A true Maldivian holiday can be enjoyed fully by incorporating your holiday with a visit to a local island. There are three islands that can be easily reached on a boat in less than 40 minutes. Our local island excursions will provide the opportunity to be up close and personal with the daily life in Maldives. See and experience the daily lives of ordinary Maldivians as they go about. There are a number of activities that can be enjoyed during these visits, including observing Maldivian life, local handicraft making, visiting local houses or schools, mingling and interacting with the locals, observing fishing practices in the islands and much more. Our island excursion features the islands Rinbudhoo, Bandidhoo, and Hulhudheli.
Rin’budhoo, the famous jewellers island
The nearby inhabited island of Rinbudhoo is one of the highlights in Dhaalu atoll. The island was badly affected during the 2004 Asian tsunami that resulted in most people migrating to Thulusdhooisland. With a population of only 550 people, the island is not overly crowded, and is very quiet and peaceful. People of Rinbudhoo are known for their friendliness and hospitality.
The name Rinbudhoo comes from the word “Rihi Budhu” which means “Silver Idol”. Famously known as the “Jeweller’s Island”, Rinbudhoo is proud to have the most gifted goldsmiths in the Maldives. They excel in jewellery designing and making, as well as stone carving and cultural arts. It is, in fact, the only island in the Maldives that practice the art of jewellery making. Jewellery making is an art passed down by their ancestors over eight centuries ago. According to Maldivian legend, the chief jeweller of the Sultan taught the islanders after getting exiled to Rinbudhoo island for stealing the king’s gold which was in his care. It is believed that before Maldives embraced Islam, Rinbudhoo was famous for having a giant idol, carved and sculpted out of silver, which they later buried underground after converting to Islam. The island is also rumoured to be the last island to convert to Islam. Today, there are still few goldsmiths who work in the island. Apart from this, there are a handful of landmarks that have both historical and cultural importance. Some of the famous landmarks in the island are:
Rinbudhoo Hukuru Miskiiy
Popularly known as “HukuruMiskiiy” (Friday Mosque) by the locals, this mosque is one of the oldest structures standing today in the island. It is believed to be over 250 years old. On one of the pillars of the mosque, there are dent marks resembling the shape of coins. It is highly speculated that it could be marks where once gold coins might have been. The walls of the mosque are built from coral stones, while the ceiling is made from coconut timber, and the pillars from teak.
This is a very recent mosque, and though it lacks the glory and architectural style of 250 years ago, it is part of the island’s cultural and developmental history.
This is a mosque built by volunteer youths of Rinbudhoo. This mosque resembles the hard work of the island’s youth, from material to manual labour.
The school was officially opened by the first president of the Maldives, his Excellency, and the late Mr. Mohamed Amin during his days as the home minister in 1953. However, the contemporary building that we see today was built in 1992 with aid from UNICEF.