10 facts about Maldives
One of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, Maldives is a wonderful tropical island that boasts of white sandy beaches, azure sea waters and exotic, colorful coral reefs. Private beach huts are the best accommodation option at this tropical paradise lying amid the Indian Ocean. One of the best option is the Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa Maldives (picture above) which is an exclusive all-suite resort for those who demand genuine luxury. Space and privacy is a hallmark at Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa which boast some of the largest beachfront villas in the Maldives that provides the perfect backdrop for a glamorous yet relaxing retreat. After a resort-wide renovation and refurbishment, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa reopened in October 2014 with 103 beach and over-water villas, with their own private pool and jacuzzi. Famous for its outstanding double coral reef that brings a vibrant underwater world just a few meters from its shores, Hideaway has the only operational private marina in Maldives. This wonderland island has several interesting realities that one may not know. Here are 10 interesting facts about Maldives that you must know:
1 – World’s First Underwater Cabinet Meeting was Held Here
For an island country like Maldives, drastic climate change and rising level of oceans is a major threat. A number of islands have already been cleared because of the rising waters in the ocean and their interference in fresh water resources. For drawing attention towards the same, Mohamed Nasheed, The President, transferred the cabinet meeting of October 2009 right to the ocean’s bottom. President along with his 13 government officials adorned scuba gears and placed themselves on the desks that were sunk at the sea bottom in order to increase attentiveness about the threats that the island chains are facing. Another point was raising awareness about sustainability projects he was thinking about in order to reduce carbon footprints in the whole country. These projects were on sustainable tourism, biodegradable resorts along with garnering all the energy sources available on the islands, including solar power, water as well as wind.
2 – It is an Island that was Formed by an Exiled Indian Prince
From the time the history of Maldives has been chronicled, this island country has always been of a great importance because of its apt placement along some trade routes. The people who first colonized the island, came here from India only. Though the exact date is not known, but the tentative date was sometime before 269 BC. If legends are to be believed, at that time there was no government. Only a peaceful community who worshiped Sun and Water, was living there. It is said that the first real kingdom here was founded by Sri Soorudasaruna Adeettiya, the son of a ruler of Kalinga, a kingdom in India. The king was extremely angry from his son and had sent him away to Maldives, then called Dheeva Maari. The prince established Adeetta Dynasty in Maldives. Also called the Solar Dynasty, its time came to an end after the wedding of the queen of this dynasty with a prince of Lunar Dynasty of Kalinga. As far as the early days of history of Maldives is concerned, nothing is much clear. Information about the same poured in from later on. Copper plates belonging to a princess were lost from her home island in 1100s but it is later probably were founded by a scholar in the 14th century, who later translated but then buried them back in the sand, never to be found again.
3 – This Island Comprises of More Than 1190 Coral Islands in its 26 Prime Atolls
Maldives has more than 1190 low-lying coral islands that are gathered into 26 atolls, which can be seen in 200 inhabited islands of Maldives along with 80 islands that have tourist resorts. Archipelago enjoy a wonderful location along and across the main sea lines of the Indian Ocean. Maldives’ atolls are actually a part of a larger structure called the Laccadives-Chagos Ridge, expanding over 2000 km. 99% of Maldives is water.
4 – It is The Lowest and Flattest Nation in The World
The ground level of Maldives Island on an average is at 1.5 meters and the highest point is at a particular spot in the Villingili Island, that is at 2.3 meters, which is the lowest on the earth. As the nation is at the lowest level, it always has to worry about the chances of it sinking, especially because of the drastic changes in the climate that are happening continuously.
5 – Alcohol is Available Only in Resorts and Hotels
Maldives is an Islamic country, the visiting tourists are also expected to follow as well as respect their traditions while visiting it. Alcohol can be consumed only in hotels and resorts as it is prohibited everywhere else. Taking it away from the premises of the resort is also not allowed. Importing alcohol, pork as well as pork products is illegal as per Muslim beliefs. In The Ramadan month, even tourists are expected to stick to Muslim customs, such as shunning drinking, smoking and eating during the day hours. Some restaurants that are away from main roads may serve the tourists. Though there is no public reverence for other faiths but the tourists can follow their beliefs in private. Nudity and topless sunbathing is not allowed in Maldives, even if you are on the private beach of your resort.
6 – World’s Smallest Muslim Country
Maldives is not only the smallest country in Asia but it also the world’s smallest Muslim country that is popular for its religious intolerance. Written in the year 1997, The Maldives Constitution states that that its citizens must be Muslim, particularly and clearly forbidding following of any other religion.
7 – One of the Safest Holiday Destinations in the World
Maldives is popular for being one of the safest holiday destinations in the world. Even the very isolated resorts are extremely safe.
8 – In Maldives, Friday and Saturday mean Weekend unlike any other Nation
While in most of the countries on the globe, weekend means Saturday and Sunday, it is not so in Maldives. Weekend here is Friday and Saturday.
9 – Literacy in Maldivian Adults is 98 Percent
Maldives is one country that can brag about having 98 percent literacy among its adults. This comes as a matter of pride as in the year 1978, it was just 70 percent. Around 200 islands on Maldives are inhabited, thus making one education program was a difficult thing for the government. It is believed that 35 percent of Maldives residents are under the age of 18 years and thus education plays an important role in being successful in the future. UNICEF helped Maldives in the making a unified education over the year from 1978. Teacher Resource Centers have been constructed that made use of modern technology, specifically internet for the purpose of long-distance teaching among the different island. This also helped in the creation of an education program that promoted education for not only children but also for caregivers as well as parents who play an important role in a child’s life. Its consequence was that 100% children enrolled in primary schools. That is not all. Even the graduation rate was 99 percent. As per the surveys by the US Department of Education, the rate of literacy in the US has not changes in the span of 10 years, and the illiteracy in the adult population is 14 percent.
10 – Wonderful Underwater Life
In comparison to the United States, whale watching in Maldives is going to be a thrilling experience as you are going to spot as many as 1000-1500 dolphins and whales. During anytime of the year, the coral reefs of Maldives are inhabited by 10-12 species of dolphins and whales. Tourists can spot real killer whales, false killer whales, dwarf sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, striped and spotted dolphins as well as pilot whales. There can be as many as 200 dolphins in one school of dolphins. Maldives is also popular all around world as one of the best place to spot Whale Shark, the largest fish in the world, ranging from 5 to 9 mt.