Art and culture

While the Maldives boasts of its exquisite aquatic ambiance, there is still more than meets the eye. Just like other countries that flourished and developed over time, the Maldives also has a handful of historical and cultural stories that made it what it is today. Cultural heritage and the arts are two profound symbols that add to the mystery and extravagance of what the Maldives is now.

All-year-round festivals, and sacred and historical site visits in several parts of the country promise incomparable cultural shock - in a good way. Since the Maldives is an Islamic country, tourists will have a taste of Muslim festivals as locally as possible. Ramadan, Kuda Eid, Independence Day, Republic Day, and Prophet's Day are just some of the national holidays that are observed within the country. The events, filled with vividness, reverence, music, and dance, showcase a more colorful side of the islands.

To those who prefer visual extravagance, several museums will give a peek at Maldivian history and let those who visit a feel of what it's like to be part of its culture. One can go to the National Museum, National Art Gallery, and Utheemu Ganduvaru to revel in the beauty of antiques, paintings and sculpture, and a home tour of the elegant furnishings of a rich Maldivian household.

If one wants to dwell on deep Maldivian pre-Islamic history, they are likely to come across various archaeological sites, especially those hosting Buddhist relics. Thoddoo Buddhist Temple, Kuruhinna Tharaagandu, and Vasho-Veyo are the most sought-after sites where visitors will be showcased with Buddhust artifacts which date back to the 7-8th century.

Of course, if anyone wants to actually live the lifestyle, the best way will always be to talk to locals and do what locals do on a typical day. Tourists may even get a chance to wear Dhivehi Libaas and Dhigu Hedhun for women, and Sarungan for men.