Historical Places in Maldives

Historical & Heritage

Historical Places in Maldives

Maldives is home for several ancient historical sites depicting the rich culture and heritage of Maldivians. Most of the historical sites in the Maldives are Muslim monuments which have a centuries-o (Read More)ld history.

Here is the list of 16 Historical Places in Maldives

1. Male Friday Mosque, Maldives

Male Friday Mosque, Maldives
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One of the oldest surviving mosques of Male in Kaafu Atoll is the Male Friday Mosque, also known as the Malé Hukuru Miskiy. It dates back to 1658. Having unique intricate carvings and architecture, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Special permission from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs needs to be obtained to be able to enter the mosque.

2. Medhu Ziyaaraiy Shrine, Maldives

Medhu Ziyaaraiy Shrine, Maldives

Medhu Ziyaaraiy is the tomb of the famous Morocco scholar Abdul Barakat Yoosuf Al Barbary who is credited for the advent of Islam in the Maldives during 1153 AD. The tomb is a symbol of peace that prevails among the Maldivian population. According to folklore, Abdul Barakat Yoosuf Al Barbary helped the people of the Maldives get rid of the sea demon to escape from whose wrath, every month, a virgin girl was left alone for him in the temple, only to be found dead the following day.

3. Grand Friday Mosque, Maldives

Grand Friday Mosque, Maldives

The Grand Friday Mosque in Male is one attraction that, with its towering golden dome, gathers the attention of all visitors. The mosque is part of the Islamic Centre which is at the Male's centre and is located right next to the main jetty of Male, thus making it easy to spot, even from the sea.

4. The Kongannu Cemetery, Maldives

The Kongannu Cemetery, Maldives

The oldest Cemetery in Maldives, the Kongannu Cemetery was constructed 900 years ago to bury the remains of the first Muslims of Addu Atoll. The place is filled with secrets of ancient royal families and is also home to the most massive tombstone present in the country which dates back to the 18th Century. The memorial belongs to one of the royals, and a lot of historical scripts are also present here.

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5. Thoddoo Buddhist Temple, Maldives

Thoddoo Buddhist Temple, Maldives

Thoddoo Buddhist Temple lays evidence of Buddhism as a culture that once flourished in the Maldives. The site was discovered in the 1950s and retains ruins of Buddhist artefacts. Presently the area holds temple wrecks, roman coins and some silver relics. There is also a Buddhist statue buried in nearby.

6. Tomb of Muhammad Thakurufaanu, Maldives

Tomb of Muhammad Thakurufaanu, Maldives

Located in Male, Tomb of Muhammad Thakurufaanu is the tomb of Maldives' national hero, Mohammed Thakurufaanu Al-Auzam who liberated the nation from the Portuguese colonial rule. The magnificent blue-white tomb incarnated with crafted steps, tall pillars and beautiful arches.

7. Darumavanta Rasgefanu Mosque, Maldives

Darumavanta Rasgefanu Mosque, Maldives

The oldest mosque built in the country, Darumavanta Rasgefanu is a landmark destination. The mosque is named after the ruler himself who ruled the country during the conversion period from Buddhism to Islam and with the residents converted his religion. It was after the establishment of this that construction of mosques began in and around the island.

8. Ali Rasgefaanu Ziyaaraiy, Maldives

Ali Rasgefaanu Ziyaaraiy, Maldives

Ali Rasgefaanu Ziyaaraiy is the tomb site of Ali Rasgefaanu Ziyaaraiy, who is also popularly known as King Ali VI. It unravels the heart wrenching and gritty tale of Ali Rasgefaanu, who for his exceptional National service, will always hold a special place in the heart of the locals in the Maldives. It was after his execution in the 16th Century that Portuguese rule got instituted in the country.

9. Isdhoo Buddhist Stupas, Maldives

Isdhoo Buddhist Stupas, Maldives

At the northernmost tip of the Atoll, Isdhoo Buddhist Stupas is filled with ruins of Buddhist Stupas as a lot of them were destroyed and replaced with mosques after the country’s conversion to Islam. This place became a major tourist spot after Buddhist images and artefacts were unearthed from the island.

10. Kuruhinna Tharaagandu, Maldives

Kuruhinna Tharaagandu, Maldives

Kuruhinna Tharaagandu is a recently discovered archaeological site on Kashidhoo island. It holds immense significance as a historical place and is assumed to be a former Buddhist Monastery. Used at the time of the pre-Islamic era during the 7th and 8th Century, the place sheds light on the Buddhist history of Maldives. Currently, excavations and research are in progress for unfolding more details about this site.

11. Utheemu Ganduvaru, Maldives

Utheemu Ganduvaru, Maldives

Utheemu Ganduvaru is the historic house of Sultan Mohmed Thakrufaanu, one of the rulers of the Utheemu Dynasty. He is remembered for the massive resistance he unleashed against the Portuguese colonisers during the 16th Century. 

12. Kalhu Vakaru Mosque, Maldives

Kalhu Vakaru Mosque, Maldives

This historic landmark was constructed in 1789 and has a fascinating history attached to it. Also known as the ‘Travelling Mosque’ this religious mosque was moved to numerous locations by the rulers.  Initially located in the capital Male, the landmark was dismantled and moved to another island only to get assembled back in Sultan Park in Male.

13. Kandu Valu Mosque, Maldives

Kandu Valu Mosque, Maldives

Although the exact date of the construction of this mosque remains a mystery, the place holds close connections to Mohammed Thakurufaanu, the former ruler of the Maldives Island from 1573 to 1585 AD. Located in Haa Alifu Atoll, it is believed that Thakurufaanu offered prayers here during his nonage and Mohanned Thakurufaanu's father was also buried in the cemetery present on the grounds of the mosque. People from a different religion however, are not permitted to enter.

14. British War Memorial, Maldives

British War Memorial, Maldives

Constructed on the Gan Island in Addi Atoll, this place was established to pay homage to the British soldiers who died while serving in the Royal Air Force from 1941 to 1971. This iconic place also has cannons from World War 2 that are placed facing the Memorial to safeguard it.

15. Aasaari Miskiiy, Maldives

Aasaari Miskiiy, Maldives

On the island of Nilandho stands second oldest mosque of the Maldives, which is rumoured to have been constructed by the founders of the country. The mosque was built from the ruins of the Hindu Temples in the 12th Century and has Arabic scriptures chiselled on the walls. 

16. Tomb of Sultan Ibrahim III, Maldives

Tomb of Sultan Ibrahim III, Maldives

This tomb is an essential site of attraction for tourists and is located in the South of Ari Atolls. The tomb was built for Sultan Ibrahim III, a ruler of the Maldives who was killed during a foreign invasion. Sultan Ibrahim III is popularly remembered for using a sunshade on his throne, and is credited for establishing the same trend.

How did you feel about our hand-picked collection of historical sites in Maldives? Do let us know in the comment section below.

This post was published by Harshitha

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