Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sightseeing in Male

Hukuru Miskiiy
Hukuru Miskiiy is the oldest mosque in the country, dating from 1656. The exterior is protected by a corrugated-iron covering which doesn't look very attractive, but the coral-stone walls are intricately carved with patterns and Arabic script. The interior is superb and famed for its fine lacquer work and elaborate woodcarvings.

The significance of the 'Friday' in its name points to the importance of that day of the week, which is the day on which all males go for the main religious congregation of the week, at noon, and at which the Imam gives religious advice. In earlier times, the Hukuru Miskiyy was the main mosque where Friday's noon prayers were held.

The Presidential Palace
The Presidential Palace, Theemuge is one of the most important attractions for those visiting Malé and is on the itinerary of any tour in Malé. The design and architecture of the palace combines the grandeur of local tradition with modernity. The palace is on Orchid Magu west of the main shopping area.

Mulee-aage was built just before the First World War by Sultan Shamsuddeen III for his son. The Sultan was deposed and his son never took office.In1953,duringtheFirstRepublicMulee-aage was designated as the Presidential Palace and was the official residence of the president until the new Presidential Palace was built.

The Islamic Centre

The Islamic Centre opened in 1984, is located between Meduziyaaraiy Magu and Ameeru Ahmed Magu. The Centre’s most important feature is the grand mosque, Masjidul Sultan Mohammad Thakurufaanu al A’zam which holds up to 5,000 people. In addition to the Grand Mosque, the Islamic Centre houses a conference hall, an Islamic library and classrooms.

Sultan Park & Museum
The Sultan Park and the National Museum are part of the old Sultan’s Palace and Palace grounds during the time of the monarchy. The Museum opened in 1952 and displays a large variety of objects and artifacts from times gone by. The collection comprises of relics from the pre-Islamic times to royal antiquities belonging to different monarchs. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. except Fridays and public holidays.

Just opposite the small park adjoining the Hukuru Miskiiy, is the tomb of Abu-al Barakaat, to whom the nation pays its respects for bringing to our shores the enlightenment of Islam in 1153.

The ‘Artificial Beach
It may sound strange in a country renowned for its beaches, however it is true that the residents of Malé get to enjoy an artificial beach built on the eastern side of the island. The beach is ideal for swimmers and those who cannot go to the nearby islands to enjoy the beach. There are food outlets and benches in the area where one can sit down and enjoy the scenery.


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