Ihavandhoo Old Friday Mosque
- Lifestyle

Coral stone Mosques of Maldives: Ihavandhoo Friday Mosque

Brief History

  • The current Ihavandhoo Friday Mosque was finished in its initial state on December 16, 1701, and it is sealed with Sultan Ibrahim Muzhiruddin’s seal.
  • The Indian clay roofing tiles replaced the coconut thatching roofing during the 1950s, and timber lattice windows were added to the dhaala. A new screed would have been applied to the floor. The refurbishment included the short minaret as well.
  • The first electrical structures and linoleum floor coverings were implemented in the 1990s.
  • Metal profile sheets were installed on the roof in 2005 instead of clay roofing tiles. Without lowering the floor level, the fenda was expanded, and doors and windows with wooden lattices were added. The floor now has ceramic tiles instead of wood. There were also added modern amenities including sound systems, fans, and electrical lights.

During the time of Sultan Ibrahim Muzhiruddin (1701–1705), Ihavandhoo Friday Mosque was built on December 16, 1701 CE (15 Rajab 1113 A. H.), and it is still in use as a mosque today. The delicate stone and lacquer work on this modest mosque made of coral stone was degraded over time by substantial expansions that altered its external appearance. The ancient mosque’s additions still preserve it in its original state.

The Ihavandhoo Friday Mosque complex consists of a modest minaret, a cemetery with burial markers, and an octagonal stone well. Prominent individuals’ tombstones with exceptional and uncommon carvings can be found in the cemetery. A portion of the tomb monuments are associated with the Utheem Boduthakurufaanu family and the Dhiyamigil Dynasty wazir. The mosque is surrounded by a new boundary wall with three entrances; the previous mosque enclosure did not have a boundary wall. The mosque complex used to be home to a large number of frangipanis, jasmine, and other flowering plants, however as of right now, neither trees nor other flora are present.

Photo credit: Maldives Coral Stone Mosques, Ministry of Arts and Culture

The present Ihavandhoo Friday Mosque building consists of the old original mosque built using coral stone carpentry construction and a new extension built with masonry construction. Typically the old mosque is built on a raised coral stone plinth with carvings, with coral stone walls, timber sliding doors and a tired roof. The prayer hall has fenda on three sides and rising entrance stair with dhaala. There is no mihrab chamber and the mimbar is located near the corner of the mihrab wall. Typical to all the mosques it is entered opposite the mihrab side. The interior has lacquered calligraphy panels, lacquered beams, coffered ceilings with a decorated laage’.

Read More about: Male’ Hukuru Miskiy

Where is Ihavandhoo Friday Mosque location?

Address: Miskiy Magu, Ihavandhoo, Haa Alifu Atoll, Maldives

Geographic coordinates: 6º 57′ 17.33″ N and 72º 55′ 38.33″ E

Island Facts

Island Size:

  • Length: Approximately 0.88 kilometers (0.55 miles)
  • Width: Approximately 0.86 kilometers (0.53 miles)

Island Population:

  • Total: 2,575 (including foreigners)

Distance from International Airport:

  • Approximately 314.08 kilometers.

How to get to Ihavandhoo

To get to Ihavandhoo, you typically have to travel by air and then by sea. Here’s a general guide on how to get there:

  • International Flight:If you’re travelling from outside the Maldives, you must first take an international flight to Velana International Airport (MLE)

There are four ways to go from Velana International Airport or from Male’ to Ihavandhoo:

  • Domestic Flight: Hanimaadhoo International Airport (HAQ) is reachable from Velana International Airport by a domestic flight. Ihavandhoo’s closest airport is Hanimaadhoo Airport. From there, you can schedule a speedboat. Maldivian run the domestic flights in the Maldives.
  • Speedboat Transfer: As an alternative, you can schedule a speedboat transfer from Velana International Airport straight to Ihavandhoo if you’d rather take the picturesque route. While it could take longer than a trip, this option can be more relaxing and give you a chance to take in the stunning blue waters of the Maldives.
  • Public Ferry: Taking a public ferry, which runs between various Maldivian islands, is an additional choice. But schedules for public ferries might not always line up with your itinerary, and the trip may take longer than with other forms of transportation. Furthermore, there’s a chance that public ferries from Malé to Ihavandhoo won’t link immediately, so you could have to change boats at other islands en route.
  • By Boat: Approximately 10 hours (overnight travel) from Malé. This option is the most economical means of transportation.

It’s essential to check the latest travel advisories, transportation schedules, and availability before planning your trip to Ihavandhoo, as transportation options and schedules may vary. Additionally, consider contacting local travel agencies or accommodations in Ihavandhoo for assistance with arranging transfers and accommodations.

Accommodations in Ihavandhoo

Resorts: There are resorts that provide day tours and lodging on adjacent islands. In addition to a variety of amenities like spas, water sports centres, and fine dining restaurants, these resorts frequently provide opulent overwater villas and beachfront bungalows.

Guesthouses: A popular choice for tourists looking for more economical lodging while taking in the native way of life in the Maldives is a guesthouse. Typically owned and operated by local families, guesthouses in Ihavandhoo provide cosy rooms with modest utilities. You can experience genuine Maldivian hospitality and become fully integrated into the local community by booking a guesthouse.

Home stays: A more personal and genuine glimpse into Maldivian life can be had by renting out rooms in the houses of locals in certain situations.

Read more about 20 Most Historical Places in the Maldives

Ihavandhoo Friday Mosque
Photo credit: Maldives Coral Stone Mosques, Ministry of arts and culture
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