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Couple snorkeling, Maldives, Asia - history of Maldives

History of Maldives

Discover the history of Maldives on your private, tailor-made tours with travel tips from our experts.

The early inhabitants of the Maldives are believed to have practised Buddhism, and many archaeological remains from the period have recently been discovered. Attracted by cowrie shells found in the Maldives, which were used as currency in Asia and East Africa, adventurers from the Middle East arrived in the 12th century. Soon a sultanate was established in the Maldives.

An important part of the ancient trade route, the Maldives was used as a base by several colonial powers and the group of islands became a British Protectorate in the 19th century and finally gained independence in 1965. Until the late 1990s, the Maldives struggled to build its economy, despite many successive presidents bringing in several social and economic reforms.

Following many decades of strict presidency and continuous strife, the Maldives finally saw peaceful elections in 1978, when Maumoon Abdul Gayoom became the president. Since then, Maldives tours have steadily gained in importance, and today Maldives vacations are some of the most popular in the world!

Top Maldives Travel Tips – History

  • The Maldivian people are very devout Muslims and any attempt to bring forbidden items, such as religious idols or pornography, is dealt with strictly.
  • When the Portuguese brought Christianity to the residents in the 17th century, they were expelled immediately.
Excellent / 4.9 out of 5
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