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The Maldives has been inhabited for at least 2500 years. Visited and enriched over the centuries by contact with sailors from all over, the country has evolved its unique culture.

Before Maldives converted into Islam in 1153AD, Buddhism was the prevalent religion. Ruins of stupas and other temples still exits to attest to this.

The Maldives has always been a very peaceful apart from a few skirmishes with foreign invaders. The Portuguese, for example, occupied the nation for about 17 years in the 17th Centaury.

From 1887 to 1965, the Maldives was a British Protectorate. Since then. The Maldives has been a sovereign state.

Since conversion to Islam, the Maldives remained a Sultanate till the proclamation of the First republic in 1953. It failed. The Sultanate returned till the Second Republic was proclaimed in 1968. This time, it lasted.

Maldivian culture is a unique and practical phenomenon born of the fisher folk, the adventure on the high seas, and the always-welcome guests. Binding this whole is our unique Sanskrit-driven language (called Dhivehi) and the Islamic faith.

Important Dates

Conversion to Islam (from Buddhism): 1153 AD

Portugal occupies the country: 1643 AD

Mohamed Thakurufaanu of Utheem liberates the country:1658 AD

Maldives becomes a British Protectorate: 1887 AD

The First Republic: 1953

Independence: July 26, 1965

The Second Republic: November 11, 1968


Religion: Islam (Sunni)

Status: Every Maldivian is a Muslim.

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