One of the first things that pops up in our heads at the mention of Maldives are the endless turquoise beaches and luxury resorts. With the many options available, you can easily pick one of the many Maldives resorts. All inclusive deals have lately been a favourite among tourists as they can enjoy a hassle free holiday and make the most of the exotic island. However, there are few things beyond beaches that Maldives can offer. Being a predominantly Muslim country one of the notable landmarks in the city is the Grand Friday Mosque. The glistening dome of the modern mosque has made a mark in the skyline of Maldives. Many tourists tend to move away to their respective islands and do not spend a lot of time in the capital Malé. Resorts such as Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives offer excursions to the capital to their guests to explore the capital.
The Grand Friday Mosque was built in 1984 with the aid of Pakistan, the Gulf states, Brunei and Malaysia. Apart from the dome, the mosque has quite a plain structure, that is mostly white marbel and no decoration. It is the largest mosque in the country. One could spot the mosque from any boat entering the harbour.
The main hall in the mosque can have up to 5000 worshippers at a time. The hall has impressive wooden side panels and beautifully woven carpets as well as ornamental chandeliers to add a touch of elegance. The adjoining Islamic center has a library, conference hall, and classrooms.
The mosque is open to tourists from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. The best times to visit is between 2pm to 3pm. It is a religious place and therefore it is necessary to dress appropriately.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+
A little bit about the country
Today, nestled in the Indian Ocean scattered across miles of turquoise waters is a Muslim nation that was once ruled by kings and queens.
It was in the 14th century that the famous Moroccan explorer, Ibn Battuta recorded of a very bizarre chain of events that had the entire population convert to Islam. As stated by Ibn Battuta, the event was that of a sea creature that had tormented the Maldivian population threatening to unleash havoc if a virgin was not sacrificed every month. An Islamic scholar named Abul Barakaath Yoosuf Al Barbary was on visit to the island at this time and chose to disguise himself as a girl and kept reciting the Quran overnight in view to beat the monster. Next morning, he was found by the King very much alive and reading the Quran; the king later converted to Islam and ordered his fellow countrymen to do the same. Since that day, Islam has grown to become intrinsically linked with the country.
A symbol of faith
The Grand Friday Mosque also known as the Islamic Centre is a strong symbol of its main religion, Islam. The mosque is named after its much celebrated national hero Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam who liberated the country from the Portuguese invaders. The mosque is the largest in the Maldives and among the largest in the South Asian region with the capacity to accommodate up to 5,000 devotees at a time.
Many deem the mosque to be one of the finest in the region and its architectural traits bear testament to this. Its dome, gold in colour glows brilliantly whilst the woodcarvings within the minaret showcase the skill of the Maldivian artists. The centre consists of a library and conference spaces which have hosted high-level conferences such as the SAARC General Meeting.
How and when to visit and where to stay
It is said that almost all visitors take time off to visit the mosque. It is located just opposite Sultan Park in the island nation’s capital of Male. Well of course visiting such an exotic island offers you nothing but the very best. Maldives resort options such as the Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon are located within easy reach from the main island and offer quality accommodation. The visit takes between 30-60 minutes and the best time to head to the centre is before noon prayers.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+
In its architectural marvel as well as exterior finish, Grand Friday Mosque could be called the Mecca of Maldives. If you are a Muslim, orthodox or unorthodox, the mosque will enthrall you with its spiritual grandness. Stay at one of the Five Star Hotels Maldives has to offer and you can easily reach the Mosque.
The mosque is open from 9 am to 5 pm. If you are a non Muslim, you cannot enter the mosque premises at prayer times, 15 minutes before and the following hour. If you want the best experience, stay somewhere like Naladhu Maldives and visit the mosque around 2 pm. And remember to respect Grand Friday Mosque as a religious place and be dressed accordingly.
You do not have to think so much about the dress code. As long as you are decently dressed to cover yourself, that is what matters. Men are usually supposed to wear long trousers, while women need to wear a long skirt. Look at the mosque from far, and this mosque stands grand among other buildings in Male. In fact it has become the symbol of spiritual splendor in the city.
The museum was open in 1984 with assistance from many countries such as Pakistan, Brunei, Gulf States and Malaysia. Interestingly the mosque does not have much decoration, despite the fact that it is the biggest mosque in Maldives.
But then what is so special about this mosque? Its white marbles add a deep sense of serenity to the mosque. Once you are inside, you will see how spacious the main prayer hall is. About 5000 devotees can worship in the all at the same time. Walk a little inside, and you will see wooden side panels and doors along with a woven carpet and chandeliers. Further inside, you will come across the Islamic Centre with its classrooms, conference hall and library.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.