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Maldives History

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Maldives History

Comparative studies of Maldivian oral, linguistic and cultural traditions and customs indicate that the first settlers were Dravidian people from Kerala in the Sangam period (300 BC–AD 300), most probably fishermen from the southwest coasts of what is now the south of the Indian Subcontinent and the western shores of Sri Lanka.


The earliest written history of the Maldives is marked by the arrival of Sinhalese people, who were descended from the exiled Magadha Prince Vijaya from the ancient city known as Sinhapura. He and his party of several hundred landed in Sri Lanka, and some in the Maldives circa 543 to 483 BC. According to the Mahavansa, one of the ships that sailed with Prince Vijaya, who went to Sri Lanka around 500 BC, went adrift and arrived at an island called Mahiladvipika, which is the Maldives.

Did you know...
  • .. that Archaeological finds indicate that the Maldives was inhabited as early as 1500 BC
  • .. that King Koimala (1117 - 1141) became the first king to rule over the whole of Maldives after reclaiming the northern atolls from the Indian invaders.
  • .. In 1573 Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Azam and his two brothers organized a popular revolt and drove the Portuguese out of Maldives.
  • .. In 1977 Russians offered US$1 million to Maldives for use of Gan base by their fishing fleet. President Nasir calls the only cabinet meeting held between the end of March 1977 and November 1978. At that meeting, the Russian offer got rejected.
Selected photo
The Suvadive parliament. The Suvadives declared independence on January 3rd 1959, capitulated, rejoining the rest of the nation on September 23, 1963.