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Male' City

Adorable Chick

Maldives diary - Day 3 - 10 Oct 2011

Male , the capital city of Maldives, hosts the main airport, for entry into this beautiful Islam country. Scattered like pearls on the Indian Ocean, this archipelago offers tourists a rich and vide variety of choices, for a perfect Holiday.

A day trip from the Taj Vivanta Maldives (now called Taj coral reef resort and spa). to Male' was easy. We requested for a paid ferry to take us to the main land for exploration. It was superb to witness views of various resorts spread out on different tiny islands of this archipelago, from our boat. It went zooming at great speed, as we felt the wind brushing across our faces. We lazed on the deck relaxing throughout the journey. We reached the city in an hour's time. A guide greeted us on the shores, as we got off our ferry. The city looked colourful and vibrant, bustling with activity and therefore vastly different from the remote silent island. The guide initiated our tour around the city.

We followed him to reach the Islamic Centre. The magnificent colossal building, built of white marble, kept us in awe. The guide explained that the building housed plenty of offices including the Ministry of Islamic affairs, apart from the Mosque. The mosque is called the "Masjid-al-Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu-al-A'z'am" and is the biggest in Maldives, just like its name. It is capable of easily accommodating 5000 devotees at a time. The Iconic golden dome was the main attraction of this architectural wonder. We recollected having spotted the Golden dome from our airplane, while landing in Male city. We requested for an internal tour of the mosque. It was mandatory to follow a dress code, inside this holy place.

Tidy Desk

The reception office in the entrance of the mosque handed over a colourful scarf and a wrap around to me, which I adorned. It felt weird. The interiors of the mosque is impeccable, with spotlessly clean surroundings. There were plenty of conference halls , used regularly for various purposes. The carpeted areas and marble floors left us even more spellbound. The mosque was deserted and we were the only humans around. The kind caretaker, offered to show us around. He tried to explain the interiors in his own language.

The next in line was the "JUMHOORIE MAIDAN". It is the Republic square of Male, which hosts plenty of public activities and entertainment events. This lies close to the Northern harbour of the city. A hoisted, Maldivian flag finds its place in the centre of this ground, with the Shaheed Hussain Adam building as its back drop. A short photo stop was enough here. We followed the guide through industrious streets, yet again, to soon reach the entrance of the SULTAN PARK.

This public Park is built on the grounds of the erstwhile Royal Palace of the 16th century. Its aesthetic ambience attracts visitors throughout the year. A part of the Palace building inside this park, that was saved from demolition, today serves as the National Museum. We were unable to visit the interiors of the park. The fancy, spiral monument ,seemingly built of solid steel was worth a photograph. We then reached the gates of the "PRESIDENT'S HOUSE". The mosaic tiled walls of the main entrance , coloured in blue and yellow, is worth a photograph. Of course, entry is prohibited. The guide also showed us the Presidential boat. It was the private ferry used by the President for commuting.

What amazed us was that we could not find tight security anywhere in the vicinity of the President's house nor his private yatch. We even spotted the then Education Minister walking around freely like a commoner. Such is the peace, law & order maintained in this beautiful country.