|Male, the capital
of the Maldives, is the seat of Government, commercial centre, and
the setting of several important religious and historical
With an area of just over 1.77 sq kilometres, it is home to
more than 60,000 people, and is the liveliest and most populated
island in the archipelago. In the past it was known as the Sultan's
The Grand Friday Mosque, Masjid-al-Sultan Mohammed Thakurufaanu-al-A
"z" zam is the largest mosque in the Maldives, featuring an Islamic Centre. This marvellous mosque with its prominent golden
dome decorates the frontage of Male and it can contain more than
5,000 worshippers at a time. Almost all travellers to Male
take time to visit this compelling milestone.
The old Friday Mosque with its distinctive minaret, graves of national
heroes and members of royalty resting in the peacefulness of its
compound provides the tourists with a window to the past. The art in the
mosque and royal burial grounds are one of a kind.
Additional attractive spots in Male are the graves of legendary
saints, Mulee-aage, the Presidential Palace and the National
Museum located in the Sultan Park which depicts the glories
of the past. All these are situated within a 10-minute walk.
The fruit and vegetable market and the firewood market are lively
and colourful locations where islanders from distant atolls sell
their wares. The nearby fish market is very clean, until
the busy hours of late afternoon when fishermen arrive with the
day's catch. Their cutting and cleaning the fish have devised
the process to an art. It is a clean and well-maintained place that
attracts lots of interest from travellers and offers a peek into
the life of distinctive Maldivian fisher-folk.