Mauritius is well-known for being the perfect beach holiday destination, and Grand Baie, one of its most popular tourist hangouts, practically has the title of being a tropical island retreat with white sand beaches stretching for miles and glittering azure water as far as your eyes can see. However, with all its idyllic laid-back tropical vibe and its tranquil aura, Grand Baie is a lot more than just that. It has all the vibrancy and bustle you would expect from a picturesque town thriving by the sea, and like almost any other place in Mauritius, Grand Baie also has plenty of history attached to it. With a massive influx of Indians following the abolition of slavery in Mauritius, Indian tradition and culture have become deeply ingrained in the lifestyle of the island, and this is evident in the numerous temples that can be seen scattered throughout the country. One of the most visited temples on the western side of the island is the Surya Oudaya Sangam Temple in Grand Baie.
Combination of Spirituality and Breathtaking Architecture
One of the oldest Tamil temples in Mauritius, the Surya Oudaya Sangam Temple is a riot of colours that can be visible even from a considerable distance. Built right alongside a coastal road, the temple adds a dash of colour to the otherwise mundane surroundings. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple has a typical South Indian style of architecture, and the entire façade of this majestic temple is decorated with sculptures and carvings of representations of various Hindu deities, including Shiva, Ganesh and Durga. The exterior of the temple is so aesthetically pleasing that the much more muted interior might leave you a little dismayed, but the reverent atmosphere coupled with the constant chants of the Tamil mantras from the priests adds to the hushed ambience. The main hall inside the temple is an open hall with massive pillars, and there are quite a few colourful paintings on the ceiling as well, which are very interesting to look at.
As with any other temple, you have to open your shoes and keep them outside before you enter the shrine. There are quite a few local shops around the temple that sell incense and other materials of worship, as well as sweets, which you can feed to the numerous monkeys always gathered around the premises of the temple. As far as temples in Mauritius are concerned, the Surya Oudaya Sangam Temple is not exactly the most awe-inspiring temple, but it is one of the most beautiful and exciting tourist attractions to visit in Grand Baie.