Welcome to the Maldives, where
sands are white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim
happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the
weather is a dream, and the deep rays of the sun wait to
engulf you their arms.
In ancient times, the shores of the Maldives welcomed lost
travellers. Still welcoming, these shores remain, providing
a tranquil haven for visitors.
Country at a Glance
Maldives has deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy
beaches and palm trees. It is also a place full of
character, where its people have long spent their days
languishing in the very essence of idyll living. While it is
the perfect place to sit on a beach and watch a sunset with
a cocktail balanced on your hand, it is also a geographical
marvel, knowing that there are thousands of fish swimming
around the vivid corals just a few feet away from where you
Location and Geography
The Maldives lies in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean,
just across the equator. The country is made up of 1,190
coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls,
spread over 90,000 square kilometers. These atolls
structures are formed upon a sharp ridge rising from the
ocean, making way for their secluded uniqueness.
Each atoll in the Maldives is made of a coral reef
encircling a lagoon, with deep channels dividing the reef
ring. A string of islands take their places among this atoll
ring; each island has its own reef encircling the island
lagoon. The reefs of the islands, alive with countless types
of underwater creatures and vibrant corals, protect the
islands from wind and wave action of the surrounding vast
oceans. This unique structure of reefs and channels makes
navigation almost impossible for the passer-by without
sufficient information about these waters.
Ninety-nine percent of the Maldives is made up of sea. The
people of the islands are widely dispersed across the
atolls, with about 200 inhabited islands. About 90 islands
are developed as tourist resort and the rest are uninhabited
or used for agriculture and other livelihood purposes.
For Maldivians, who love a good story, it is somehow fitting
that the early history of the country is enshrined in myth
and legend. There is the story of the Rannamaari, a tale
about a sea monster than demands a virgin sacrifice every
full moon, until a brave man from Morocco, Mr Abdul
Barakaath-Ul Barbary decides to confront the monster and
prohibit him from coming into the Maldives.
There is the story of Bodu Thakurufaanu, renowned for its
length, who saved the Maldives from Portuguese Invaders.
These stories, while very
much anecdotal, are based on the real facts that form the
history of the country. Written accounts portray a Maldives
whose people have traveled far and wide, adventurers whose
geographical isolation had not limited the boundaries of
their world. Maldives today remains very much like it had
then – small, but not lacking; isolated, but not invisible.
The islands of Maldives appear in-between the trading route
of the Indian Ocean. Thus settlers, and visitors from
neighbouring regions and around the world have come in
contact with the islands for as long as history has been
recorded. Such is the to-and-fro flow of people and their
cultures, that a marked effect has been left in the
Maldivian people, the language, beliefs, arts, and
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