The History of Maldives

History of Maldives
Image: Miles & Smiles Away

Maldives is a small, isolated and peaceful island nation in the Indian Ocean. Its history is somewhat hazy and its pre-Muslim period is full of heroic myths, mixed with guesswork based on uncertain archaeological discoveries.

The Maldivian appeal has clearly been molded by their blurred past. The nation is hospitable and friendly but proud and independent at the same time. Archaeological finds indicate that the Maldives was inhabited as early as 1500 BC. It is believed that permanent settlements were established around 500 BC by Aryan migrants from the Indian subcontinent. Many customs and beliefs that still prevail in the country also verify the influence of the early Dravidian culture on the Maldives.

In 1887, the Maldives became a British colony, it was not the usual colonial arrangement as the British ensured the defense of the Maldives yet were not involved in any way with the governing of the country.

The Maldives gained fully independent status on July 26, 1965 and later changed the government from a Monarchy to a Republic on November 11, 1968.

Islam, the present state religion of the Maldives, is believed to have come to the country from the Arab traders for whom the Maldives became an important stop on their way to the Far East.

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