Hindu Temple at Chacachacare, Trinidad

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Comments (8)

info Chaguaramas on June 8, 2007

This is the remains of the Hindu temple, this once housed the idol, Hanoman.

jeannine story on May 20, 2008

Very interesting, I've hiked through the area but never knew or saw that there was this temple there - especially since the leper colony was run by Catholic nuns. Do you know any more about it?

stuartrostant on May 22, 2008

The colony, founded in 1908, when it was transported from Cocorite, had Protestant, Catholic and Hindu places of worship for the lepers. This was more than a hospital, it was there home as well. If you hike in the adjoining bay, up in the hill , you can also find the remains of a marble altar. StuartR

jeannine story on May 26, 2008

Thanks for the info.

jeannine story on June 11, 2008

Hello, I am a layout artist for the WESTERLY magazine (a free community mag that features goings-on and historical (then and now views) of the western Trinidad area). I came across your photo of the HINDU TEMPLE @ CHAC. We are interested in doing a story about the temple at Chac in our next issue of the magazine and I was wondering if you would give us permission to use your photo? I can be reached at: mousepad@flowtrinidad.net or at "jeannine story" on my Panaramio page. Thanks, Jeannine Story (Artist for the Westerly)

jeannine story on July 5, 2008

Hello Mr Morgan, I am sending you a copy of the story we researched on the temple at Chag, in hopes that you'd allow us to use your photo to accompany it. I can be reached at: mousepad@flowtrinidad.net or at "jeannine story" on my Panaramio page. Thanks, Jeannine Story (Artist for the Westerly)


Surprisingly most Trinidadians have never heard about the small hindu temple (mandir) nestled amongst the lush greenery at Chacachacare. The Westerly first learnt about it, not first-hand, hiking through the the now overgrown trails that connect the delapidated buildings and homes of the lepers that once lived at Chachachare, but accidentally came across a photo of the temple on an internet website called “Panaramio”. The photo (taken by a visiting “Yachtie” named Owen Morgan) shows the newly painted red and white concrete structure as it stands today. A Hindu temple or Mandir, is a house of worship for Hindus, followers of Hinduism.


The mandir was opened in 1945/6, built solely by the efforts of Doon Pandit (1900-1958) a hindu priest and community leader from the Las Lomas/Arima/Tacarigua area who was known for his guru-like qualities in administering healing miracles. Touched by the plight of the lepers who were regular visitors at the mandirs at Las Lomas and Arima seeking his healing powers, he felt compelled to provide a place of worship for them at Chacachacare which to that point was run by the Dominican sisters of the catholic church. Once per week, Pandit would organize a pilgrimage to the island. The pilgrims would take along food, offerings, musical instruments and other articles of worship and embark on the boat journey to Chacachacare visits which the lepers enthusiastically looked forward to. He also extended his hands of service to the national community through the Red Cross and the Blind Welfare League.


Such was the authenticity and high esteem of this hindu holy man that His Majesty King George VI in 1949 conferred upon him the title of MBE (Member of the British Empire). His reputation as a healer had spread to as far as India, England, Venezuela and other Caribbean islands. Perhaps his most recognized act was in curing Josephine Shaw, wife of the then-Governor of Trinidad. People seeking him came from diverse racial, religious, age, class and gender backgrounds.

SOURCE: Doon Pandit, His life and Times (1900-1958) by D.H. Singh/2006, available at NALIS libraries and at bookstores throughout T&T. Note: Doon Pandit was born Seenath Ojah

Gita Lee Pack on August 3, 2008

Hi Jeannie, Doon Was maternal Grand Father!

confluencemagazine on January 21, 2009

There are many Hindus in Trinidad, originally from India, they have made this tiny island in the Caribbean their home. You can read more on Trinidad Temples

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 30, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Owen Morgan
    • Camera: Canon DIGITAL IXUS 55
    • Taken on 2006/11/02 17:00:29
    • Exposure: 0.005s (1/200)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.800
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash