The Maldives – the Jewel of the Indian Ocean
The Republic of Maldives has been described as the ultimate haven for divers all over the world who are drawn to over one thousand sandy beaches and coral reefs. There are hundreds of islands that are not touched by humans but serve as places for wildlife and beautiful reefs. Between the tropical waters and all of the marine life that is present in the Maldives, anyone who has a love for diving will surely find what they are looking for half way around the world.
The Maldives were formed when there was a geological breaking of land masses between the countries of India and Africa. When the land masses broke apart, it causes India to move upward and become aligned with Asia. The reaction to these land masses colliding produced a formation of a range of volcanoes that rose out of the Indian Ocean. When the volcanoes collapsed it resulted in a line of small islands that now are the Maldives.
The Maldives became a resting spot from travelers and explorers that were traveling between the trade routes from China and Rome. The Maldives became famous for the money shells that were abundant and used for trade. The fishing in the Maldives led to the discovery of the Maldive fish, which is still a delicacy in India.
The people of the Maldives come from mixed ethnic backgrounds but are primarily Sunni Muslims. The language that is most commonly spoken in the Maldives is Dhivehi and English is also widely used. One of the many jewels of the Maldives is the climate. Because of its location to the equator, the temperatures generally remain between eighty to eighty-five degrees which makes is very comfortable and tropical.
The Maldives lay claim to nearly 187 different forms of coral and almost 1100 different species of wildlife. This draws divers from all around the world to see the beautiful and amazing marine life. There are resorts that are a haven for divers who want to stay and enjoy the beautiful scenery and experience the many wonders of the Maldives. The corals that adorn the reefs are colorful and are home to many forms of life such as moray eels, lobsters and shrimp.
To navigate through the Maldives generally requires a boat called the dhoni. These unique and specially crafted boats come in a range of sizes including large boats that are used to transport fish and smaller boats for little voyages in and around the Islands. Water taxis are also available to carry divers from one location to another. Since the majority of the inhabitants of the Maldives are fisherman, the boats serve the best way to move around from place to place.
With all of the beautiful wildlife and scenery, it is no wonder that the Maldives are truly a paradise lost. Anyone who is an avid diver is sure to find many jewels and treasures of wonder in the colorful reefs, corals and marine fish. The unique and distinct culture of the Maldives makes it a wonderful place to visit and experience the true essence of the Islands.