I have been thinking of writing about Maldives from quite some time and have been planning to visit from quite many years. But the thought process concretised after reading the column by renowned columnist Vir Sanghvi in today’s Brunch by HT which was on Maldives. Needless to mention, it is an unparalleled piece on Maldives and explored on luxurious side of it. Mr. Sanghvi is lucky to visit Maldives at least once a year whereas I aim to visit once in a lifetime. Now that I am on that track to concretise my dream of exploring my favourite sea destination of the world, I would love to share that with my readers.
Indeed, if Sea fascinates you, there is no place like Maldives. Most of the hotels and resorts on this Island nation are either in the midst of the sea or are facing the sea. So you have the privilege of admiring and experience the sea wherever you are. Maldives comprises of more than 99 % of the sea and less than 1 % of the land. The 99 % of the sea is home to one of the most diverse marine treasures of the world. Less than 1 % of the land is a masterpiece in natural landscaping.
The Maldives, located on top of a vast underwater mountain range have around 1190 islands and sandbanks. The pearl string like islands covers a land area of no less than 298 km2. All the islands are encircled by a lagoon blessed with crystal clear water. These islands are protected by a reef structure, housing one of the most exclusive and spectacular underwater life.
The Maldives comprises of 26 natural atolls consisting of dual island chains. Incidentally the Maldivian language has the distinct pleasure of contributing to the English word “atoll”, which was derived from the Maldivian word “atholhu”.
There are channels of various sizes between the atolls used for navigation. For efficient administrative functioning, the 26 natural atolls are categorised into 20 administrative divisions. Particularly the island nation is located in a strategic area with access to major international sea routes in the Indian Ocean.
Maldivians are esteemed around the World for their hospitality and affability towards their guests. Maldivians share a similar cultural heritage, history, ancestry, homeland, language and religion. These common factors are the reason for the unity and harmony prevailing in the alluring islands.
Maldivian ancestral roots can be traced back to Sinhala’s of Sri Lanka, Marathi’s and Guajarati’s of India, Arabs, Malays and Northern African dispositions. Accordingly, Maldivians emerged from a mixed race, which has enriched the culture and history of the country.
Traditionally whenever guests visit a local island, the islanders will welcome them by serving a fresh coconut drink. This tradition has continued to this day and do not be surprised if your resort offers a beautifully decorated coconut drink when you reach your destination!
The customs and social behavior of the Maldivians have been greatly influenced by the Indians, Sri Lankans, Arabs and North Africans who visited the Maldives while traversing through the trading routes of the central Indian Ocean. The Maldivian culture is rich and vibrant due to the infusion of various other cultural elements.
Though Maldives was culturally influenced by other traditions, Maldivians have built and preserved an exclusive cultural identity.
Male’ is the capital city of the Maldives and the seat of the executive, legislature and judicial branches of the government of the Maldives. Male’ is also the financial and commercial capital of the country. Accordingly major government offices, banks and businesses are based on Male’.
Male’ city is one of the most densely populated cities of the world.
Republic of the Maldives is a sovereign archipelagic nation positioned in the Indian Ocean. Notably the South Asian Island nation has no counterpart in the entire world in terms of its unique geography and topography.