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» 01 Jan 2011

On our little island, you’ll find plenty of places to explore. The island is divided into nine districts and one of them is called Pamplemousses. If you travel north from Port Louis to Pamplemousses, you’ll find one of the marvels of the botanical world: the SSR botanical gardens. This garden is well known throughout the world and would be a memorable part of your visit to Mauritius. You’ll also find much more in the Pamplemousses area as well (although the garden alone is worth the trip for almost anyone!)

Pamplemousses, suspected to be named after a grapefruit or a form of citrus plant that grows in the area, consists of several villages, including: Fond du Sac, Beau Plan, and the longest village on the island - Triolet. The area is very picturesque and diverse. It’s also heavily populated, compared to much of the rest of Mauritius. Let’s look at a few of the most popular reasons for exploring this area:

The SSR Botanical Gardens
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens was renamed in 1988 as a tribute to our former Prime Minister who led Mauritius to independence. It’s often known, simply, as The Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens as well. Widely accepted as being built by a famous resident, Pierre Poivre in 1770, the gorgeous and historic property has expanded from its original small size to an impressive 25 hectares. It has been expanded, severed, expanded again, and it has changed hands many times in the last two to three hundred years. The botanical gardens have a rich and expansive history of serving the island for the purposes of vegetation, natural beauty, medicinal, and also for research purposes.

In 1866, for instance, when Malaria was a major problem on the island, Eucalyptus trees were planted over much of the botanical gardens in an attempt to dry out marshes and control the detrimental mosquito population.  When plants that were not indigenous to the area, including sugar cane varieties, were brought to the island, they were often nurtured at the nursery first.

The garden exemplifies the beauty of Mauritius and its reputation of being a slice of paradise. The gardens are filled with stunning lotus and flowering lily ponds, fragrant spices, a plethora of (more than 85 varieties, in fact) palms, and a multitude of different types of trees and other plants.  It has to be seen and inhaled to be fully appreciated but do bring your camera anyway as you can get some great shots of the garden, its gorgeous wrought iron gates, several plaques and monuments, the Chateau de Mon Plaisir, the Old Sugar Mill, the Tortoise Pen, where you’ll find very old tortoises who were brought here as a protected species, the Paul et Virginie monument, and more. All the avenues within the garden contain names belonging to the history of the island and many famous and important visitors who have visited the garden (including Indira Gandhi, Princess Margaret, Francois Mitterrand, and others) have had trees planted in their name.  Guided tours are inexpensive and are highly recommended but make sure you find an official guide!

While anyone describing the beauty of the gardens could go on for pages about it, there are some other noteworthy aspects of the Pamplemousses area, such as:

Fond du Sac

Fond du Sac has a Sunday market you might like to visit while here. If you’re planning to come, arrive as early as you can so you can get a good deal!

A short drive from Fond du Sac is the country’s longest beach, Mont Choisy Beach with gorgeous turquoise waters and an expansive white sandy beach for sun bathing, water sports, horse back riding, amongst others.

Beau Plan
Beau Plan has an interesting sugar museum you might want to check out. Take a tour that lasts about 90 minutes and there’s also a boutique and restaurant on site and it’s open 7-days a week from 9:am to 5:pm, except for public holidays.

Triolet, the main village of Pamplemousses, just 7 miles from Port Louis, is credited with having the island’s largest Hindu  temple: Maheshwarnath, Ganga Talao Lake, the country’s most sacred body of water, and is also recognized both for the landmark large foot chimney tower that is a part of the old Solitude Sugar Mill, and for The Solitude Lake, a local freshwater lake.

We hope you make the most of your trip to Pamplemousses!

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