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Temple in the Sea... A wonder of the world

Saturday, July 7, 2018

This is the fourth installment on architectural delights, captured by photographer Edison Boodoosingh.

A living testament to the religious belief and perseverance of one man, the Temple in the Sea, located at Waterloo in Carapichaima, was first built in 1947 by indentured labourer Sewdass Sadhu. It was destroyed five years later as it was constructed at MacMillan Park, on private land owned by Tate and Lyle Ltd, a leading sugar cane company.

When the corporate entity became aware that the land was being used in 1952, they demanded that Sadhu remove the structure. When he refused, it was demolished by court order and Sadhu was fined $500 and imprisoned for 14 days for trespassing. This did not stop him from rebuilding the temple that same year, this time 500 feet into the sea in the Gulf of Paria on reclaimed land.

For the next 25 years, Sadhu dedicated himself to completing the temple. On his bicycle and in a leather bag, he carried stone by stone, assembling the base of the temple.

The temple stood for many years, enjoyed by many before Sadhu’s death in 1970. It sadly became neglected after his death and was reclaimed by the sea after years of erosion, which upset both Hindus and non-Hindus alike.

In 1994, local businessmen rallied together to have the temple built for a third time and, in conjunction with the government, the temple that still stands today began construction in 1994.

Upon completion in 1995 it was consecrated as the Sewdass Sadhu Shiv Mandir with a new pier allowing persons to have access during high tide and a statue of Sewdass Sadhu, proudly standing on the shore. (


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