Names of Maldives

Maldives has been known by many different names during its long history of more than two thousand years. Although several different names are given, the location and the description of the islands confirm the fact that it is the Maldives.

In ancient times Malé was also called "Mahal", considered to be the origin of "Mahal Dvipa" or "Maléldvip". Throughout known history, Malé or Mahal was always the most important island, the island where the king resided. It is therefore a logical assumption that the name given to the islands, Mahal Dvipa, contained a reference to the chief island of Mahal. A study of the names shows that in the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries, the original Mahal Dvipa became Arabicised by Middle Eastern travellers, to Mahaldib, and later became Anglicized by British Empire to emerge in its present form of Maldives. However, throughout history Maldivians have used the name "Dhivehi Raajje" to refer to their country, meaning "The Country of the Dhivehi People".[1]


Given below are some of the names by which Maldives was known through the centuries.

See also


  1. Xavier Romero-Frias, The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom, Barcelona 1999, ISBN 84-7254-801-5
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