If a traveller to Maldives wants to discover its heritage sites, a visit to the Old Friday Mosque a.k.a the Malé Hukuru Miskiy, will be most satisfactory. Why? Let’s find out…
Oldest Mosque in the Country
Built during the reign of Ibrahim Iskandar in 1658, the Old Friday Mosque is the oldest in the country. It’s actually built over a previous mosque that was constructed by Sultan Mohamed Bin Abdullah after he converted himself to Islam.
Why So Important
In 2008, because of its amazing sea culture architecture, the mosque was listed among the tentative UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites. One of the most ornate mosques in the country, the Old Friday Mosque is made out of coral stone and features stunning elaborate carvings depicting either Quranic script or intricate decoration. The interior is simply stunning and you can find a fine collection of lacquer work that the mosque is famous for. The Malé Hukuru Miskiy is also renowned for its elaborate woodcarvings and one example of it is a long panel belonging to 13th century, which portrays the introduction of Islam to the Maldives.
Where is it?
The mosque is located in Malé the capital city of Maldives within the Kaafu Atoll. It’s just 4 minutes away from the National Museum. If you’re staying in the city it won’t be so difficult reaching it because you can walk around the entire Malé City in about an hour! However, if you’re staying at a place like Anantara Veli Maldives Resort; you will have to travel there via a speedboat. But don’t worry, in addition to accommodation at a Maldives bungalow, villa or room, these luxury resorts also provide their guests with such services as city tours and speedboat transfers.
If you’re visiting the mosque with a tour arrange by your resort like the above, you don’t have to worry about anything as they will take care of all the particulars. However, if you’re visiting the site on your own, you need to obtain permission from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. Thankfully, there are plenty of officials from the ministry onsite and if you are dressed modestly and behave respectfully; they will grant you entry to the mosque on the spot.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.