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General Information India
Visit India Fares
Mark Twain once said that-
" God created Mauritius first, then from it He made the Paradise"
Mauritius is surely an island of its own beauty and characteristics.
Considered as the star and key of the Indian Ocean because of its beauty and strategical location,
Mauritius is really unique in its kind...
Mauritius is a tropical island situated in the Indian Ocean about 3000 Km (1900 miles)
from the east coast of Africa. It has 160 Km of coastline almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs,
a great central plateau and picturesque mountains.
Mauritius is located in the tropics, and is surrounded by the sea. It is very famous for its
"Sun,Sand and Sea"; referring to splendid beaches, luxurious five star hotels and cool climate.
The landscape consists mainly of mountains and sugar cane and tea plantations.
Mauritius also has a rich history where the British and French battled between themselves to win over the island.
Mauritius is a multiracial country.The national language is Creole, a derivation of French.
However,the official languages are English and French.The money used is the Mauritian Rupee.
The 4 main industries in Mauritius are agriculture, tourism, textile and offshore.There are only two seasons,
winter and summer. The average temperature ocilates from 20 to 30 degrees celcius.
Places of Interest
Backed by mountains at the north-western end of the island, the burgeoning capital of Port Louis is a large city
( in proportion to the size of Mauritius), though it contains a relatively small percentage of the
country's total population. During the day, it bustles with big-city commercial activity - snarling traffic,
honking horns and all. By night, in contrast, all is quiet - dare we say 'dead'? - except for the swish
new Le Caudan Waterfront, where you'll find a casino, cinemas, shops, bars
and restaurants. There's a distinct Muslim area around Muammar El Khadafi Square
( appropriately enough at the opposite end of the city from the local hat-tip to the Yanks, John F Kennedy St )
and a Chinatown around Royal St. The city centre is easily covered on foot.
A good place to get a feel for city life is the Port Louis Market, near the water in the heart of downtown.
With sections devoted to fruits and vegetables, meats and fish, souvenirs, crafts, clothing and spices, be ready
to practise some hard bargaining. While in the neighbourhood, most visitors drop by the Natural History Museum
to see a stuffed replica of that 'abnormal member of a group of pigeons', the dodo, which has been extinct since
the late 17th century. The museum also houses stuffed representations of several other extinct birds as
well as specimens of animals and fish that are still with us. The only other regular exhibitor in the city
is the Mauritius Postal Museum, featuring a collection of Mauritian stamps and assorted philately.
If you're interested in Islamic architecture, stop by Port Louis' oddly located Jummah Mosque,
built in the 1850s in the middle of Chinatown, and Fort Adelaide, which so resembles a Moorish fortress that
locals call i "the Citadel". Fort Adelaide is the only one of Port Louis' four British forts that's still accessible
and not in ruins; the views from its hilltop, harbourside location are breathtaking.
The Lourdes of the Indian Ocean, Père Laval's Shrine is just north-east of the town centre
at Ste-Croix. Père Laval - who is said to have converted more than 67,000 people during his 23 years on
Mauritius - is remembered with a colourful plaster statue atop his tomb. Pilgrims swear by the statue's
healing powers and come in droves to touch it.
Closer to Port Louis, Domaine Les Pailles is an elaborate cultural centre that includes facilities
for horse-drawn carriage and train rides, plus a working replica of an ox-powered sugar mill,
a rum distillery, an herb garden, a natural spring and a children's play area. An onsite riding centre, Les Écuries du Domaine, has horses for dressage and jumping and Welsh ponies for the wee ones.
Continuing in the spirit of providence, the centre also has a handful of
ethnic restaurants and its own jazz club and casino.
Domaine Les Pailles is a 10 minute taxi ride
from either Port Louis or Moka, or you can take a bus between the two and walk half an hour
from the m
ain road. Moka Town is almost midway between Port Louis and Curepipe,
just east of the M2. Buses ply between the cities daily, or you can take a taxi.
Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
or Jardin Botanique de Pamplemousses , as locally called -- The jewel of the crown!
The gardens are known to naturalists throughout the world for their countless species of indigenous
and exotic plants, including the giant Victorial Regia water lilies, and the talipot palm, said to flower
once every sixty years and then die. The garden was created by Pierre Poivre in 1767 in the
Estate of the French Governor Mahe de Labourdonnais.
The latter's Chateau de Mon Plaisir, built in 1735, can still be seen there.
Coloured Earths of Chamarel
or Terres de Couleurs de Chamarel , as locally called -- Among the oddest sites of the island
are the seven-coloured dunes at Chamarel, believed to result from the weathering of volcanic rocks.
These undulating and vividly contrasted layers of earth are a short drive
away from the beautiful Chamarel waterfalls.
The Bird Garden of Casela
or Jardin d'Oiseaux de Casela, as locally called -- Set in a magnificient site between Bambous
and Tamarin in the Riviere Noire district, the Casela Bird Park hosts some 140 varieties of birds from around the world.
The main attraction remains the Mauritian Pink Pigeon, one of the rarest birds in the world,
still fighting to avoid the fate of the dodo. One of the giant tortoises is 150 years old.
The park is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm and the entrance fee is MRs 155/180 on weekdays/weekends.
Île aux Cerfs
There are no stags (cerfs) remaining on this small island which now belongs to Le Touessrok
Sun Hotel and attracts large numbers of holiday-makers on the east coast. The ferry runs several times
each hour between 9 am and 4 pm and costs MRs 110 per person return, although this is expected to increase.
Le Touessrok Sun Hotel residents travel for free. What you get when you step off the ferry is a sheltered,
crowded beach and lagoon for water sports or sunbathing, restaurants and several souvenir stalls.
You can walk only around the seaward half of the island, that is, clockwise from the landing site.
On the island, there is a boat house where you can hire water skis, pedalos, sailboards, surfcats, Laser dinghies
and canoes. Two-hour boat trips are offered to the Grande Rivière Sud-Est waterfall;
and there's also a tour around Île aux Cerfs.