Explore the historic city of Male during this picturesque and informative walking tour in the Maldives.
Depart the pier for the drive to the three-story Islamic Center, Male's most renowned architectural landmark. Its Grand Friday Mosque is the biggest in the Maldives, and accommodates more than 5,000 worshippers. You will then continue on to the Friday Mosque, built from coral stone in 1656 AD during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar. It is home to a number of ancient tombstones erected in memory of past sultans, heroes, and nobles.
Across from the Hakuru Miskiiy you will see Medhu Ziyaarath, the shrine of Abu al Barakaath Yusuf al Barbari, and Presidential Palace, or Mulee-aage, which holds official functions and accommodates visiting heads of state and other foreign dignitaries. Near the Friday Mosque you will find Munnaaru, a gleaming white minaret also built by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar I in 1675.
Next, you will proceed for a visit to Sultan Park and the National Museum, formerly part of the Sultan's Palace. The museum displays artifacts, sculptures, clothing, coins, arms, armor, and other antiquities. After a visit to the tomb of Mohammed Thakurufaanu, erected in memory of the nation's greatest of national hero, you will see Jumhooree Maidan, Male's most popular place for children, social gatherings and relaxation. Situated along the northern waterfront, this public square features green grass and lush vegetation.
Your tour will conclude with a visit to the local fish, vegetable and fruit markets as well as a local souvenir shop.
Please note: Due to Muslim tradition, conservative dress is required for men and women when visiting the mosque. Women must cover their body, shoulders, arms and legs to the wrists and ankles, and a scarf must cover the head and hair. Men must also wear modest clothing befitting the sanctity of the mosque. Shorts, short skirts, beachwear, sleeveless t-shirts or blouses, and skimpy outfits are deemed inappropriate, and not permitted inside the mosque. This tour involves a total of approximately 1 mile of walking. Photographs of, or inside, the Islamic Center's Grand Friday Mosque are not permitted.