery of breath-taking beauty. It has a sacred lake called – Ganga Talao – which rests within a crater of an extinct volcano and is now an important pilgrim centre for the Hindus outside India. History of Ganga Talao
A statue of Lord Shiva sits in the middle of the lake on a misty morning. Next to the Shiva statue is Goddess Ganga, her statue is believed to be the tallest one in the world. During Mahashivaratri, an annual Hindu festival, thousands of them converge to perform rituals and the entire lake is lit up with oil lamps.
For Mauritius one needs minimum of 6 nights and 7 days and for internal transport you can rent a car or an easy option bicycles, which are easily available. So you can live your holiday in a place both beautiful and friendly.