Seychelles is a tropical paradise famous for its beautiful beaches, clear warm waters, and spectacular scenery. The archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean is best known as a holiday destination. While the island nation is not known for its architectural heritage, in recent years their only Hindu temple, the Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar temple, has become famous and is often cited as one of the most beautiful in the world.
The History of Seychelles
The remote location meant that the area was not settled until well into the modern era. Portuguese sailors were the first Europeans to sight and record the islands around 1501, although Arabic sailors are thought to have discovered them in the seventh century. Years later, French pirates visited the remote archipelago. The king of France claimed the islands in 1756 and it was administered from nearby Mauritius. The first settlers, 28 men, arrived on a ship in 1770.
French colonists settled the islands and established plantations that were worked by slaves. The islands were blockaded by the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and were eventually ceded to the British in 1814, although French culture remained deeply influential.