Life enthusiasts living local wherever we go.
A morning adventure took The Local Foreigner and our photo-snapping friends to the beautiful, religious sites of Lord Hanuman and the Temple in the Sea. Shamefully, it was our first visit to these historic sites. It’s hard to burst the Port-of-Spain hustle and bustle bubble sometimes. But finally, on a spontaneous whim, we made the drive and can say that this excursion was well worth it!
Our first stop took us into the Dattatreya Yoga Center where the 85 foot high Lord Hanuman Statue stands tall and proud. Reputed to be the largest of such statues outside of India, Lord Hanuman is situated atop a small shrine. According to a gentleman we met at the temple, Lord Hanuman is the fulfiller of all wishes in the Hindu religion. It is said that circling the base of the statue while repeating your wish to yourself, ensures that it will come true. Needless to say, to other tourists we probably just looked like four aimless girls, parading a statue and talking to themselves.
All jokes aside, the majesty of this statue will impact you and there is a deep serenity in its presence that cannot be ignored.
Our second stop took us to the Temple in the Sea. To our surprise, a cremation was taking place on site, which is not an uncommon occurrence. We continued to the flag-lined temple and were greeted by a breath taking view of Trinidad’s south and west coasts. The view gave a feeling of vastness and openness that was especially refreshing coming from cramped Port-of-Spain. Colourful prayer flags were everywhere, clustering around the understated temple.
The Temple in the Sea was built by a determined labourer named Seedas Sadhu.
When Sadhu finished the original temple in 1947, he met opposition by the state run Caroni sugar company. Because the first Temple in the Sea at Waterloo was built on Caroni lands, it was demolished five years after being erected. Sadhu, more determined than ever, began working on a new Temple in the Sea at Waterloo, dedicating the next 25 years of his life to this mission. Building in the sea freed him from of the need for anyone’s permission.
It made us proud to think that one man’s unwavering determination made this religious site possible. Weddings, burials, cremations and puja ceremonies (prayer rituals) often take place at the Temple in the Sea. So if by chance you’re passing through Chaguanas or the Central area anytime soon, we highly recommend not skipping these sites.