A place steeped in rich historical significance, the Utheemu Island in the Haa Alif Atoll is a slice of paradise for the nature lovers and history buffs. With a pleasant climate dominating the island for a major portion of the year, it is an ideal place for a vacation for solo and group travellers alike. The natural beauty of Utheemu Island is unmatchable. The serene, scenic beauty and the picturesque sunrises and sunsets, along with the tall trees swaying in the gentle breeze, are absolutely breathtaking. With the waves rhythmically crashing on the white, sandy shores and the peaceful chirp of birds adorning the clear blue sky, the island takes on a mesmerising, ethereal appearance.
Of the several factors which contribute to the fame and beauty of this picturesque island, the one thing that draws in the maximum number of visitors is the Utheemu Palace. This regal, wooden palace used to be the abode of the renowned Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, who took an active part in a war that lasted for eight long years to drive the Portuguese invaders out of the island. The rulers of the Utheemu Dynasty have hailed from this very island, which is why this place is one of the most famous spots among the historians.
The prime attraction of the Utheemu Islands, the grand Utheemu Ganduvaru is a historical monument which was once the abode of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu. This royal palace, which has now been transformed into a museum, is now open to the general public. The fascinating interiors, which date back 500 years, are intricately detailed and embellished with a variety of beautiful trinkets. Elaborate woodcarvings, splendid swing beds, and antique oil lamps adorn the palace, and a sizable shed made of palm thatch, which used to be a sleeping room for the guests, is a symbol of modesty. The pearly white curtains only add to the royalty of the palace.
What is most enthralling inside the palace is the simple, small hole in one of the wooden walls, which used to project a moving image of any activity that would take place in the external premises, on the drapes in the bedroom. This inventive feature, which can be compared to the pinhole camera, was perhaps the closest thing one could accommodate at their household, at a time when the modern CCTV surveillance facilities did not exist. According to the museum guides who escort the visitors to the different areas within the palace, even the national hero of the Maldives did not take any risks regarding the safety of his house.
Utheemu Island is the ideal tropical paradise for people who are looking for a vacation in a picturesque place. With the panoramic view of the sea and the serene ambience enveloping the island, this tourist spot offers an unforgettable experience to all who choose to visit this place.
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