Nilandhoo (Faafu Atoll)


Nilandhoo is an inhabited island in Faafu Atoll administrative division and geographically part of North Nilandhe Atoll in the Southern part of the Maldives. It is an island-level administrative constituency in Central Province, governed by the Nilandhoo Island Council.

One of the most important and fascinating archeological sites in the country is on Nilandhoo. Here Thor Heyerdahl uncovered a buried temple, the foundations of which spread over an area of 115m by 170m. The Bohomala sculptures uncovered at the site suggest that the temple was Hindu.

The original temple must have been extremely impressive. Beautifully cut stones were placed over a compact core of coral sand to form a pyramid, with a walled ramp on the side. Thor Heyerdahl believes that there were seven similar temples on the site.

The second oldest mosque in the Maldives stands on the same site. The mosque was built by Sultan Mohamed Ibn Abdulla in AH 548 (AD 1153-66). The magnificent structure, built with carefully fitted stones, is decorated inside by marvellous wooden Arabic carvings.

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