End of an era


For decades, a small mosque has stood in a corner of a great park; drawing thousands of eyes to its intricate stone carvings and beautiful calligraphy encased in the wooden pillars and ceiling. The “Kalhuvakaru Miskiy” was built three centuries ago during the reign of Sultan Hassan Noordeen Iskandhar Kahthiri Bavana Maha Radhun in the 1700s.

Like most of the mosques built during that time, this mosque was also built with “Hiri Gaa” in a number of stone slabs that could easily be assembled and disassembled. What made this mosque unique was perhaps the stone carvings that blended together to make exquisite designs once the mosque was assembled.

Built on the crossroad adjoining Majeedhee Magu and Karanka Magu, the mosque stood its ground for centuries, a symbol of Maldivian arts and crafts; a tiny building connecting Maldives to its journey to Islam. However, this valuable piece of heritage was put out of use during former President Ibrahim Nasir’s tenure and auctioned later in October 1978.

The mosque then saw its first migration to Furana Tourist Resort. But this change was short-lived and the mosque was soon presented to the government during former President Maumoon Abdul Qayyoom’s administration in 1979 as a symbol of heritage and returned to Male’. Since then, the mosque has remained in a corner of the Sultan Park; until now.

More than three decades since, the traditional mosque is once again being readied for another journey. This time, the “Kalhuvakaru Miskiy” will be removed from its resting place to be transported to the Cultural Village being built in Hulhumale’. The beautiful mosque that has stood its ground for centuries is once again being disassembled to be moved to a new home.

Soon, the “Kalhuvakaru Miskiy” will become a memory to the landscape of Male’ though it will stand firm in its new home in the Cultural Village. As time draws nigh for the mosque to be moved, the symbol of heritage weighs heavy with memories of hundreds of years of worship and thousands of believers who sought refuge within its walls. One can only hope that its final resting place befits the glory and antiquity of the ancient mosque.

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