Maldives

Aldabra Andaman Islands Madagascar Maldives Mauritius Mayotte Reunion Seychelles Sri Lanka

Maldives

 

Kurumba Village

 

the country

 

Grand Friday mosque (1984)

 

dome of the mosque

 

most people take a boat to the resort islands

Photos of Kurumba Village resort

 

fountain in front of Sultan Park in Male, capital of the Maldives


Maldives (formerly Maldive Islands), island republic in southern Asia, located in the northern Indian Ocean, southwest of the southern tip of India. Maldives is made up of a chain of nearly 2000 small coral islands that are grouped into clusters of atolls. It has a total area of 298 sq km (115 sq mi). The capital and largest city of Maldives is Male (population, 1990, 55,130).

 

water comes from the sea

 The islands are low-lying and have only small tracts of arable land. Vegetation is dominated by coconut palms and breadfruit trees. The climate is tropical and humid. The average annual temperature is 26.7 C (80 F), with little seasonal variation. The average annual precipitation is 1524 mm (60 in), most of which falls between May and November. The principal natural resource is the marine life of the surrounding seas.

 

power from imported petroleum


The population of Maldives (1997 estimate) is 280,391, yielding an average population density of 941 persons per sq km (2437 per sq mi). The most populous atolls are Male, the capital and principal commercial center; Suvadiva; and Tiladummati. The people are ethnically heterogeneous, incorporating Indian, Sinhalese, Arabian, and African elements. Islam is the state religion, and nearly all the people are Sunni Muslims. The language is Divehi, an Indo-European tongue related to Sinhalese.

 

small boats provide transportation to the many islands


The Maldivian economy is dominated by fishing, and the total catch in 1995 was 90,012 metric tons. The most valuable species is tuna; corals and shells are also taken. Coconuts are the principal agricultural product; most food must be imported. Industrial activity is largely limited to fish processing and garment manufacturing. The tourist industry is growing; in 1996 some 339,000 tourists visited Maldives, adding $33 million to the economy. 

 

dangers of the new high tech?


Maldives is a republic governed under a constitution promulgated in 1968. Executive power is vested in a president, nominated by the Majlis, or Citizens' Council, and then elected every five years by universal adult suffrage. The Majlis, a unicameral legislative body, consists of 40 directly elected members from the 20 administrative atolls and 8 representatives appointed by the president. The president appoints a cabinet that is responsible to the Majlis.

 

Muslim faith

 

Local Mosque


The islands were settled by Buddhist peoples from southern Asia. Islam was introduced in the 12th century. The Portuguese traded at Male in the latter half of the 15th century. Although the islands were ruled by a local sultan, European influence was established over the area, first by the Dutch in the 17th century and later by the British. In 1887 the Maldives Islands formally became a British protectorate. In 1965 the Maldives achieved independence as a sultanate, and in 1968 the people voted to establish a republic. In 1988, Indian troops were called in to foil a coup attempt by Tamil mercenaries.

 

vigorous construction

 

many new homes

 

commemorating a Japanese project to improve harbor breakwater

Maldives hotels

horizontal rule

Kurumba Village

Aldabra Andaman Islands Madagascar Maldives Mauritius Mayotte Reunion Seychelles Sri Lanka

Return to Indian Ocean page

World Heritage Mosaics Roman World Africa Antarctica Asia Atlantic Islands Australia Caribbean Central America Europe Indian Ocean Middle East North America Pacific Islands South America The Traveler Recent Adventures Adventure Travel

 

Return to People and Places

horizontal rule