The “Temple in the Sea” is located just off the coast of the Gulf of Paria in Waterloo. The original structure was built by indentured labourer, and Hindu devotee, Sewdass Sadhu. Sadhu felt that Hindus in Waterloo needed a sacred place near the water to worship. A place that was reminiscent of the temples in India.
Sadhu was born on 1 January 1903 in India and came to Trinidad with his parents as indentured labourers. They lived at Brickfield, Trinidad and worked at the Waterloo Estates.
When Sadhu completed his indentureship, he vowed to build a place of worship in Waterloo, Trinidad, near the water. His first structure was built on land near the sea in Waterloo but was destroyed following an altercation with landowners, Tate, and Lyle Sugar Cane Company. This set back did not deter Sadhu, and he rebuilt on the sea.
Unfortunately after his death, the temple remained neglected, and was reclaimed by the sea.
In 1994, a decision was taken to rebuild the structure on the site. It was completed in 1995 and consecrated as the Sewdass Sadhu Shiva Mandir.
The Temple in the Sea is a sanctuary for devotees and visitors alike and is accessible from the mainland by a pedestrian walkway. This structure which attests to the dedication and ingenuity of indentured labourer Sewdass Sadhu, offers a breathtaking panoramic ocean view.
Discover more on the Temple in the Sea and other historic and sacred sites in T and T. Visit NALIS’ Subject Guide and follow the Heritage Library Division on Facebook @NALISHLDTT.
Author: Heritage Library Division, Library Assistant I, Ms. Farah Pudan.
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“Siewdass Sadhu Temple in the Sea.” The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago: Safeguarding Our Heritage, 7 Jan. 2016, https://nationaltrust.tt/location/siewdass-sadhu-temple-in-the-sea/. Accessed 24 May 2021.
MacLean, Geoffrey, and Vel A. Lewis. The Built Heritage of Trinidad and Tobago. Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: National Trust of Trinidad & Tobago, 2012.
Maharaj, Niala. “Trinidad's Temple in the Sea.” Caribbean Beat Magazine, no. 18, Mar/Apr. 1996, https://www.caribbean-beat.com/issue-18/temple-sea-0#axzz6vj4dbz6L. Accessed 24 May 2021.