Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque
- Lifestyle

Coral stone Mosques of Maldives: Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque

Although the actual construction date of Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque unknown, local oral tradition indicates that it was most likely built around 1705, under Sultan Muzaffar Mohamed Imaduddin’s reign, and is thought to be about 300 years old. It has had little renovations since the 1950s and is still in good condition, serving as a mosque today. With Indian clay roofing tiles, it is the only coral stone mosque that has survived. The mosque’s architectural elements suggest that it may be considerably older and have undergone numerous restorations.

The mosque building, two water wells, and a cemetery featuring a mausoleum comprise the mosque compound. Many antique coral stone burial markers with exquisite carvings can be seen within the cemetery, which once made up a sizable portion of the original mosque compound. The wall currently divides the area. The mosque has two entrances and a boundary wall made of coral masonry surrounding it. There are trees in the compound, including frangipanis, coconut palms, and other floral species.

Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque
Mausoleum “ziyaaraiyy”  Photo Credit: laafenn

One of the few mosques in the nation that hasn’t had many renovations since the early 1950s is this one. The mosque is typically constructed with a tired roof, coral stone walls, and timber sliding doors on a basic plinth. The prayer hall features a rising entrance stairway with dhaala and fenda on three sides. There are mouldings on the external coral stone, however they lack fine carvings. The interior features vaulted ceilings with a decorative laage, lacquered beams, and calligraphy panels. With the assistance of the renowned lacquer artisans from Thulhadhoo, Baa Atoll, the main four columns and a large portion of the lacquer work were redone.

Historical modifications made to the mosque
The exact date of the original building in the 1700s is uncertain, although local oral tradition suggests that Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque is approximately 300 years old and was likely built during the reign of Sultan Muzaffar Mohamed Imaduddin. Prior to the 1900s, the mosque’s roof and internal walls were constructed using coconut thatch.

Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque

The Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque underwent substantial restoration and remodelling in the 1900s. The roofing material was replaced from coconut thatching to Indian clay roofing tiles. Additionally, the dhaala was equipped with timber lattice (miskithu jaali) windows and certain elements of the interiors were also replaced. The lacquer work and interior columns were completed by lacquer craftsmen from Baa Atoll Thulhadhoo. Despite undergoing renovations, the mosque’s coral construction and outside design have remained unaltered.

In the 1950s, the Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque property featured a spacious annexe connected to the original mosque building.

In the 1980s, the harugé was eliminated and a boundary wall was constructed to divide the cemetery.

Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque
Photo Credit: Ministry of Arts & Culture

About the Island Meedhoo

Meedhoo is a populated island located in the Raa Atoll. Meedhoo was initially inhabited 300 years ago, originating from the island of Bodufushi. The construction of Meedhoo Old Friday Mosque is said to have taken place over 250 years ago. An exquisite island enveloped by pristine white sandy beaches, a mesmerising blue lagoon, and a captivating house reef.

Experience the authentic Maldivian culture and lifestyle. Explore the indigenous population and their way of life. Engage in conversations with amiable individuals, partake in their company at cafés, and discuss the local lifestyle, traditions, cuisine, or indulge in photography or leisurely strolls over the island.

On the island, there are Shops where you can purchase soft drinks and biscuits. Additionally, there are a few local Cafés where you can indulge in both local and international cuisine at affordable prices. In addition, you have the opportunity to indulge in Hedhi-ka, a type of local snacks that are offered at cafes for a reasonable price, along with a selection of coffee, tea, and various juices.

One can easily unwind on the beach, seeking solace under the shelter of trees, engaging in activities such as reading, seeing the sunrise and sunset, and listening to the soothing sounds of the sea breeze or waves, which will rejuvenate the mind. Indulge in snorkelling, sunbathing, and beachside fishing, followed by the opportunity to prepare your own barbecue. Local shops offer fishing lines and hooks at affordable prices.

Remember to bring your own snorkelling equipment and sunscreen, but they may be purchased from local stores. Guest houses offer water sports and diving facilities for rental. Prior to making a reservation, it is recommended to verify the specific water sports amenities that are offered.

Accommodations in Meedhoo

On the island, there are accommodation providers such as guest houses that offer full board meals, including Asian, Continental, European, and seafood options. Additionally, these providers organise fishing trips, excursions, snorkelling tours, and diving activities.

Traditional Activities in Meedhoo

During festive seasons such as Eid, Independence Day, Republic Day, school vacations, and the New Year, many islands will partake in particular traditional activities including dancing, sports, live music, and the preparation of traditional local cuisine. If you intend to take a vacation during the Festive Period, it is recommended to proactively verify any planned special events on the island during that specific holiday period.

Island Information

Island Size : 0.825 km (0.513 mi) in length and 0.550 km (0.342 mi) in width.
Population: 1,726 people live on the island (including foreigners).
Distance from Male: The distance of 154.56 kilometres to the international airport
Transportation: The least expensive mode of transportation is via boat, which takes around 8 hours to get there overnight. A speedboat takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to get there.
By domestic flight: 40 minutes to Ifuru Aport, followed by a short local ferry or S.Boat ride

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