The Maldives

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Sultan Park and Museum

Sultan Park is a public park, built on the southern side of the demolished Royal Palace grounds in the 16th century in the capital of Maldives, Male'.

The Royal Palace was razed to the ground except for one three storey wing. The gardens (Sultan Park) became a public park and now only the massive iron gate at the entrance, opposite the Islamic Centre on Medhuziyaaraiy Magu, speaks of its former glory. The Sultan's Park forms a quiet green oasis in the now bustling capital, with ponds covered by water lilies and leafy trees filled with bird song.

The wing that survived became the National Museum, housing a complete collection of royal possessions. Its most interesting exhibits, however, are archaeological findings. Spread out against an outside wall and in a small room are the intriguing remains gathered from temples scattered throughout the atolls: Buddha heads, Bohomala sculptures, monkey statues and a broken statue piece of the Hindu water god, Makara. The most fascinating pieces are two five faced statues with long feline teeth, outstretched tongues and extended ear lobes discovered recently in Male'. Most objects in the museum belonged to former Sultans and include Thrones, Sedan Chairs, Ceremonial Parasols, Palanquins and a fine collection of boxes decorated with intricate lacquer work.

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