Capital of the Maldives, Male'
Male', the capital of the Maldives is located almost in the centre of the nation, on the east side of Kaafu atoll. It is the commercial centre and the location of many important historical and religious landmarks. With an area of just over 1.77 square kilometres, it is home to over 70,000 people. It is the busiest and the most populous island in the archipelago. In the past, it has been known as the Sultan's island.
For the purpose of administration the island is divided into four districts. Henveiru occupies the North-East side and Maafannu the North-West. The two smaller wards Galolhu and Machchangolhi, lie in the centre and to the south. Recently the Island of Vilingili has been added as an extension to Male'. Vilingili is been developed as an urban area since Male' no longer can accommodate the growing population and housing.
All over Maldives houses are given names and numbers. However, numbers are used rarely and all houses are referred by there given names and most of them have Dhivehi (Maldivian) names, but some reflect the British influence often quite incongruously and sometimes poetically. Heart, Snow Down, Sky Villa, Rose Burn, Night Flower, Blue Bell, Lightning Villa, Marine Villa, Dreamy Light and Forget Me Not are some names you might see on, above or by the side of the house doors.
The ambience of this small, unsoiled semi-urban environment with the historical sites and a museum with artefacts of the distinctive Maldivian culture dating as far back as 5000 BC, has unexpectedly caught the imagination of many a visitor such as Thor Hyerdal.