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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 6 Manmade Landmarks in Maldives- Buddhist stupas and mosques
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Manmade Landmarks in Maldives- Buddhist stupas and mosques

History states that the Maldives was initially inhabited by Buddhists and that later on went under a transition to Islam. This is proved by certain landmarks apart from other interesting buildings.


Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Ithaa, which translates into 'Mother of Pearl' in English, is the world's first undersea restaurant situated 16 feet below sea level. It offers fine dining with a 180-degree panoramic view of the ocean and its coral life. They serve contemporary and fancy dishes like caviar, for example. The restaurant only operates during lunch and dinner hours. However, you could make a booking privately for breakfasts and any special occasions.


Ariadhoo Buddhist stupa

Ariadhoo is one of the many uninhabited islands at present. However, there are certain Buddhist remains like a Stupa, indicating the island was once inhabited. After the introduction of Islam, many Buddhist and possibly Hindu remains were demolished and thus, there are many archaeological remains that are still present.


Devvadhoo Buddhist Temple

If you are curious about archaeological structures and remains, then Devvadhoo Island should be in your "Maldives- Places to Visit" as this is one of the big, presently uninhabited islands. There are quite a few Buddhist archaeological remains which suggest the likelihood of this island is an important island during the Maldivian history. The well-known ruin from this island is the "Devvadhoo Usgadu", the largest mound, which was once a large stupa measuring 96 feet wide, 4 feet high and 200 feet long. There are 2 other mounds and 2 other ruins in this island. It is said that none of these remains has been thoroughly investigated. However, you are free to explore a little. Most islands are easily accessible and transport can always be arranged. On the other hand, you could always go for the excursions arranged by hotels and resorts like Adaaran Club Rannalhi, if you choose to stay there.


Isdhoo Buddhist Stupas

Adding to the list of Buddhist Stupa remains, this is another island in Haddhunmathi Atoll where you will find them. An interesting fact is that this was where copperplate sheets were found which consisted of Ancient Royal edicts that testify the transition from Buddhism to Islam in the Maldives.


Darumavanta Rasgefanu Miskit

This is the oldest mosque that was built in the Maldives around 1153; quite a fine building with a simply carved portal. It was not built as a sign of exaggeration, and every corner of the Mosque looks immaculate!


Thoddo Buddhist Temple

Located in the Alif Alif Atoll, an inhabited island An interesting fact is that the locals during the ancient times buried a statue of Lord Buddha. Though most of the people in Male had converted to being Muslims, some islanders still wanted to follow the Buddhist Tradition. Therefore, after Islam was made the official religion, the villagers decided to carefully and respectfully bury their Buddha statue.
They expected that Buddhism might return to their islands as time goes by. However, the Maldives is becoming an increasingly strict country with regards to the religion and language spoken and has remained a Muslim country.