Discover the Immense Culture of Utheemu Island
A 500 year old palace with tales of the early days.
Utheemu, located in the Northern most atoll of the country, is the birth place of the national hero ‘Muhammad Thakurufaanu’ who fought and rescued the island nation from the captive hand of the Portuguese. The hero then became the Sultan (King) of the Maldives all the way back in 16th Century.
The island is the home of the ‘Utheemu Ganduvaru’ the palace of where Sultan Mohamed grew up. Visitors from all over the Maldives and abroad visit the historic place, now considered more like a museum. The fascinating 500-year old interiors that are curved from wood, showing native skills of the early Maldivians. You’ll see swing beds, lamps that burn coconut palm oil and large palm-thatch shed that was used as a sleeping room for guests back then. An entrance fee is required to enter the palace and to tour around.
Since the launch of local tourism featuring guest houses in local island since 2010, the exploration of the rich history of Utheemu Island has been much easier. Guests can stay at one of the few guest houses in the island and get along with the locals, experiencing the foods and everyday lives of the people of these beautiful tropical islands.
It was said that for long, the natives believed that the island held and passed on blessing to the visitors. Sailors from around the country takes their first trip of the newly built boats to the island to get the blessings.
Guests can also stay at a resort nearby and explore the island by taking part in one of their trips. Where a guide from the resort tour you around the island and the palace where you can see centuries old historical pieces and hear folktales from the deep history of the island. Hideaway Island Resort and Hondaafushi Island Resort are located nearest to island- two resorts that will give you the luxury chic side of the Maldives.
Other than the palace the island also features many more historic places related to folk tales and true events in the history. Including a cemetery that is said to be almost 5 centuries old. Among the locals Utheemu has a holy place, an island that they greet with respect and love.