If you want an enriching holiday in Maldives which includes some cultural discoveries, then a visit to Utheemu Ganduvaru is worth considering for the fascinating insights it has to offer.
This attraction can be found on the inhabited island of Utheemuin the HaaAlif Atoll. Be you staying at guesthouses or 5 star hotels in Maldives on private islands like Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, see if excursions can be arranged to such islands; they offer great ways to experience some local culture.
The Story Begins
Utheemu Ganduvaru was the home of Mohamed Thakurufaanu (spoiler alert; he later became the sultan!) who is considered a national hero. The story begins in 1558 with the arrival of the Portuguese who defeated the then sultan and took control over the Maldives; following this, Mohamed Thakurufaanu and his brothers left to Minicoy where they planned to free the nation.
The Fight for Freedom
What followed was an eight-year fight for independence led by Mohamed Thakurufaanu against the Portuguese. Employing surprise attacks on different islands under the cover of darkness, he and his brothers subsequently defeated the Portuguese and overthrew them in 1573. Following this, he was chosen as the sultan and ruled the country till his passing away in 1585.
What to Expect
Since Utheemu Ganduvaru is Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu’s birthplace and home it has great significance to locals. Run as a museum, it provides insights into life during that time and features centuries-old wooden interiors, typical swing beds, a palm-thatched structure used for guests and more.