The Maldives are a truly magical place and are a destination at the very top of most peoples bucket list! Whether you have been lucky enough to visit or it is still on your list to tick off, you will know for a fact that the Maldives have the bluest water and whitest beaches in the world. However, what many don’t know is that the Maldives is rich in history and has many fascinating attributes. Jumeirah, who have their own collection of Maldives luxury resorts are on hand to share some amazing facts about their incredible island nation.
THE MALDIVES WERE FOUNDED BY AN EXILED PRINCE
The first people to officially colonise the Maldives came from India. The actual date is not known, but it’s thought to be before 270 BC. It has been said the first kingdom was established by the King of Kalinga’s son from India. The king was apparently very angry with his son and so he sent him to the Maldives as punishment. Back then it was known as Dheeva Maari.
THERE ARE OVER 1000 CORAL ISLANDS
A staggering 1,190 coral islands grouped as 26 atolls form The Maldives. Of these islands, 200 of them are inhabited, whilst 80 of them have resorts. Most of the islands are so small they don’t appear on big world maps.
Nevertheless. the population is still over 300,000 and each island is surrounded by sea, which means you will need a boat to get there and of course get around to explore as much of this island nation as possible.
THE MALDIVES IS ONE OF THE FLATTEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD
The Maldives has a ground level of 1.5 metres, with the highest point being 2.3 metres, which is found at a certain spot in Villingili Island. Because the country is so low, many are worried that this island nation won’t exist towards the end of the century due to climate change affecting the sea level. So make sure you visit while you still can!
A COCONUT TRIED TO RIG AN ELECTION
Many Maldivians believe in black and white magic. It was reported in 2013 that a coconut was found acting suspiciously outside a polling station during the presidential election. It was quickly detained by the police and someone was called into examine the coconut which was placed in custody. Whilst this sounds ridiculous, it is a true story!
98% LITERACY RATE AMONG ADULTS
The Maldives has a huge literally rate among adults, which is around 98%. This is astonishing considering it was only 70% in 1978. The Maldives is an excellent example of a unified education system, despite being spread out over 200 islands. With 35% of the residents under the age of 18, the education system is a major component in their success.
WHALE WATCHING AT ITS VERY BEST
Most holidays that promise a whale watching tour will probably guarantee a few of them at best (and a lot of the time you have to be lucky too)! This doesn’t apply to the Maldives though as here you will see somewhere in the region of 1000-2000 individual dolphins and whales.
There are an incredible 10 to 12 different species of whale that call the stunning coral reefs of the Maldives their home. The Maldives is also home to the Whale Shark, the world’s largest fish, which can be up to 10 metres long. In addition there are hundreds of species of fish and other animals that inhabit the coral reefs, including turtles. The Maldives really are a divers paradise!
THE MALDIVES USED TO BE A BUDDHIST NATION
Today, the Maldives is a deeply Muslim nation. As with any country, it is essential that you obey the local traditions and laws during your holiday. One of the biggest rules which affects tourists is not being allowed to drink alcohol anywhere except in your resort.
Not many people would know that interestingly it used to be a Buddhist nation which was converted in the 12th century by Islamic holy men who were travelling through at the time!
The Maldives are the epitome of paradise, everywhere you look is like looking at a postcard! It is a destination that is incredibly high on my bucket list and one Dan and I hope to visit in the next few years. When we travel we like to research our destinations before we visit and learn a little of the history, culture and language so we can fully embrace the country during our time there. I loved learning a little more about this island paradise and had no idea there was so many islands that made up this spectacular country – the hardest thing will be choosing which ones to go to!
Our opinions are as always, our own.