Coral Stone Mosques of Maldives
Coral Stone Mosques of Maldives is part of the Tentative list of Maldives in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party.
- ●● Tentative
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
I visited this tentative site in November 2016. The Old Friday Mosque of Fenfushi is not looked after and alone would not deserve inscription. However, the Old Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiy) of Male is a true gem.
The overbuilt and overpopulated capital of the Maldives is not the primary reason for visiting this country. Yet, I think it's a worthwhile stop before boarding a sea plane to one of the heavenly atolls. Hidden among several concrete buildings is a small green area with the Old Friday Mosque, a minaret and a 17th century Muslim cemetery.
In theory non-Muslims are not allowed inside the mosque and there is a clear board stating this. However, a strange sentence caught my attention: "Non-Muslims who may wish to enter the mosque must obtain prior permission from the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs". Although I was not looking forward to overcoming red tape while visiting the Maldives, I decided to try my luck at the Islamic Centre since it is right next to the Eid Mosque which is rather generously included among the tentative sites. Visiting the Islamic Centre alone most probably helped me to yield a positive answer as I got permission to visit the Old Friday Mosque. Unfortunately, however, your chances of success will surely decrease if you're in a large group or if your a woman.
The interior of the coral mosque is rather dark but the coral pillars, the beautiful coral engravings and the unique lacquered wooden beams were a definite highlight to fully appreciate the OUV of this site. The exterior is not that grand especially since the corrugated iron roof is not that photogenic. I really enjoyed observing the different tombstones in the Muslim cemetery. Their sizes and shape vary according to gender, age and power. Women had roundish tombstones, men had pointed tombstones, royalties had a gold plaque and lavish coral engravings and children had tiny coral tombstones.
A number of 12th century mausoleums around the mosque were much larger and had the shape of tiny chapels with intricate carvings in Quranic script and geometric engravings. The most important and well-kept was that of Maulena Al-Hafiz Abul Barakaath Yoosuf Al-Barbari of Morocco who converted the Maldives to Islam in 1153 AD. This tomb is known as Medhuziyaaraiy or Central Tomb.
The minaret's shape is similar to those at the entrance to Mecca. All in all, I think that these sites are worthy of inscription as they are truly unique and I truly hope they make it in 2018.
In December 2013, I stayed at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, which at the time sponsored the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program. I spent an afternoon snorkeling with whale sharks in the Southern Ari Atoll and was very lucky to see three whale sharks. I spent my final day wandering around Malé, where I visited the Friday Mosque, the biggest and one of the finest coral stone buildings in the world.
This site shows strong influence of Islamic Art in Maldives. This is one of the beautiful example of stone carving which was found in Maldives as same as hukuru miskiiy which is in capital city male'..
The Fenfushi Hukuru Miskiy it's almost more than 800 years old. But the government is gonna hiding the secret. And even they didn't repair the mosque and surrounding other ancient places.
In my experience, fenfushi hukuru miskiy is older than male' hukuru miskiy. but the government is not protecting that place as the way it should be protected. They are protecting male' hukuru miskiy only. As a proof of this they are not advertising that place.
Share your experiences!
Have you been to Coral Stone Mosques of Maldives? Click here to add your own review.
2013 - Revision
Includes former TWHS Fenfushi Hukuru Miskiy and Male Hukuru Miskiy/enclosing cemetery and Minaret (1987)
2013 - Submitted
1988 - Deferred
Both old TWHS were deferred due to inadequate docs -Maldives to be offered help