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Curepipe History, Mauritius


The little town of Curepipe, which derived its name from an eponymous town in France, lies on the picturesque island of Mauritius that floats like a bright little jewel in the western corner of the Indian Ocean. Nestled in the midst of the western highlands, this tiny little town is located only 18 km or 11 miles to the south of the capital city of Port Louis.

In 1867 a malaria epidemic had broken out in the capital city of Port Louis which forced its residents to take to their heels in search of greener and safer pastures.

Many residents of Port Louis settled in the western highlands in search of safer areas despite the fact that the region was lashed with rains and remained damp and soggy throughout the year.

This is the story of the birth of the little town of Curepipe and the influx of new people in the previous century added new blood and life to the nascent town and contributed to its popularity.

The name of the town Curepipe is certainly strange and has sparked off numerous speculations regarding the fanciful etymology. The most common and most persistent of these speculations state that the town got its name when travelers took a sojourn here to CURE their PIPES.

Thus although the genesis of the town is not shrouded in mystery, the origin of the name is tough to locate. From another account we get to know that settlers from other regions would frequent the luscious green and healthy climate to refill their dried up or parched pipes.

Curepipe has advanced far from its formative years and has metamorphosed into an elegant shopping town - the Market Town of Mauritius and houses colonial structures, ultra modern vegetable markets, pleasant public gardens and a thriving tea and model ship building industry.

It is the second most important town in Mauritius after the capital city both in terms of size and significance.

A rich colonial background led to the establishment of many hallowed academic institutions in this town and it is easy to mistake this town for an English academic city like Cambridge and Oxford. Schools, colleges, tertiary institutions and other elite institutions have contributed to the widespread fame of this town.

Mauritius was colonized by the French imperialists and traders in the 18th century. This settlement of Curepipe owes its origins to the French colonizers who established this city towards the beginning of French colonization of Mauritius.

The main reason was that the cool temperate climate was a throwback to the climate of their native country and was redolent with the distilled fragrances of French soil. There is a town in the vicinity with the name of NOUVELLE France which translates into New France. 

After French surrender, the British turned it into their own colony. Curepipe attained independence from Dutch, French and British control in 1968.

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