After the 16th century, the country was ruled by Portuguese, Dutch and French occasionally, till British Empire took over. It was in 19th century when Maldives became a British Protectorate. However, the Maldivian monarchs were given the rights of self governance too.
The country gained total independence in the year 1965. After the country was gained the status of being independent, the real challenges of independence started cropping up. Financial crisis was the first issue independent Maldives faced. Maldives History:The country faced a need of modernization and rapid economic growth. The resources of the country were limited to fishing, tourism and agriculture. Another concern of the country was the projected rise in sea-level, which was a threat for low-lying coral islands of the country. The challenges were many and the resources were limited.
There are not many traces available from the early age about the country. The archeological remains don’t tell much about the first Maldivians. It is believed that the buildings of the early age were built of palm fronds, wood and other perishable materials, which would have decayed in the tropical climate of the place. The headmen or the chiefs did not reside in elaborate palaces at that time. Their religion did not require the construction of large worship compounds.
The Buddhist Kingdoms of Maldives do not have enough mention in the history books but it is believed that it played a major in the history of Maldives. It was during the Buddhist period that the culture of Maldives flourished the most. That cultural heritage is being continued in the country till date. Maldives History: Buddhism spread in Maldives during the times of Asoka the Great sometimes in the third century BC. It is believed that Buddhism entered Maldives through Sri Lanka. Remains of ancient Buddhist ruins were discovered in the place by some of the British officers. The stone foundations of Vihara are still mentioned when Buddhist period of the country is discussed. Buddhism was the main religion in the country for many centuries. If history is to be believed, Buddhism enjoyed patronages in the country for more than oen thousand and four hundred years.
After Buddhism, Islam took over the country in a big way. Maldives History: The currency of the times, cowrie shells was the area of interest of Middle Eastern people. At that time, the Middle Eastern seafarers had started taking over the sea trade route in the Indian Ocean. This was in 10th Century AD when Islam was introduced to Maldives as the Middle Eastern seafarers discovered that Maldives can play an important link in the sea trade routes.
The people of Maldives converted to Islam and the man behind this conversion was Abu al Barakat. Abu al Barakat was a Sunni Muslim who visited the place and his tomb can still be found in Male.
The glorious past of Maldives
Since times unknown, Maldives was ruled by kings and queens, who were known as Rudan and Ranin in the local language. The history of Maldives holds special importance as it has played a crucial role in the economy of neighboring countries. At that point in time, cowrie shells were used as a currency in Asia and some parts of East African coast as well. Maldives was one of the main sources of cowrie shells.