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Updated by Sirius Black on Sep 16, 2015
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5 Historical and Cultural Places to Visit in Maldives - Discover Maldives' Top Cultural and Historic Highlights

As one of Asia's favourite beach holiday destinations the Maldives is a land full of culture and history as well. Here are some of the island nation's top highlights for first time visitors.

1

Sultan's Park

Sultan's Park

Tipped to be one of the Maldivian capital's most scenic corners Sultan's Park is no ordinary recreational hub in the city. As Male's most popular green space Sultan's Park encompasses an area that once belonged to the palatial grounds and gardens of the Sultan's residence. Open to visitors all year along the park is only closed on Fridays. Located near Muleeage the lush parkland's south-eastern fringes contain an ancient structure and an architectural marvel known as the Kalhu Vakaru Miski Mosque as well. Offering visitors a welcome respite from the cosmopolitan surroundings of Male Sultan Park's shady trees and floral beds create an atmosphere of tranquillity in the heart of the city.

2

Hukuru Miski

Also known as the Grand Friday Mosque Hukuru Miski is the most sacred and revered religious institution in the island nation. As a historic mosque that has served as a part of the country's cultural identity for several centuries the mosque remains the only religious institution in the capital that is considered the Sultans' house of worship. Believed to have been built as early as 1656 the area which is now occupied by the Hukuru Miski is noted as the former site of the Buddhist havitha during the country's pre-Islamic era. An architectural gem in its own right the mosque's chief highlights includes its exquisite lacquer work, intricate carvings and calligraphy while coral stone carvings that decorate the inner and outer surfaces of the building are equally impressive.

3

The National Museum and the National Gallery

Occupying pride of place within the confines of Sultan's Park the National Museum and the National Gallery of the Maldives are two institutions visitors should not forget to visit when exploring Male. Exploring the country's rich history with countless artefacts and relics the National Museum is a history buff's dream come true while the National Gallery offers visitors an equally impressive look at the evolution of the country's art scene in stunning works of art that are displayed in seasonal exhibitions. Visitors based in Maldives island resorts such as the Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi can book a tour of both the national museum and the national gallery through the hotel.

4

Medhu Ziyarat and Muleeage

Located within a stone's throw of one another the Medhu Ziyarat and Muleeage are another pair of cultural icons occupying the Maldivian capital. The former serves as the tomb of the country's first Islamic leader Adul Barakat Yusuf who hailed from Persia and is credited with converting the once Buddhist country to an Islamic state while the latter is the presidential residence of the country's former leader. Built as early as 1913 the building was designed by architects from neighbouring Sri Lanka.

5

The Islamic Centre

Another iconic mosque in Male the Islamic Centre is not only a place of worship but an institute in its own right. With a massive mosque complex that can host 5000 devotees simultaneously the modern Islamic structure constructed in 1984 is open to visitors when prayer sessions are not in progress.