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Updated by John Wick Mattingson on May 27, 2016
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Top Sightseeing Spots in Maldives – Tradition, Beauty and Culture

The Maldivian archipelago apart from being one of the most stunning environs on the planet is also home to tradition and culture, reflected in vintage mosques, stimulating museums and aged customs.

1

Old Friday Mosque

Dating back to 1656 Old Friday is the oldest mosque in the country. The building is a beautiful construction created out of coral stone. The inner walls are inlaid with verses from the Quran while beautifully carved wooden panels enhance the beauty of the place. There is one long wood panel that chronicles the introduction of Islam to the island nation in the 13th century. Interestingly the mosque which was built over a former building facing the west is not facing Mecca. In order to show devotees the correct direction to face, the prayer room is inlaid with a stripped carpet pointing in the right direction. Towering above the tower is a blue and white minaret that dates back to 1675. The graveyard adjoining the mosque is quite fascinating. Permission is required before you enter the mosque; it is always an advantage to be respectfully attired.

2

The National Museum of Maldives

The National Museum of the Maldives is housed within a building that was gifted to the country by China. It is a must visit if you are a culture buff for the premises are home to a fine collection of artefacts that carefully chronicle the island nations ancient history. Due to riots in 2012 extremists who entered the temple destroyed Buddhist images carved out of coral stone which being from the Maldives pre-Islamic era were some of the museums most treasured items. Maldives medieval history is recorded on the first floor while the collection includes weapons, religious artefacts and Arabic wood carvings that symbolise the birth of Islam in Maldives in the year 1153. There is also a record of the iconic underwater cabinet meeting President Nasheed held as well as a host of marine artefacts. The museum located on the main island of Male is easily accessible from any luxury Maldives resort. Many of the resorts like, Velassaru Maldives are just 25 minutes from Male via speedboat.

3

Utheema Ganduvaru

Utheema Ganduvaru is a little palace that was once the childhood residence of Mohammed Thakurufaanu a revered Maldivian hero. Mohammed and his brothers were instrumental in abolishing Portuguese rule within the Maldives in 1573. A guided tour is offered to experience the vintage interiors of the palace, home to 500 year old antiques such as swing beds which were devised to keep a person cool during the warm summer months.

4

Grand Friday Mosque and Islamic Centre

The largest mosque in the Maldives the golden roof of the Grand Friday Mosque visible throughout Male is now an iconic attraction. The place was built with the aid of Pakistan, Malaysia and Brunei and opened its doors in 1984. The white marble building sans any other decorations is starkly beautiful and well worth a scout.

5

The Male Fish Market

The Fish Market is a must visit for a thorough insight to the country's main attraction. It may not be a pretty sight to watch the fish being gutted but it is quite an experience. Get there early and watch the fresh catch being brought in. You will be fascinated at the loads of grouper, tuna and octopus ready for auction.