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Monday, February 3, 2014

A Visit to the most historical island of Maldives


During my visit to  Kulhudhufushi I got my uncle to arrange a trip to the island of  Utheemu , which was about 30 minute speedboat ride from Kulhudufushi. The island was the  home of Mohamed Thakurufaan a local  freedom fighter , who  saved the country from the hands of Portuguese and later become the ruler of the country.

Maldives maybe small but it still has pieces of history left for us to discover. Between 1558-1573 Maldives was under  the Portuguese rule and was saved by a  man named  Mohamed Thakurufaan ,who later became the ruler of Maldives.  His story is legend, how he  built  his  boat Kalhu ohfummi  and went along with his two brothers and a few men  organized a  what they say a "popular revolt" against the Portuguese  and finally gained control of the  the country from the hands of the Portuguese. The day Mohamed Thakurufaan gained control over Maldives is  now marked as National Day.

His home in Utheemu has been a made into a memorial place by the local government and has  kept his home well preserved except for a few renovations to the roof and some of the walls of the home.   Its a place locals visit and also to tourists , who are curious to learn about history  of Maldives. The place is closed during week ends and public holidays. There is an entrance ticket at the office section and you have to wait for your guide at the gate of the palace or gaduvaru before you are ushered in.  A guided tour is given inside,  although we weren't allowed  to take photos inside the home to prevent further damage to the preserved items.

If you are thinking this is a history lesson well, it is , sort of.  I thought of showing you one of the most historical islands in the country.

We went off on a beautiful Sunday morning ( Sundays are working days in Maldives, as weekend is Friday and Saturdays) , and had a  rather awkward landing as there is no jetty for getting down the boat. From one side  of the island, its the soft sand , from the other  end there are some rather large rocks ,which made it a lot easier to go down than  a good leap onto the sandy shore.

Heading off to see the Ganduvaru 
A local in traditional clothes (libaas and kandiki) sweeping the road using a iloshifathi  

The island was very peaceful and quite, with few people, who were very proud of their heritage with national coloured flags around the island and banners.  Because there were a few  groups of locals waiting to enter the place, we had to wait  for our turn  to get in, so headed off to check out the Kaani gas ( a large Sea trumpet tree ) which is said to have grown from a piece of   stick that Mohamed Thakurufaan had stuck on the ground to fix his weaving loom .
Kaani gas

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The beach was spectacular!!! Since it was gorgeous sunny day it looked even  more stunning and had us all wishing we had come for the whole day so we can take a nice swim in it.

awestruck!

 The kids still  couldnt resist and got their feet wet in the water before we headed off to enter the home or palace ( ganduvaru) as it was known among the locals.

There were several interesting things inside,  one  being that a door that was hastily shut by one of the ladies of the house had refused to budge even today. Another where the reflection from outside,   that falls on a curtain inside is seen upside down, unfortunately I couldnt take any photos, so you have to see for your self some day. The floor was covered with superfine sand. Most of the house was made of wood, although the roof was changed later, the original roof was made of thatched palm tree leaves.

The front door into the home of Mohamed thakurufaan

There was even a large hall where they held gatherings, prayer meetings and dinners.
When I say dinners dont expect large dinning tables, the men sat on woven mats on the floor and ate from a huge tray laden with food. We call it jaafai , or feast, where the dinners share a large tray laden with food.
The great hall with a water well outside. 
After exploring the home of Mohamed Thakurufaan, we wandered off  to find an old  mosque which is said to be the place where he  and his two brothers, Hassan and  Ali  prayed  to Allah  to grant them  victory with their struggle   to bring freedom  back to their country.

Kanduvalhu mosque.

The mosque also had a kind of swimming pool which is said to be a place where the men supposedly  took a bath to clean up.


The islanders have even made a children's playground ,so there was entertainment for the kids after a short history lesson.  Since it was a hot day and since there was some  time left before heading back to Kulhudhufushi, we headed off to find a place to grab a drink. The locals were helpful and showed us the way to an open cafe' .

Wandering about  the island

It was great day,  and I felt proud that we had great heroes and to see how simply they lived in those days, even now, one thing I noticed in the islands  that I have visited, was life is so peaceful and less hectic compared to the chaotic roads in Male' city.

6 comments:

  1. Oh! such a beautiful place. Wish I can be there once.

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  2. what a cool place thanks for bringing us along maybe one day we should visit :-) and meet up

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  3. Hi Nammi,

    I'm always proud too showing my boy our history and heritage. This place looks wonderful. Wish that life is always so peaceful :D

    Zoe

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  4. So pretty Nammi...thanks for the virtual tour.
    Have a great week my dear :D

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  5. So beautiful your country! Love it!

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