Sitting around 500km from the southern tip of India, shining like pearls scattered across the Indian Ocean, the famous Maldives Islands. Independent since 1965 from the British, the island coming into a Republic in 1968. The Maldives’ comprises of about 1190 islands grouped into atolls protected by pristine coral reefs; adorned with white rings of sandy beaches, shaded by waving palm trees. The whole experience, set to the enchanting deep blue of the sea, engulfing the shallow crystal clear water. A breath taking view of another world, underwater.
The population of the country currently stands at about 500,000. Maldivians love their tradition of food clothing and sports. One language and one common religion unites the people with peace and tranquility opening to a still harmony brought by a lack of political or racial disputes.
The Maldives’ lies on the equator, experiencing a tropical climate with two monsoons. The Southwest monsoon with rain and moderate wind; the season for Maldivian farmers to plant their crops, and the Northeast monsoon; with clear skies and sunny days for a perfect holiday, the latter lasting about 7 months a year.
It has become increasingly easy to access Maldives, as scheduled and chartered flights are operated regularly. The charming country and its people are always ready to welcome visitors with open arms treating them to the one and only Maldivian hospitality. Tourists are granted a thirty-day visa on arrival.
Maldives : General Information
Name: Republic of Maldives
Location: Indian Ocean, about 500km from Sri Lanka & India
Political Status: Independent Republic
Population: 300,000 ( approx)
Religion: 100% Sunni Muslim
Geography: Coral Islands grouped into atolls with fringing reefs
Climate: Tropical, Aveg Temp 30°C
Access: Scheduled and chartered flights from Europe Middle East & Asia
Visa: 30-days tourist Visa on arrival
Customs: No illicit drugs, pornography, firearms, alcohol, dangerous animals.
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 of a sea monster that demands a virgin sacrifice every full moon. Until a brave man from Morocco, Mr Abdul Barakaath-Ul Barbary, decided to confront the monster barring it from entering Maldivian shores.
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 real facts that form the history of the country. Written accounts portray a Maldives whose people have travelled 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.
1st Century AD -
The Roman manual of Navigation, the Periplus Maris Erythraei mentions islands that are assumed to be the Maldives
2nd Century AD -
Ptolemy refers to the Maldives in 362 AD, Roman historians had recorded a Maldivian delegation visiting Rome, bearing gifts to emperor Julian 662 AD. A historical Chinese document records that the King of the Maldives sent gifts to the Chinese Emperor Kao-Tsung of Tang Dynasty.
1153 - Maldives converts to Islam
1558 - The Portuguese invade the Maldives
1573 - Mohamed Thakurufaanu liberates the Maldives from the Portuguese
1752 - The Malabars invade the Maldives for three months
1887 - Protectorate signed with Great Britain
1932 - The first Constitution of the Republic of Maldives enacted
1953 - The first Republic with Mohamed Ameen as President
1954 - End of the first Republic as Ameen is ousted; the Maldives reverts to Sultanate with Mohamed Fareed as ruler
1965 - Independence from the British
1968 - End of the Sultanate; second Republic begins with Ibrahim Nasir as President
1972 - The first island resort is developed; tourists begin arriving to the Maldives
Malé International Airport and the Gan International is the international airport of the country. Sri Lankan Airlines fly direct to Gan international airport 4 times a week via Colombo. Thrivandrum, Bangalore, Mumbai (India), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Doha (Qatar) Gatwick, Heathrow (United Kingdom), Vienna (Austria) Milan (Italy) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), as well as many other charter flights are scheduled to land in the Maldives.