History Of Maldives: The Journey Of Kingdom To The Republic!

 In Holidays, Maldives, Places To Visit, Travel

Are you planning for a Maldives Trip? If yes! What are the factors that made you plan this Island nation? Let us take a guess! The beauty and its pristine beaches, right?

Not only you but there are millions of travellers all across the globe who travel to this Island paradise to witness its charming beauty. But do you know there is a strong history behind the formation of this island to be a republic by inviting all tourists with fewer restrictions?

From King rule to the sultanate, then to the British,  again to the sultanate and finally resting to the republic, the history of Maldives took a significant ride. So, before ticking your wishlist to visit the Maldives. Let’s explore the history of Maldives, how it gained independence, and also how one of the best islands in Maldives got freedom lately in 1965. 

Early History Of Maldives


Maldives history dates back to 500 BCE, with the initial settlers known to be the Dravidian people from different parts of the Indian subcontinent. These early occupying activities introduce different traditions to this beautiful island nation. The major traditions are the Buddhist and the Hindu traditions which can be deciphered using the archaeological findings of various Buddhist stupas and also the ancient Hindu temples.

Maldives history has a stronghold. Due to its strategic location, this island rests in the Indian Ocean creating a vital hub to stop for the maritime trade routes that easily link East Africa, Arabia and Southeast Asia.

With time Maldives history was enriched with the frequent travellers from culturally rich nations like India and Srilanka who made this island a cultural melting pot and developed its own identity. Seafaring, fishing, and farming turned out to be the best activities in the Maldives for primary income and from then on, people here gradually built their own set of rules.

History About Maldives: Awakening Of Islam

Source: Office Holidays

Though Maldives history has Buddhist and Hinduism nuances, from the beginning of 1153 CE the nation converted itself into an Islamic state. This transformative shift was initiated with the arrival of the famous Moroccan traveller, Abu Al-Barakat Yusuf Al-Babari

He was the one who reached the then-Maldivian king and converted to Islam. This conversion act is a strong milestone in the history of Maldives, as the Maldivian king attained the Islamic title of Sultan Muhammad Al-Adil and declared Maldives as an Islamic state. 

This declaration leads to the cumulative shift in the Maldivian culture, governance and also the society. From then on Islamic, and legal rules strived into the education systems, and also into the daily life. However, the history of Maldives also proves that this conversion has helped this island nation to build strong cultural and economic ties with the Muslim world and marked a new cultural heritage.

About British Rule History In Maldives


With the series of kings taking rule in Maldives, there was a significant stride that turned the history of Maldives more interesting when the Britishers took charge here. So here is what happened in British rule history in Maldives:

History About Maldives: Britishers Invasion

The 17th century is the time when there is the first British contact with the history of Maldives. This was the time when the colonial rulers showed their interest towards South Asia and due to its strategic location this Indian Ocean settled Island lured the interests of colonial powers like Portuguese, Dutch and also eventually English.

Agreement That Turned British Rule History In Maldives

With the interest of the colonial powers, the British turned victories over the other powers and signed a Protectorate Agreement in 1887 with the Sultan of Maldives. This agreement serves the interests of the Maldives controlling the major part of the maritime routes. 

However, the sources of history about Maldives state that the internal power rested with the sultan and the British took over the external affairs. From here on Britishers gained control over all the major things that people do in Maldives like marina activities, farming, and trade. 

History Of Independence Of Maldives


The history of Independence of Maldives comes with a series of events and struggles from the Maldivian locals. Here are some of the events that shaped the history of Maldives:

Post-World War II Developments

As the mighty British Empire was severely affected by the nuances of World War II, it brought various changes in the colonial landscapes and nations like India and Maldives are no exception. They retreated from different colonies which intensified the urge for independence in Maldives. 

This idea culminated in the idea of The First Republic in 1953 which turned out to be the pivotal movement in the history of Maldives. An important personality named Mohamed Amin Didi abolished the sultanate system in Maldives and declared the country a republic. 

But soon opposition rose and the resurrection of the sultanate system emerged within 8 months. With the sultan system continuing there was also a British military presence particularly in one of the best islands in the Maldives named Gan Island in Addu Atoll, which is used as an air base for them. 

Independence In Maldives History(1965)

Source: National Today

On July 26, 1965, which marked the significant changeover to the history of independence of Maldives by gaining full independence from the British by signing the important agreement in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This is the agreement that ended the protectorate status of the British in Maldives and retreated its military presence from Maldives with better negotiations with the Maldivian prime minister named Ibrahim Nasir. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was the first President of the Maldives?

The first President of the Maldives was Mohamed Amin Didi.

When did the Maldives gain independence?

The Maldives gained independence on July 26, 1965.

What is the earliest known history of the Maldives?

The earliest known history of the Maldives dates back to around 500 BCE with Dravidian settlers from the Indian subcontinent.

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