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Huge statue of Hindu god to signify Trinidad's past location on Ganges
The largest Hindu community outside India now has a monument of equal size: Trinidad recently received an 85 feet high statue of god Hannuman – the highest beyond the Himalayas. The followers of guru Sri Swamiji had it built to express gratitude to their master - for the realization that the Caribbean island was once situated on the Ganges.

By Bernhard Grdseloff
Hannuman statue in Trinidad: largest outside India
Hannuman statue in Trinidad: largest outside India

The gigantic monument of the monkey-faced godhead with its massive cudgel forms the heart of a new temple complex in Carapichaima. Fourteen stonemasons were specially flown in from India in order to create the filigree ornaments and the life-sized elephant statues on the entrances of the meditation centre. The place of worship is dedicated to the Hindu god Dattatreya. His living incarnation, guru Sri Swamiji, has been visiting Trinidad regularly for 3 decades to bring enlightenment to his followers.

The guru is familiar with the Caribbean island from an earlier life. Around 35,000 years ago - so the holy man teaches - when the Ganges was still flowing through Trinidad, he had been a righteous king here. Back then, too, there used to be a place of prayer in Carapichaima, where the temple now stands.

"The Indian gods represent different aspects of the soul, and it’s all symbolic" explains Dirk Bache, a German who is active in Trinidad’s East Indian community. "In Hindu mythology, Hannuman was the best warrior and he protected the gods from evil powers. He stands for faith, friendship, strength and the willingness to make sacrifices."
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