Upon my first encounter with Port Louis, I saw a city which had been recently developed and sky scrappers had kissed the sky within last a few decades. The constant pitch of the string attached to the slaved past of Port Louis was still audible around. This city presented a perfect mix of deep-rooted past overtaken by the modern world.
Standing quietly in the corner and watching the city grow, like a freedom fighter, Aaparvasi Ghat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has uncountable stories of indentured laborers covered within itself for almost a century. Physically standing in front of the building, my mind had traveled a century ago to the times of indentured servitude.
Now that the time has changed, this building still serves the purpose of commemorating the pain that the laborers had gone through for decades. If you have some places to see in Mauritius on your mind then include this place also without failing to remember to take a guide for its history.
If you wonder why almost 70% of the Mauritian population is Indians then no one has the perfect answer to it but Aaparvasi Ghat. Almost half a million indentured laborers had landed and passed through the Aaparvasi Ghat, an immigration depot during colonial times. These Indians at the time formed a substantial part of the Mauritian population.
After the abolition of slavery in early 19th century, the British colonial empire was in need of cheap laborers for running their sugarcane plantation. Because they Africans could not more be slaved, British always looked out for a cheaper alternative.
On the other side in 1857, After the mutiny of 1857, Indians were also going through an economic depression. British capitalized on this situation and made Indians sign bonds and transported them to Mauritius. India’s close proximity to Mauritius was another reason why British chose Indians.
You can also see a clearer view of the Le Pouce hill from this place. Le Pouce is the third highest hill in the Mauritius.
Port Louis Waterfront
Just a hundred meters away from the Aaparvasi Ghat, you walk into a modern world full of development and modern amenities, leaving behind a sad past. Either there is nothing much to see at the waterfront or you feel like standing in the center of the town.
Look around, there is a lot to see. Port Louis has walked a distance leaving behind its past. Now, it boasts of having one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the world. Look around, you see large ships, boats, lively restaurants & bar, calm sea waves, chattering people sitting in the shade, tourists taking the pictures and a lot more. Just opposite to the waterfront lies one of the busiest roads, the trunk road, of Mauritius.
Just beside the Port Louis waterfront, Causan waterfront is there. This is the waterfront which houses famous shops, casinos, and restaurants of the Port Louis area. Though this area not much bigger in size, it still has everything that a shopper might need.
You can cover the entire area within 20 minutes. But in that 20 minutes, you can see casinos, Museum, paintings on display, the famous umbrella market, A stroll along the waterfront and a lot more. If you want to have a leisure time, you can just sit in any of the restaurants, have the beer and see the life passing by.
Caudan waterfront shopping complex is the first waterfront shopping complex in the Mauritius. If you want to see the modernization in Mauritius, just cross the trunk road and you can see a lot. Most of the embassies, commercial banks and bigger companies situated in Mauritius have their head office in the same area.
Since the day I had arrived in Mauritius, I had not had enough in terms of buying a souvenir. Everywhere I enquired, the price was always steep.I really could not find a place from where I could buy souvenirs and gifts for my friends. The answer lied in the central market.
Just across the trunk road opposite to the Port Louis waterfront lies the central market. If you have seen a video or a photo of vegetable market and a lot of clothes market, it’s the central market. If you are someone who is from south-east Asia, you will well be familiar with such marker. There would a lot of vendors selling spices and vegetables really cheap. They are calling out every time for a cheaper deal.
You can buy fruits and spices at a dirt cheap price here. Just keep on roaming around and just wait for the wonders to pass you by. If you are someone who loves photography, this place is a paradise for you. Every step that you will take, would present you another opportunity to take another new picture.
As far as clothing are concerned, you can also find a lot of small stalls and shops where you can buy cheap clothing. However, you still need to be careful and you should know bargaining.