Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2006
Size of heritage: 0.16 ha
- Buffer zone: 29 ha

Longitude: 57,503°
Latitude: -19,841°


In the district of Port Louis, lies the 1,640 m2 site where the modern indentured labour diaspora began. In 1834, the British Government selected the island of Mauritius to be the first site for what it called ‘the great experiment’ in the use of ‘free’ labour to replace slaves. Between 1834 and 1920, almost half a million indentured labourers arrived from India at Aapravasi Ghat to work in the sugar plantations of Mauritius, or to be transferred to Reunion Island, Australia, southern and eastern Africa or the Caribbean. The buildings of Aapravasi Ghat are among the earliest explicit manifestations of what was to become a global economic system and one of the greatest migrations in history.

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Aapravasi Ghat is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Port Louis District of Mauritius. It holds immense historical significance as it was the first immigration depot in the country, serving as a gateway for indentured laborers during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, Aapravasi Ghat stands as a symbol of the island's multicultural heritage and the struggles faced by those who arrived seeking a better life.


The history of Aapravasi Ghat dates back to 1834 when the British government abolished slavery in Mauritius. To meet the labor demands of the sugar plantations, indentured laborers were brought from India, China, and other parts of the world. Aapravasi Ghat was established in 1849 as a depot to process and house these immigrants.

Thousands of indentured laborers passed through Aapravasi Ghat, enduring harsh conditions and a grueling journey. Upon arrival, they underwent medical examinations and were registered before being assigned to various plantations across the island. The site became a melting pot of cultures, languages, and traditions, shaping the multicultural identity of Mauritius.

Architecture and Features

Aapravasi Ghat is characterized by its unique architecture, reflecting the diverse origins of the immigrants. The site consists of several buildings, including the main building, hospital, and barracks. The structures are a blend of European, Indian, and Creole architectural styles, showcasing the fusion of cultures that occurred during this period.

The main building, known as the Immigration Depot, is the centerpiece of Aapravasi Ghat. It features a central courtyard surrounded by two-story verandas. The building's design allowed for efficient processing and segregation of immigrants based on gender, religion, and language.

Current State and Significance

Aapravasi Ghat was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006, acknowledging its historical importance and cultural value. The site has been meticulously restored and transformed into a museum, providing visitors with a glimpse into the lives of indentured laborers and the impact of their arrival on Mauritian society.

The museum at Aapravasi Ghat showcases a collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents that depict the experiences of the immigrants. Visitors can explore the various sections of the site, including the dormitories, hospital, and the central courtyard, which has been transformed into a memorial space.

Today, Aapravasi Ghat serves as a reminder of the struggles faced by indentured laborers and their contributions to the development of Mauritius. It stands as a testament to the island's multicultural heritage and the importance of preserving and celebrating its diverse history.


Aapravasi Ghat in Mauritius is a UNESCO World Heritage site that holds immense historical and cultural significance. As the first immigration depot in the country, it played a crucial role in shaping the multicultural identity of Mauritius. The site's unique architecture and restored buildings provide visitors with a tangible connection to the past, allowing them to learn about the experiences of indentured laborers. Aapravasi Ghat stands as a symbol of resilience, diversity, and the importance of preserving and honoring the heritage of Mauritius.