The history of the Maldives is as mysterious as the country itself. The moving hand of time has made it difficult to separate facts from legend, but has historical evidence leaves little doubt of the richness of life in the Maldives during the past.

Liberally sprinkled with stories of people who fought demons from the sea, brave Sultans and Kings who fought valiantly for the nation's independence, and huge dynasties which ruled the country for decades, the Maldives has a history which captures the minds of both the serious historian and the imaginative day dreamer.

People have been living on the islands of the Maldives from as far back as 3000 years ago. They set sail from different parts of the world - often not realizing that their ultimate destination will be the Maldives where they will find an idyllic place to settle down and live in total serenity for the rest of their lives.

The ancient mariners came from different parts of the world. They came from Asia, Arabia, Europe and the Americas. Some came across the Maldives by accident. Some ere asylum seekers. Some were on planned journeys. All of them stayed for the same reason - the country's beauty was too inviting to resist, the peace and the serenity which existed then and still survives today, is hard to find anywhere else in the world.

Life evolved slowly. As 99 percent of the country is the sea, it made sense that life centered around the ocean. Slowly, as the population increased, the Maldivian people with their mixed features, and simple, peaceful nature began to emerge. The existed on different islands, they formed tight-knit little island communities and in 1153 AD, was bonded by faith in the one religion - Islam.

Islam came to the Maldives with the Arabian traveler Abul Barakhat Al-Bar Bari. Historical remains from as far back as 400 BC show strong evidence that Buddhism was widely practised among the people. Bar barrio's story is again steeped in legend. However, the fact remains that...