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Trinidad’s Temple in the Sea – A determined Man’s Masterpiece!

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Trinidad’s Temple in the Sea – A determined Man’s Masterpiece!

This Hindu Temple at Waterloo in Carapichaima, Trinidad is testament of one man’s love of Hinduism. The Temple was the 25-year attempt of Sewdass Sadhu to construct a worship centre at no-man’s land: THE SEA. Sadhu was denied land to build his beloved temple and took his struggle offshore, toiling and unloading buckets of dirt into the Gulf in an effort to create artificial land.

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A well known site of worship for Hindus and a tourist attraction, the Waterloo temple was built by Sewdass Sadhu, an indentured laborer who came to Trinidad from India in 1907. This Hindu temple was built through perseverance and strength.

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The story is well-known: Sadhu built his first temple in 1947 on lands owned by a sugar cane company. Needless to say, it was broken down and Sadhu was charged with trespassing and given the choice of being fined or 14 days in prison.

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Declaring that if he couldn’t build his temple on the land then he would build it in the sea, Sadhu began the work that would become his dream.  For the next 25 years, Sadhu dedicated himself to completing the temple. On his bicycle, he carried two buckets and in a leather bag. Stone by stone, he assembled the base of the temple in the sea, steadily determined.

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In 1994, the government at the time helped finish the temple in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the coming of Indians to the country. A pier was added to ensure the Waterloo Temple could easily be accessed during high tide. Five hundred feet into the quiet waters of the Gulf of Paria, today it continues to stand on the very spot Sadhu first built it.

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Over the years, Hindu devotees and tourists alike have made the journey to the Waterloo temple, also named Sewdass Sadhu Shiv Mandir, in dedication to Sadhu, but better known as the Temple-in-the-Sea, once described as the first of its kind in the western world by Dharmacharya Pundit Krishna Maharaj. The Waterloo Cremation Site is also next to the grounds of this Temple.

The Temple in the Sea, is an octagonal- shaped colorful structure. At the entrance stands a statue of Sadhu himself. Flags and statues adorn the temple’s perimeter. Before entering, as a Hindu custom, you must remove your shoes as once inside you are on holy ground. The beauty of reverence is reflected in the well-crafted murtis (statues/idols) of Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva and Durga Maa with beautiful flowers ornamented around them.

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Just as a bit of background, Indo-Trini and Tobagonians have now become interchangeable with West Indians. These were people who were escaping poverty in India and seeking employment offered by the British for jobs either as indentured laborers, workers or educated servicemen, primarily, between 1845 and 1917.

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The demand for Indian indentured laborers increased dramatically after the abolition of slavery in 1834. They were sent, sometimes in large numbers, to plantation colonies producing high value crops such as sugar in Africa and the Caribbean, largely in Trinidad and Guyana. These days their culture is a vibrant blend of Indian and Caribbean mix, which is quite colorful and apparent in their music, speech/dialect and cuisine, in particular.

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In summary, this Hindu Temple at Waterloo in Carapichaima, Trinidad is testament of one man’s love of Hinduism. The Temple was the 25-year attempt of Sewdass Sadhu to construct a worship centre at no-man’s land: the sea. Sadhu was denied land to build his beloved temple and took his struggle offshore, toiling and unloading buckets of dirt into the Gulf in an effort to create artificial land.

 

-Karen Bahri

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Caribbean Cool

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Caribbean Cool

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Its that time of year again kids. This Sunday is daylight savings. Time to lock up the flip-flops, shorts & tank tops and set the clocks back. Or forward? Whatever it is, its going to be dark all day long!!!!!!

What do I do to keep the blues away, you say??? What else!!! Hop on my favorite website ( CheapCaribbean.com ) and dream of the tropics. I usually wait until it’s that point in February to book something, the sun, sand & sea is more appreciative when its arctic in New York, and if you know or don’t know, the past two winters were a cruel reality.

A friend reminded me last weekend that a two years ago around this time we were heading out to Jamaica Jamaica!! I think we just got overly excited and booked it early as opposed to our usual February getaway. Jamaica to many is the definition of Caribbean. The mother island. I love the culture, I LOVE the music, I love the people, and omg the accent 😉 Every other island is kinda a blur and I probably will plan a cruise to island hop them in order to figure them out, but Jamaica is Jamaica – I know what it has to offer and it’s such an amazing place!

One thing I found out about in Jamaica was that in America all the deals and stuff are all about Montego Bay (MoBay) or Ocho Rios. We ended up in MoBay but next time I will know to stay in Negril, where the Seven Mile beach lays!!! The seven mile beach is exactly what one pictures when you think of Jamaica. CLEAR, clean water, white sand beaches, BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! We also went to Rick’s Café where people cliff dive and we saw the most amazing sunset I have ever seen in my life!!! The sun in general in Jamaica was something else! Even in MoBay. Its amazing!!

Mobay

Mobay

MoBay

MoBay

MoBay

MoBay

What's going on...? - MoBay

What’s going on…? – MoBay

MoBay

MoBay

!!!!! in MoBay

!!!!! in MoBay

crystal clear water on the Seven Mile beach - Negril

crystal clear water on the Seven Mile beach – Negril

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Sting Rays pon di Seven Mile beach

Sting Rays pon di Seven Mile beach

seven mile beach, Negril

seven mile beach, Negril

Cliff divers!

Cliff divers!

Sooo breathtaking!!!

Sooo breathtaking!!!

sunset on the seven mile beach - Negril

sunset on the seven mile beach – Negril

Negril Sunset

Negril Sunset

I would one day love to check out Trinidad as well, because they have such an interesting, fun and amazing culture as well! I think its cool how its got a huge Indian population there. The culture soo original as it mixes Indian culture with Afro/Caribbean. It’s like they’ve got the best of both worlds. In college and a little post graduation I promoted West Indian parties and learned so much about the variety of music from the Caribbean. Aside from reggae, dancehall and soca, there is Indian inspired music called Chutney which is really interesting (and funny lol) It’s like the tune of Bollywood famous songs but they change the lyrics (in English or whatever its called. Trini English) and sometimes they speak Hindi but change the pronunciation. Its fun to listen to! A lot of the songs are just crazyyy. One of my Trini friends introduced me to this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGMpr-quR7Q

This friend also told me about Trini puppets and how that’s a thing. Its popular television according to my Trini friend. The puppet that I believe is the most famous (or maybe the only one lol) is Leroy and Paster Stewart. They are the main characters to Trinidad’s most beloved Muppet/Puppet. These puppets are definitely for mature audience ONLY LOL. BTW if you are from Trinidad and I am giving any misinformation feel free to correct me lol. I am going off word from friends, so I may be misquoting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUb38sxcxPY

Pastor Stewart

I feel like this blog is just getting weird now by the way LOL. I should probably watch those two youtube links more carefully than I am before posting but again, WE ARE A MATURE AUDIENCE!!! 😉 Trust me I won’t go into what I don’t know about Rastafarianism!!!

In conclusion, if you are starting to feel the winter blues, my advice would be to look up youtube videos on the Caribbean, surf the website I linked above (Cheap Caribbean dot com) and throw on some dancehall and you may just ended up bookin a jameeyakan baykeeyashan of your life, ya mon!!!

Educate

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