One of the more famous religious sites in Trinidad is the 85-foot-high Hanuman murthi — the largest outside India it’s claimed, and the architectural designs of the pinkish/saffron (Kesari) colored Dattatreya Mandir at Orange Field Road, Carapichaima.
Now in Trinidad, you would assume that if there is a sign off the highway at the Carlsen Field flyover, you would expect that there would be tons of signage directing you over to the temple. However, because this is Trinidad, there is actually no easy way to find the temple. Once you get off the Old Southern Main Rd, it is fairly easy to ask anyone walking along the side of the road for directions to the temple. It’s definitely worth the drive in.
The structure was built according to the Dravidian style of architecture of South India.
Two gray concrete elephants provide water for devotees to wash their feet before entering the main mandir at the northern side.
The inside of the dome has seven stages of graded architecture, with numerous figures of musicians playing the various types of musical instruments in seven different colors. This is symbolic of inviting a guest into the main hall of the big mandir.
The color schemes are the same as in India, Swamiji said. The same architectural style is evident inside the mandir dedicated to Lord Dattatreya. Inside the main mandir there are several smaller ones dedicated especially to Lord Dattatreya, Lord Siva and to the Mother Goddess.
Personally, I found the close ups of the effigies to be a little creepy. The wide eyes make me a little unsettled, but it is difficult not to admire the effort and work.
Now for all the lovely murals and work, it does cost money to upkeep the temple, so donations are gladly accepted.
The sculptures and murals are lovely to look at.
After going through the exterior of the temple, then it’s off to look at the 85 ft Hanuman
The murti of Lord Hanuman is one of the tallest statues in the Caribbean.
How to get to the temple from Port of Spain:
- Proceed south on the highway. Continue in a southerly direction passing the Chaguanas Flyover then past the Chase Village Flyover until you’re at the Freeport flyover. (Note a “flyover”, is Trini for overpass)
- Turn off the highway on the left and take a right turn which will take you below the highway. Continue driving until you reach an intersection with traffic lights. You proceed straight across the intersection.
- Drive for about 5 minutes until you reach a field on the left after a school.
- From here you can make a right to see the Yoga Center/Hanuman Murti or turn left and drive until the road ends at the “Temple in the Sea”.