Places of Interest

The Capital City -Interesting Places

Male' - The Capital of Maldives

Male' - The Capital of Maldives

Though Male is the capital of the Maldives and a place where visitors almost exclusively arrive into and leave from the country, it is interesting that many visitors do not spend a single night in Male. This is because most visitors go directly to their resort island and spend most of their time there. Male’, Maldives is rather small – approximately 2km long and 1km wide. Hence, it is possible to walk around the island in slightly over an hour.

Though visitors go directly to their selected resorts, many visitors still get to see Male via day trips organized by several of the resort islands.

For its land mass, Male Maldives is pretty densely populated with around a 70,000 strong population. There are ongoing land reclamation projects in progress to increase the amount of space on the island. Male’, Maldives, despite being a small city, still offers the kind of services you would come to expect from any capital including post office, internet access, bookshop, travel agents, and a myriad of eateries and so on.

One of the grander structures in the city is the Islamic centre and mosque. Hukuru Miskiiy is the most ancient mosque in Male and dates back to the 1650. There is a National Museum displaying various artifacts once owned by the Sultans – from clothing to weapons. You may also enjoy visiting the Muleeaage (a structure initially built as a palace and also used as presidential residence).

Shoppers will find quite a few places of interest in Male’, Maldives for instance Chandanee Magu and Orchid Magu have a cluster of souvenir shops and cafes.  Tea shops in Male’ are on the whole cheap and chirpy affairs, serving simple foods at low prices. There are also several higher priced restaurants to choose from.

These include cuisine such as Italian, Thai, Indian, and American & Chinese. Most restaurants also have their own in-house restaurant. Though some forms of entertainment do exist, Male is not a place to go to for bars or clubs. There are a couple of cinemas (the Star and Olympus on Majeedi Magu). There are also opportunities to catch an outdoor concert at New Harbor.

Those who do get to visit Male’ Maldives for any length of time can enjoy a wide range of eateries serving many different types of international cuisine. Male’ has several small tea shops offering (non-alcoholic) drinks and small snacks or short eats (hedhikaa). Tea shops also offer long eats, which tend to be larger more filling dishes.

Islamic Centre in Male'

Islamic Centre in Male'

The Islamic Centre acts as a major tourist attraction of Male’, because of its location near the main jetty of Male’ and due to the beautiful architecture of the mosque. The magnificent golden dome of the mosque is also evident on the skyline of Male’. The shining golden dome of the mosque is a standout as are also the interior walls decorated with beautiful woodcarvings and Arabic calligraphy. The Center also houses a library and a conference hall. The most famous cultural landmark of Male’ is the three-storey Islamic Centre, opened in November 1984.The Center’s Grand Friday Mosque, Masjid-al-Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu-al-A’z'am, is the biggest mosque in the Maldives, accommodating more than 5,000 worshippers. This is one place you must visit in Maldives.

Hukuru Miskiiy-Grand Friday Mosque

Hukuru Miskiiy-Grand Friday Mosque

Built in 1658 AD, by the then Sultan of the Maldives, the Friday Mosque is a unique example of meticulous coral stone architecture and detailed lacquer work. Built within a span of two years, the Male’ Hukuru Miskiy or The Friday Mosque of Male’ represents one of the most prolific pieces of local artistic expression. Admired by locally and internationally, the Mosque is surrounded by a graveyard dating back to the late 17th century.

The graveyard has within its enclosure coral stone tombstones carved with unique designs, not seen in any other part of the world.

Hukuru Miskiiy-Grand Friday Mosque

Hukuru Miskiiy-Grand Friday Mosque

Adjoining the Mosque is a large coral stone Minaret that represents the beginning of round minarets in the country and forms an interesting contrast with the pre-Islamic past of the country. The Friday Mosque has been admired both for its architectural uniqueness, aesthetic value as well as for its spiritual significance for the locals. In addition it also holds a special place in the hearts of tourists whose tours in the Capital is often incomplete without an introduction of this unique piece of Maldivian heritage.

Mulee-Aage-Palace

Mulee-Aage-Palace

Mulee Aage Palace is located in front of the Friday mosque in Male. It is a prominent historical attraction and its unique design reflects on the creativity and imagination of its architects. The enormous iron gates in the front have secured the palace grounds for many years, and are one of the highlights of the palace. It was built by Sultan Mohamed Shamsuddeen III in the year 1906 prior to World War I. The Sultan constructed this palace for his son. However, when the Sultan was overthrown in 1936, Mulee Aage Palace was formally declared as a government property. In 1953 the palace became the official residence of the President. It was renamed as the Presidential Palace in 1986.
The palace is over 100 years old and at present this majestic building serves as the presidental residence where some formal meetings are held. This stunning structure has exceptional white carvings and is one of the major tourist landmarks in
Maldives.

Medhu Ziyaarath-Tomb of Abul Barakath Al Yusuf Al Barubari

Medhu Ziyaarath-Tomb of Abul Barakath Al Yusuf Al Barubari

Medhu Ziyaarath, located opposite the Hukuru Miskiiy is the shrine of Abu al Barakaath Yusuf al Barbari, a North African. According to the people of Maldives, he was the one responsible for converting the Maldivians to Islam in 1153 AD.

Ali Rasggefaanu Ziyaarai- Tomb of Ali Rasggefaanu

Ali Rasggefaanu Ziyaarai- Tomb of Ali Rasggefaanu

The darkest chapter of Maldives history began when the Portuguese martyred King Ali (VI) (Alias: Ali Rasggefaanu) and ruthlessly ruled the Maldives for 15 years. The cruelty of the Portuguese domination from 1558 to 1573 was erased by the glorious son of Maldives “A’ Sultan Mohamed Thakurrufaanul Auzam” (alias: Bodu Thakuruffaanu) during a victorious campaign. Ali Rasgefaanu Ziyaarai is the place where He was buried & made a tomb in his memorial

Mohamed Thakurufaanu Ziyaarai- Tomb of Mohammed Thakurufaanu

Mohamed Thakurufaanu Ziyaarai- Tomb of Mohammed Thakurufaanu

Mohamed Thakurufaanu Al-azam is the most celebrated hero in the history of Maldives. After saving the Maldives from the Portuguese conquerors, Mohamed Thakurufaanu ruled the Maldives as king from 1573 to 1585 AD. The tomb of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu who liberated the country from 17 years of Portuguese rule is known as Mohamed Thakurufaanu Ziyaarai.

In the compound of Bihuroazu Kamana Miski, this tomb was built as a symbol of respect in the memory of the Sultan.

Sultan Park & National Museum

Sultan Park & National Museum

The purpose of setting up the museum was to preserve the history of Maldives and to invoke the patriotic feelings of people. The museum houses a number of fabulous objects belonging to the Sultans. It consists of the ornaments and costumes worn by various kings and queens, stone items of the Maldives’ pre-Islamic period, paper and cloth manuscripts, arms and armor, photographs of important personalities, anthropological objects.

Such items that exhibit the past Maldivian way of life.

Sultan Park & National Museum

Sultan Park & National Museum

National museum in Maldives is one of the main tourist attraction destinations of the country. Located in the Sultan Park, which was a part of the Sultan’s palace, it is basically a conversion of the old palace building. The museum has a valuable collection of objects of the past that depict the history and rich cultural heritage of the country. The Maldives national museum was opened for public display on the National Day, 1 Rabeeul Awwal 1372 A.H., (19th November 1952).

It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Ameer Mohamed Amin Didi.

Jumhooree Maidan

Jumhooree Maidan

Located along the northern waterfront in Male, Jumhoorie Maidan in Maldives was set up in the year 1989. More commonly known as the republic square of Maldives, the Jumhoorie Maidan with its green grass and lush vegetation serves as one of the most popular places for social gatherings. Where we have the Maidan today, earlier there were some government buildings over there. Towards its west, lies the commercial buildings; to its south lie the Islamic center and the headquarters of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). On the eastern side, one can see the new Headquarters of the Police. On the northern side of the waterfront, where it is situated, one can enjoy the seaside view.

Artificial Beach

Artificial Beach

Though, there are a number of beautiful white sandy beaches in Maldives, but its capital city, where all the commercial activities are carried out, is unfortunately not blessed with beaches. For people in Male, there is a place where they can go to have some fresh air. Well, it is the Male’ artificial beach that has been constructed in the recent times. Most of the people freak out over here during the late afternoon time. Artificial beach in Male’ provides an opportunity to enjoy a good swim during summers. In fact, the beach is now not just meant for enjoying an evening walk or a swim, but also it is gaining popularity owing to a variety of entertainment activities that take place here like the different kinds of water sports, live music shows etc. Carnivals and parades are also conducted here.

Fish Market & Local Market

Fish Market & Local Market

One of the popular tourist places in Maldives is the Male Fish Market. The fish market provides the tourists with an excellent opportunity to absorb the local culture, and to intermingle with the Maldivians. This is a busy and wonderful place for seafood lovers and curious travelers.

Fish Market & Local Market

Fish Market & Local Market

It is the commercial center that promises an exceptional display of hustle and bustle throughout the day. Fresh fish is brought directly from the fishing boats called dhonis. Dried fish, fresh fruits and vegetables are also collected from the various islands and are unloaded here. A wide variety of fish can be found here but tuna is the star attraction.
There are a number of shops in the Male Fish Market that are always stocked with fresh goods. The harbor and the by-lanes in the area are packed with shops that supply an extensive range of goods. The local authorities make sure that the market is kept thoroughly clean and is disinfected every day.
thomas davisthomas davis