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Male the capital of the Maldives is the commercial centre, seat of government and the location of many important historical and religious landmarks. With an area of just over 1.77 square kilometres, it is home to over sixty thousand people and is the busiest and most populous island in the archipelago. It has been known as the Sultan 's Island in the past.

The Grand Friday Mosque Masjid-al-Sultan Mohammed Thakurufaanu-al-A"z"am is the biggest mosque in the Maldives. It also includes the Islamic Centre. This grand mosque with its dominant golden dome decorates the facade of Male. It can accommodate over five thousand worshippers at a time. Nearly all visitors to Male take time to visit this magnificent landmark.

The old Friday Mosque with its unique minaret and the tombs of national heroes and members of royalty resting in the quietness of its compound gives the visitor a glimpse of the past. The art in the mosque and royal burial grounds are unique and invaluable.

Other sites in Male include the tombs of legendary saints Mulee-aage- the Presidential Palace and the National museum in the Sultan Park which shows the glories of a different era. All these are within a ten minute stroll.

The fruit and vegetable market and the firewood market are busy and colourful places where islanders from outer atolls trade their goods. The fish market nearby is always immaculately clean. In the busy hours of late afternoon when fisherfolk begin to arrive with the day 's catch, the fishermen cutting and cleaning the fish have developed the process to an art. It is a clean and well maintained area that generates much interest from visitors and provides a glimpse into the life of typical Maldivian fisher-folk.


Edit by: Vincent
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