The Maldives - Last minute and Luxury Holidays
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Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is an island nation consisting of a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives are located south of India's Lakshadweep islands, and about seven hundred kilometers (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka. The twenty-six atolls encompass a territory featuring 1,192 islets, roughly two hundred of which are inhabited by people. The country's name may stand for "Mountain Islands" (malai in Tamil, meaning "mountain" and teevu in Tamil meaning "island") or it may mean "a thousand islands". Some scholars believe that the name "Maldives" derives from the Sanskrit maladvipa, meaning "garland of islands", or from "mahila dvipa", meaning "island of women". Others believe the name means "palace" (from Mahal in Arabic).
Following the introduction of Islam in 1153, the islands later became a Portuguese (1558), Dutch (1654), and British (1887) colonial possession. In 1965, obtained its independence from Britain (originally under the name "Maldive Islands"), and in 1968 the Sultanate was replaced by a Republic. However, in 38 years, the Maldives have had only two Presidents, though political restrictions have loosened somewhat recently.
Maldives is the smallest Asian country in terms of population, and the smallest Asian country that is a member of the United Nations. It is also the smallest predominantly Muslim nation in the world, and the smallest predominantly Muslim UN member.
Maldives holds the record for being the flattest country in the world, with a maximum natural ground level of only 2.3 m (7˝ ft), though in areas where construction exists this has been increased to several metres. Over the last century, sea levels have risen about twenty centimeters (8 in). The ocean is likely to continue rising and this threatens the existence of Maldives.
A tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake caused parts of Maldives to be covered by sea water and left many people homeless. After the disaster, cartographers are planning to redraw the maps of the islands due to alterations by the tsunami. The people and government are worried that Maldives could be wiped from the map eventually.
Information provided by Wikipedia
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