Museum & Galleries

Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site

Mauritius / Africa

Aapravasi Ghat is a building complex declared to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2006, on account of the Immigration Depot’s role in social history.  It is 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.  The site is under the management of the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund.  Conservation efforts are underway to restore the fragile buildings back to their 1860s state.  It is one of two World Heritage Sites in Mauritius, the other being Le Morne Brabant.

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