The island nation of Maldives has built its reputation on sun, sand and the sea. Most tourists do not opt to roam around the main city, but boat or fly straight to their own piece of paradise in the rural islands and atolls. But those who choose so miss out the splendid architecture of the mosques of Male.
Maldivians have been practicing Islam since the 12th century, when it was introduced by the Arabic sailors in the shell trade. The first mosques were built by the first sultan to enforce the religion on the citizens – Dhovemi – Their modern counterparts have a great significance in society not just as places of worship, but also as monuments to the history of Islam in the country. Usually painted a brilliant white, they offset against a bright blue sea making them also wonderful sights to behold.
The oldest of the mosques of Male is the Hukuru Miskiiy, or the Old Friday Mosque, dating back to 1658 AD. The muted orange shades of the coral stone structure are complimented with beautiful lacquer work and woodcarvings with delicate Arabic writing intertwined with other decorations in its walls. Tombs of sultans of the past are also adorned with designs unique to these tiny islands. Taking over the role of main place of worship from the Hukuru Miskiiy after it was built in 1984, the Grand Friday Mosque and Islamic Centre is one of the largest in South Asia. Its capacity to fill in over 5,000 people comes as an advantage when official celebrations and meeting are held here. The shine of the golden dome can be seen from far away as a beacon and landmark in the city. Calligraphy and traditional wood carvings embellish the interior, while the pure white exterior creates a peaceful ambiance.
These cultural icons can be enjoyed on your way to and from your Maldives resort. The best of these scattered islands can be seen in the surroundings of many a Maldives island resort. For an unforgettable holiday, stay at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo and experience the enchanting beauty of the sea in luxury and comfort.