Maldives: History

The Indian Ocean's idyllic paradise

Maldives History

The Maldives history is a long one, with recent archaeological findings suggesting that the islands were inhabited as early as 1500 BC. Aryan immigrants seem to be the first settlers on the Maldives at around 500 BC. Further migration from South India and Sri Lanka occurred, and around 947 AD contact with the outside world began with the first Arab traveller.
Early traders to the Maldives found Buddhist colonies, and it wasn’t until 1153 the islands were converted to Islam by Persian and Arab travellers. The Maldives were governed as an independent Islamic sultanate from 1153 to 1968 and they were also a British protectorate from 1887 until 25 July 1965, after which they became an independent country on the 26 July 1965.

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s 30 year rein of the Maldives was finally succeeded by Mohamed Nasheed on the 11 November 2008. Recently, the newly elected president decided to sell off some of the former presidents ‘trappings of power’ which include a presidential yacht worth an estimated $7.5 million.