No tour of the capital of the Maldives, Male would be complete without visiting the renowned Old Friday Mosque. By visiting this greatly esteemed place of worship you will not only experience a sightseeing attraction but also gain an insight into the fascinating religion and culture of the Maldives. As you enjoy the sightseeing attractions of the islands an appealing choice of accommodation would be one of the fine luxury hotels Maldives offers such as the well-reputed PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi Maldives.
The splendid Old Friday Mosque has the distinction of being the Maldives’ oldest mosque, with a history stretching back to 1656. This handsome place of worship has been constructed with coral stone, with numerous ornate decorations and Quranic engravings worked into the material.
Although technically you must have prior permission to enter the mosque, generally courteous and suitably dressed visitors will often be given permission to tour the mosque upon arrival. You will find that the interior of the mosque is a resplendent sight with its intricate woodcarvings and exquisite lacquer work. One expansive panel dating to the 13th century is devoted to the arrival of Islam to the islands.
A key feature is the impressive round tower of the minaret, which appears somewhat squat to the observer. Despite the fact that this minaret dates to 1675 it appears rather newer to the visitor. Next to the mosque you will find a cemetery featuring a host of tombstones with elaborate carvings. Interestingly the tombstones with pointed tops are those of deceased males, whereas those with curved tops are those of females. On the other hand tombstones with gilded lettering belong to local sultans.
Visitors will also notice a number of family mausoleums which feature ornately carved walls. If you are respectfully dressed you will have the opportunity to stroll through this fascinating graveyard.
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.