500-200 BC – Sinhalese sailors discover the atolls of the Maldives. The dialect, which is still spoken today, is strongly reminiscent of Sinhalese. Some customs and Buddhist finds at excavations also indicate that the settlement of the Maldives was from south to north.
150 AD – In the western world, the Maldives must have been known, because the geographer Claudius Ptolemy describes in his records islands that point to the Maldives as “islands west of Ceylon”. His knowledge he had from records of the Phoenicians, who have advanced with their merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and probably hit the Maldives.
800-900 – On the way to Asia, some, probably Phoenician, ships crash on the cartographically unrecognized reefs. The stranded then settled on the islands.
1141 – This year, for the first time, the writing of the “Tarikh” began. This “Chronicle of the Sultans”, hammered at that time in strips of copper, which were then tied together like a fan, reports of 83 sultans and sultanats, of which, however, often nothing is known and often only the name alone was handed down.
In the 14th century, the Maldives was ruled by the first sultan Khadeeja Rehendi Kabaidhi Kilege. She ruled a total of 35 years. Although the Maldives were devout Muslims, there were a few customary customs that aroused horror among Arab Muslims. The women of the Maldives never wore a face cloth and in some cases only wore a hip scarf. Marriage customs were always very straightforward in the Maldives. That has not changed until today.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese reached the Indian Ocean and occupied first South India and Ceylon.
In 1558 Hassan the 9th asked the Portuguese for help against insurgent Maldivians. This was the opportunity for the Portuguese, led by Andreas Andre, to occupy Male and the other atolls. They destroyed all mosques and built churches to convert the Maldivians to the Christian faith. The Portuguese encountered strong resistance.
The Dutch replaced the Portuguese on Ceylon. More interested in trade than in conquest, they maintained a loose tribute with the Maldives.
In 1802, the English took Ceylon and under the direction of Captain Moresby in 1834 set out to map the Maldives. His records are still used today as a basis for English nautical charts.
In 1932, the first constitution of the Maldives came into force.
From 1932, the democratization process began in the Maldives. The then Sultan Shamsuddin III. transformed the sultanate into a constitutional one.
On 1.1.1953 the first republic was founded under the presidency of Amin Didi. He has implemented many reforms for the country. Only now did electricity come to Male, schools were built and he provided adequate malaria prophylaxis. After only 9 months in office, he was shot dead in Male and is now buried at Kurumba Village.
1954-1968 – Sultan Mohammed Fareed came to power.
In 1965, the Maldives received complete independence.
The Austrian Hans Hass undertook the first diving expedition to the Indian Ocean with his Austrian flagship Xarifa. From December 1957 to May 2, 1958, the Xarifa crossed from Gan up to the Shaviyani Atoll. The films by Hans Hass can be regarded as an initial spark for today’s diving tourism.
On the 26th of July, the Maldives became permanently independent, and in the same year they became full members of the United Nations.
By referendum on 11. 11. 1968 the “Second Republic” was proclaimed under the leadership of Ibrahim Nasir. After ten years, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom took over the presidency. During his tenure, the current Friday Mosque and the Islamic Center were built and the Maldives transformed from one of the poorest countries in the world to modest prosperity.
On February 16, 1972, the first tourists – 22 Italian divers – landed on the island of Kurumba in North Male Atoll.
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was first elected president on 11.11.1978 and re-elected in 1983, 1988, 1994, 1998 and 2003.
1980 – Failed coup attempt by ex-president Ibrahim Nasir.
On September 3, 1988, Tamil separatists raided. President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has to flee the capital Malé and asks for foreign support. Indian paratroopers land in Malé and beat down the rebellion.