Top 17 Historical Sites in the Maldives to Club With Other Activities

The top historical sites in the Maldives are the fresh reason for the tourism boom in this island nation. And it shows no sign of slowing down. One must become a mermaid in the Maldives, followed by sightseeing of historical landmarks, sights, and monuments. 

Did you know? It is believed that an exiled prince of the Kalinga kingdom established Maldives somewhere around 269 B.C! Since then, Maldives has come a long way to be one of the most sought after tourist destinations globally. It is most famous as a place where the Indian Ocean is blessed by marvelous marine gems, welcoming tourists to delight in.

But is this all Maldives has under its belts? The answer is no! You would be amazed to know that the Maldives is a cornerstone of historical marvels as well. And guess what? Exploring the top historical sites of Maldives will give you a deeper insight into its past. And when history is taken seriously, it broadens up your travel experience like never before.

Look at these top 17 famous historical monuments in the Maldives

1. Victory Monument

Victory Memorial is one of the top historical site in the Maldives. This monument is the symbol of victory. It was made to commemorate the victory of the terrorist attack on 3 November 1988 by Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers. The historic monument lists the names of the martyred civilians, servicemen on the black slab.

Victory Memorial is located in Malé- the capital of the Maldives. The location is tranquil and free from the mundane as there is no traffic. Take peaceful walks around the monument. Victory Memorial will give you enough information about the glorious past of this cluster of 1190 islands (approx.).

Location: Malé, the capital of Maldives
Entry fee: Free of cost

2. Hulhumale Mosque

A Yemini – Yusuf introduced Islam to Maldives in the 12th century AD. Later, Maldives was the political playground of European colonial powers, a British territory, until it got independence from the United Kingdom in 1965. The presence of Muslims in the Maldives shows clearly that there are several mosques in the Maldives.

One such must-visit Masjid is Hulhumale Mosque. It has impeccable architecture, and it is said that this Masjid is the most photographed monument in the Maldives. Locals go to offer prayers here every Friday. If you want to get close to Islam, this place will offer you divine peace. The opening timings of the Hulhumale Mosque is between 9 AM – 5 PM throughout the week.

Location: Filigas Magu, Malé, Maldives
Entry fee: Free of cost

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3. Tsunami Monument

Just like every picture tells a story, the same goes with monuments in the Maldives. Tsunami Monument is a freelancing steel monument made in respect for those who lost their lives in the Maldives’ devastating 2004 tsunami.

This is one of the most interesting heritage places in the Maldives because the tsunami’s family affected people come here to remember their loved ones. The monument enlisted the 74 Maldivians (approx.) who were caught by the tragedy. The edifice has named carvings of the flood-affected victims.

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What’s cool: Nearby to the monument, there is a popular beach for surfing.

Location: Thin Ruh Park, Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Malé, Maldives
Entry fee: Free of cost

4. Sinamalé Bridge

From a historical lens, Sinamalé Bridge symbolizes Maldives-China friendship and improved relations. This bridge in the Maldives is considered amazing because it is built in the island nation’s cluster.

Sinamalé Bridge connects three Maldives islands – Hulhumale, Malé, Hulhule. Walking on this beautiful bridge is one of the best things to do in the Maldives. You will get enough photography and videography moments as the water sound is crashing beneath you.

Especially during the nighttime, Sinamalé Bridge is decorated like a bride, making it one of Maldives’ best places. It is 2.1 km (approx.) long bridge with separate lanes for pedestrians and automobiles.

Location: Malé, the capital of Maldives
Entry fee: Free of cost

5. Jumhooree Maidhaan (Republic Square) Of Maldives

A favorite hangout place in the Maldives during morning and evening, Jumhooree Maidan/Independence Square/Republic Square all are the same. Historically and traditionally, this place holds great importance. It is the place you will see the Maldivian Flag soaring high. The Flag could be seen from a very long distance.

Nearby to the Jumhooree Maidan, ferries run from the Malé airport park. Dense trees and grooves are placed around Republic Square, giving travelers enough reason to visit this famous historical tourist attraction in the Maldives. Capture the pigeons flying nearby too!

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Location: Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Malé
Entry fee: Free of cost

6. Mulee-Aage Palace

So, maybe you didn’t enter into the Presidential house in the Maldives, but you can watch it through the outside gate. Mulee-Aage-Palace architecture is amazing to capture in a photo frame. The residence is nicely painted in white and speaks a lot about Maldives history.

It is indeed one of the most tourist oriented historical attraction in the Maldives because the house’s design is inspired by the colonial era of Sri Lanka. This place will allow you to pass the President’s house in the Maldives from a very close distance.

Location: Medhu Ziyaaraiy Magu, Male’
Entry fee: Free of cost

7. Isdhoo Buddhist Stupas

Prefer to spend the precious time with your honey while understanding the Buddhist’s history in the Maldives? Yes, it is possible. In the bygone era, the artifacts and images of Buddhist were unearthed from this island nation. Isdhoo Buddhist Stupas are located in Isdhoo Island – located in the northernmost tip of the atoll.

Norweigan ethnographer Thor Heyderahl and HCP Gel (British Leader) said that these Stupas were built by the Buddhists before the Islamic influence. Now, most of the Buddhist Stupas are replaced by mosques because the direction of Stupas faces west.

Location: Isdhoo Island
Entry fee: Free of cost

8. Thoddoo Buddhist Temple

In truth, Buddhism exists in the Maldives, and Thoddoo Buddhist Temple signifies it. This shrine was discovered in the 1950s (approx.) and houses Buddhist artifacts, Roman coins, and silver relics. The discovery also states that one Buddhist statue was found buried nearby to the temple. This clearly depicts that Buddhism was fondly practiced in the Maldives long, decades back.

Indeed, Thoddoo Buddhist Temple is one of the Maldives’ best historic sites highlighting Buddhist history. You can reach Thoddoo Island from Malé on a ferry, seaplane, and speedboat. Apart from the Buddhist temple, make sure you indulge in beach hopping, snorkeling, Sandbank visit, Mosque hopping.

Location: Thoddoo Island
Entry fee: Free of cost

9. Kuruhinna Tharaagandu

Archaeological experts found Kuruhinna Tharaagandu to be a former Buddhist Monastery. It is located in Kaashidhoo Island, 87 km (approx.) from Capital – Malé. Easy to reach, this famous archeological site’s option makes Kuruhina Tharaagandu the famous historic site in the Maldives.

The archeological society survey team claims that this site was used in the pre-Islamic era between the 7th to 8th centuries. If you want to see the evidence of the Maldives’ Buddhist history, explore the island of Kaashidhoo on your Maldives trip. Here at Kaashidhoo Island, you enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Location: Kaashidhoo Island
Entry fee: Free of cost

10. Ali Rasgefaanu Ziyaaraiy

Once the place for laying the rest of the Former King of Ali VI, Ali Rasgefaanu Ziyaaraiy, this tomb symbolizes his nation’s patriotic work. Locals Maldivian feel privileged as this place provides knowledge about Ali Rasgefannu Ziyaaraiy’s life journey.

There is a Mosque within the compound where tourists visit to seek blessings. If you are planning family holidays in the Maldives, make sure you visit this place with kids.

Location: Shaheed Ali Hingun, Malé
Entry fee: Free of cost

11. Malé Friday Mosque

 A visit to this place will invoke your spiritual senses. Talking of the most sacred place of worship for Islamic followers in the Maldives, Malé Friday Mosque should not be skipped. It is one of the top-rated historical sites in the Maldives because Friday Mosque is considered the oldest surviving Malé Mosque, built-in 1658. This Masjid corner is ornated from inside out and has intricate carvings, making UNESCO listed Malé Friday Mosque in the World Heritage Site list in 2008.

This magnificent Mosque will leave you speechless. However, tourists need to obtain special persimmon from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to enter the Malé Friday Mosque entry. The opening timings of the Malé Friday Mosque is between 10 AM – 4 PM.  Activate your five senses by absorbing the positive energy on your honeymoon in the Maldives at Malé Friday Mosque.

Location: Malé
Entry fee: Free of cost

Note: Maintain peace and wear clothes that cover your whole body.

12. The Koagannu Cemetery

Do you want to confront the past of the Maldives? If yes, then bookmark The Koagannu Cemetery on your bucket list. It is amongst the most visited historical places in the Maldives because Kongannu is the oldest Maldives cemetery. This Memorial belongs to the Maldives’ royals and is supposed to have been built about 900 years ago!

It is the same place where the first Muslim of Adu Atoll was buried. Locals of Maldives believe that this place holds strong historical secrets and tales of the Maldivian rulers. The cemetery remains open all 7 days of the week. 

Location: Addu Atoll
Entry fee: Free of cost

13. Tomb of Muhammad Thakurufaanu

This historical site in the Maldives comes first in local Maldivian’s mind because it is the resting place of Mohammad Thakurufannu. He was the person who dedicated his life to unchain the island nation of Maldives from Portuguese influence or invaders. Located in Male’s capital town, this historical place in the Maldives is said to be the Maldives hero’s resting place.

Pay respect to the Maldivian hero and wear body clothes that cover your whole body during your visit. Mohammad Thakurufannu is a warrior in the Maldivan history who became the Sultan of the Nation between 1573-1575 (approx.). 

Location: Malé
Entry fee: Free of cost

14. Medhu Ziyaaraiy Shrine

Locals in Maldives and tourists believe that Medhu Ziyaaraiy Shrine is the top-rated historical attraction in the Maldives. The reason behind it is this place is considered sacred according to the folklore because it is dedicated to Abdul Yoosuf Al Barbary, who converted the locals of the Maldives into Islam from Buddhism during the 12th century.

Abdul Yoosuf Al Barbary is a Morocco scholar who was supposed to help people eliminate sea demons. However, you cannot enter into the place as it is locked but still worth visiting historic souls. 

Location: Medhu Ziyaaraiy Magu, Malé
Entry fee: Free of cost

15. British War Memorial

So, this famous historic site in the Maldives has a history associated with World War II. As the name suggests, British War Memorial was constructed to pay homage to the Britishers’ soldiers who lost their lives while on duty while serving at Royal Air Force between 1941-1971. Upon your visit, see the cannons placed close to the Memorial to safeguard it from the enemies.

In order to reach British War Memorial, you can take Ferry from Malé. The average time to explore British War Memorial is between 20-30 minutes (approx.). This historic place remains open throughout the week. 

Location: Gan Island in Addi Atoll
Entry fee: Free of cost

16. Grand Friday Mosque

The Maldives is the island nation where there is a record number of mosques. Talking of one such Mosque in the Maldives, the list of top historic sites in the Maldives won’t be completed without the Grand Friday Mosque mention. Its golden dome is impressive, and its architecture is inspired by beautiful modern mosques. Grand Friday Mosque is the biggest Mosque on Maldives’ island, opened for prayer performers in 1984.

Laborers from Malaysia, Pakistan, Brunei, Gulf States had a big part in constructing the Grand Friday Mosque. If you are a hipster, then you won’t be allowed to enter the Mosque. Dress with modesty to enter. There is a prayer hall inside the Mosque which can accommodate upto 5000 (worshippers). 

You should not miss this famous historic monument in the Maldives as the Grand Friday Mosque has beautiful carved wooden side panels, intriguing carpet, and brilliant chandeliers. As a non-muslim, you cannot enter the Mosque 15 minutes before the Islamic prayer starts. The usual timings to visit Grand Friday Mosque is between 9 AM – 5 PM. 

Location: Gan Island in Addi Atoll
Entry fee: Free of cost

17. Utheemu Ganduvaru

Many Sultans in the Maldives have done prosperous work for the inhabitants of the Maldives. One such Sultan is Sultan Mohamed Thakurufannu. He is known to establish the first military unit in the Maldives during his 12 years until his death in 1585 (approx.).

Utheemu Ganduvaru is the motherland of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu. Locals of the Maldives worship him as he made Portuguese invaders run away in the 16th century with his brothers. Isn’t this a must-visit historic site in the Maldives

Location: Utheemu in Haa Alifu Atoll
Entry fee: Free of cost

How Many Historical Monuments Are There in the Maldives?

Several must-visit historical landmarks in the Maldives brimming with sacred beliefs, mysterious religions of the past. Many of the Maldives’ top-rated historical attractions reflect the bygone Maldives ancient craftsmanship, fishing history, birthplace, and ruling grounds of the Maldives majestic icons. The Maldives culture has a huge influence of Arab, Indonesian, African, Sri Lankan, and Indian.

A Positive Shift in Maldives Tourism Because of Its Historical Monuments

The powder white beach, crystal clear lagoons, overwater bungalows with private beach access has been captivating travelers over many years in the Maldives. But now, the history buff in the Maldives will be spoiled with choices.

This island nation is peppered across the Indian Ocean and still manages to be one of the best ancient kingdoms of historical sites, monuments in Asia. Learn about the heritage of the Maldives on your Maldives vacations.

Is the Maldives a Good Destination for a Historical Retreat?

Yes. Indeed! Definitely! The beauty of the Maldives treasures and the splendor of the island steeped in history, when explored with the combination of overwater bungalow stays, underwater dining experience, personifies your Maldives holidays purpose.

Satisfied with the good reasons to trust the Maldives for historic exploration?

Ending Words

The idea behind these top 17 historical sites in the Maldives list was to spark some new reasons to visit the Maldives in you! The Maldives was initially known to be the paradise for water babies. But now this island nation is much more than its floating overwater bungalows, sand-sational beaches, and everything you heard about it!

Did our list of historic sites in the Maldives manage to awake your historical wanderlust? Drop some hints in the comments.

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