Utheemu, one of the islands of the Haa Alif Atoll, the northern most administrative atoll of the Maldives is well known as the birth place of national hero Mohammed Thakurufaanu. He engaged in a war of attrition against the Portuguese successfully driving them away in the mid 16th century. Utheemu Ganduvaru was the home of Mohammed Thakurufaanu and the simple beachside buildings was where he lived during his time as sultan. He started the Utheemu Dynasty that ruled the Maldives until the end of the 17th century. Guests at Cocoa Island by COMO Maldives can take advantage of sightseeing opportunities offered by the resort to catch a glimpse of Maldivian history.
Utheemu Ganduvaru in the north western part of the island is a collection of white painted buildings of various sizes within a walled compound with tiled and thatched roofs. The larger structure with the half walls and encircling windows seems to have been the main house and comprises of inner and outer sections. An annex has been added to accommodate Thakurufaanu’s growing family. The original furnishings of the palace are not known and the actual date of construction is not known either although it is said to be 500 years old. Since the palace is a collection of traditional wooden and coral buildings it needed to be renovated many times. Construction techniques engaged in putting a house of this nature together involved driving wooden poles into the ground and filling up the space in between with broken coral to give a sturdy foundation over which a wooden floor was laid in the case of the palace. Coconut logs were placed on the coral masonry with wooden upright columns fixed to them to support a thatched roof. The walls were of woven palm thatch or broken coral masonry. Visitors can get to Utheemu by speed boat and spend an entrancing couple of hours getting acquainted with Maldivian history and getting to know the people of this inhabited and remote island. As one of Maldives luxury resorts very much in demand, Cocoa Island offers the ultimate rejuvenating holiday experience.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.