Sunny, unrivaled, and unspoiled by the pollution, Maldives is an island of sand and surf where the imagination meets the reality. Considered as one of the best places for tourism and a heaven for tourists, Maldives is an island nation, which comprises of a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean. It is located towards south of Indian islands of Lakshadweep. There are many beliefs regarding the name of the country. Some say that it has been derived from Maale Dhivehi Raajje, which was an island kingdom, while the others are of the view that the name is derived from Sanskrit name ‘maladvipa’ or ‘mahila dvipa’. Maldives was also a British colony once and acquired independence in 1965. Following this, the Sultanate was replaced by a Republic in 1968.
Interesting & Fun Facts about Maldives
- The official name of Maldives is the Republic of Maldives. However, the official local long form name for the Maldives is Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa.
- The capital of Maldives is Male.
- Maldives has 1199 coral islands, grouped in twenty-six major atolls.
- The currency of Maldives is called Maldivian Rufiyaa.
- The official language of Maldives is called Divehi.
- It is the smallest Asian country with respect to population. Maldives is also the smallest Muslim nation in the world.
- Tourism and fishery form the two major industries supporting the Maldivian economy.
- Maldives was under Portuguese occupation between 1558 and 1573. It became a Dutch protectorate in the seventeenth century. In 1887, Maldives became a British protectorate and remained so till 1965, when it gained full independence from the United Kingdom.
- Maldives has been an independent state all through its history, except for a brief stint of 15 years when the Portuguese occupied it in the 16th century.
- Maldives also holds the record for being the flattest country in the world.
- The highest point in the Republic of Maldives is located on the island of Wilingili in the Addu Atoll (2.4 m).
- Interestingly the flag of Maldives also has a story behind it. The white semi-circle symbolizes Islamic faith. The red color of the flag is the signification of blood sacrificed by the nation’s heroes. The green section of the national flag represents the life source of Maldives that are the palm trees.
- For the year 2008, Maldives was ranked as the Best Country Brand for Beach and Best Country Brand for Rest and Relaxation. It also ranked number two in the Best Country Brand for Natural Beauty and 3rd in the Best Country Brand for Resort and Lodging Options in the same year.
- One of the best tourists’ attractions of Maldives is the Sultan Park, which is now a public park, built in 16th century, on the southern side of the demolished royal palace grounds in Male. It is a witness to the glory of Slutanate’s era.
- Sharks of Maldives are very famous worldwide and attract thousands of divers to Maldives every year. Maldives itself is considered a heaven for divers. There are many types of sharks found in Maldives.
- According to Historians, Maldives has been populated as early as the 4th century BC. It is speculated that the early migrants were from Arabia, eastern Africa and the Indian subcontinent among other places. Today, the Maldivians are a mixed race.