Maldives

Maldives

Maldives – is nature’s sunken garden, a tropical haven of immaculate beaches located in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka, is an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into natural atolls, out of which only a few are inhabited.

Unrivalled luxury, stunning white-sand beaches and an amazing underwater world make Maldives an obvious choice for a true holiday of a lifetime. Maldives is home to perhaps the best beaches in the world; they’re on almost every one of the country’s nearly 1200 islands and are so consistently perfect that it’s hard not to become blasé about them. While some beaches may boast softer granules than others, the basic fact remains: you won’t find consistently whiter-than-white powder sand and luminous cyan-blue water like this anywhere else on earth. This fact alone is enough to bring well over a million people a year to this tiny, remote and otherwise little-known Indian Ocean paradise.

Every resort in Maldives is its own private island, and with over 100 to choose from the only problem is selecting where you want to stay. At the top end, the world’s most exclusive hotel brands compete with each other to attain ever-greater heights of luxury, from personal butlers and private lap pools to in-room massages and pillow menus. It’s not surprising that honeymooners and those seeking a glamorous tropical getaway have long had the country at the very top of their wish lists. But there’s also plenty of choice beyond the five- and six-star resorts.

Maldives has undergone seismic change in the past 10 years, since inhabited islands have been opened to tourism and locals permitted to build their own guesthouses. travelers no longer have to stay in resorts and remain separate from the local population, something that kept backpackers away for decades. Island hopping by public ferry, speedboat and domestic flights has opened up this incredible country to visitors on almost all budgets. A number of islands in Male and Ari atolls are now big centres for a booming guesthouse industry, with dozens of options on each.

With some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, the clear waters of Maldives are a magnet for anyone with an interest in marine life. The richness and variety is astonishing; dazzling coral walls, magnificent caves and schools of brightly coloured tropical fish await you when you get down to the reef. In deeper waters lurk manta rays, turtles, sharks and even the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. The best bit? The water is so warm many people don’t even wear a wet-suit.

Good To Know

Country

Maldives

Visa Requirements

To enter Maldives no pre-arrival visa is required. A thirty day free visa is issued on arrival for all Nationalities; provided: Should posses a valid passport with Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) -(standard ICAO Annex 9, chapter 3.10. 1) and should have at least 6 months validity.

Languages spoken

Dhivehi

Currency used

Maldivian rufiyaa

Area (km2)

298 km2

Festivals

In many Islands of Maldives, Eid ul Adha is called Bodu Eid because of the Bodu Mas tradition observed by them. Bodu meaning big emphasises on the importance of this Eid. Bodu Mas celebration sees islanders gather and fishermen catch a big fish made by weaving palm leaves. This tradition is based on an ancient story according to which a giant fish (Modu) along with Maali (ghosts) had come out from the sea. After a long struggle, the villagers were able to catch the fish with only the help of a holy man. This is why the celebration also involves Maali neshun, a form of dance performed by a group of people painted and dressed like ghosts.

A majority of the population in Maldives being Muslim, the government offices work only between 9am to 1.30pm. Many of the private workplaces close by 3pm in the afternoon. Meanwhile, resorts and hotels are not affected by the holy month. In fact, this is one of the best times to visit Maldives, as you get to taste a lot of cultural foods which is exclusive to this festival. Many restaurants also offer special Iftar (evening meal for breaking the fast) meals on their menu. Try some Ramadan juices in exotic flavours of rose, apricot and kamardine. The celebration also involves cultural activities like performances by music bands, belly dancers and fire dancers.

People in Maldives celebrate the day mostly with their family and relatives. A significant activity during this Eid is to make donation (fitr zakaath) in charity to the poor and the needy. The celebration starts with a morning prayer followed by participating in a sermon at the mosque. After this, the people visit friends and relatives and dine together. The celebrations last for consecutive 3 days and people also engage in traditional festive games. So, when are you planning to witness one of the most serene Maldives traditional