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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 5 Religious Places to Visit on Your Maldives Trip - Top 5 Spiritual Attractions in the Maldives Everyone Should Explore
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Religious Places to Visit on Your Maldives Trip - Top 5 Spiritual Attractions in the Maldives Everyone Should Explore

Although the paradise archipelago's reputation around the world primarily concerns its stunning beaches and luxury resorts, the Maldives is a cultural hub for those of the Islamic faith. Here are 5 religious highlights every traveller should explore in the Maldives.


The Grand Friday Mosque and Islamic Centre

As one of the most iconic landmarks in the Maldivian capital, the Grand Friday Mosque is an imposing and staggeringly impressive religious structure that first opened its doors to worshippers back in 1984. Considered the largest and the most important Islamic mosque in all of the Maldives, this mosque attracts thousands of devotees to each prayer session. Renowned for its coral rock exteriors, the towering religious edifice is made almost entirely from white marble and granite. The golden domes that cap the apex of the structures are visible for miles around and are one of the few buildings to reach cloud-piercing heights in this Asian nation bereft of mammoth skyscrapers. The central prayer hall is perhaps the most architecturally impressive section of the Grand Friday Mosque as it can house 5000 devotees at the same time with its walls bearing holy inscriptions found in the Quran no less. Contained within the Grand Friday Mosque is the equally impressive Islamic Centre, which in turn, serves as the home of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.


The Hulhumale Mosque

Occupying pride of place in Hulhumale, the same island on which the main international airport in the Maldives is found, the Hulhumale Mosque is a relatively new addition to the list of spiritual attractions in the nation's capital. Constructed in 2006, the structure's architecture can best be described as a happy union of ancient Maldivian building traditions and modern sensibilities. The white-hued building contrasts perfectly with the shimmering golden domes decorating its minarets. Frequented by thousands of local pilgrims on a daily basis, the Hulumale Mosque is one of the most sacred sites in the entire country. Boasting the capacity to host 900 people in its prayer hall at the same time, a visit to this holy site is a must for all those who are visiting Hulhumale Island for the first time. Those based in outer atoll luxury Maldives resorts such as the OZEN Life Maadhoo can pay homage to the mosque on their way into the country or before departure.


The Old Friday Mosque

While the Old Friday Mosque may not be as stunning or as spacious as the Grand Friday Mosque and the adjoining Islamic Centre, it is no less significant when it comes to revered religious points of interest in the archipelago. As its name suggests, this venue is among the first and oldest spiritual hubs to have been set up in the Maldives as it was established as early as 1656 and served as the main place of worship for locals until the Grand Friday Mosque was built centuries later. With a rich historic legacy to its name, the Old Friday Mosque can rightly be dubbed the most potent symbol of the country's Islamic heritage.


Medhu Ziyaaraiy Shrine

Containing the tomb of Abdul Barakat Yoosuf Al Barbary, the Morocco scholar who is hailed for bringing Islam to the Maldives, the Medhu Ziyaaraiy Shrine is a religious site revered by all.


Thoddoo Buddhist Temple

As one of the few remaining structures that hark back to the country's Buddhist past, a tour of the Thoddoo Buddhist Temple is a must for all those who wish to witness the history of the country's spiritual identity for themselves.

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