History of the Maldives – A walk through the olden times

The Maldives interestingly is named after its capital, meaning “The islands of Malé”. The Maldives became a favourite stop over the years, due to it being in between several busy trade routes. Due to this reason, the Maldives has had several visitors and influences.


Maldives | Image Credit : user: Nightstallion [Public domain]

The legend

Legend states that a Prince together with his wife, the daughter of the King of Sri Lanka, stopped at Raa Atoll and were invited to stay as rulers. In the pre-Islamic period, the Maldives was said to have been ruled by women according to the accounts of Persian and Arab travellers.

Archaeological findings

Findings that date back to 1500 BCE show that the islands were inhabited that early. It’s thought that the very first settlers arrived around 500 BCE and are thought to have been Aryans from India and Sri Lanka.

Finding Islam

Arab traders used to stop at the Maldives for many years, and the very first record of the islands dates back to the 2nd century. A North African Arab who goes by the name of Abu Al Barakat, is credited with converting Maldivians to Island in the year 1153.

The Portuguese

In 1558, Captain Andreas Andre led an army that killed the Sultan, after which he ruled the capital of Maldives for the next fifteen years. The Portuguese were supposedly cruel leaders, demanding the Maldivians to convert to Christianity.

The modern Maldives

The Maldives has gone through many more phases, but despite all of that the islands now stand strong. Currently, tourism plays a major role in the Maldivian economy, with famous Maldives water villa as seen at The Residence Maldives by Cenizaro attract plenty of tourists.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

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