I find it difficult to sit idle. I always need something going on. But there are very few places on Earth where I would like to do nothing but just sit and stare. Stare at the expansive breath-taking natural beauty, the calmness, the fact that we humans are such a tiny fragment of this vast universe.
A few months ago, I jotted down my Bucket List – things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in this lifetime. The first destination on my list was the most romantic and idyllic island nation of Maldives.
Situated in the Indian Ocean, just south-west of India, Maldives is well connected by major international airlines. This island nation consists of approx 1200 islands! Not all of these islands are inhabited though. A few 100 have been given as resort properties. ‘One Island – One Resort’. Imagine, the entire island is yours for the taking!
Even after seeing the images on the internet a countless times, I was not prepared for what lay ahead. The airport is based on an island just next to the capital city of Male. Probably, the only Airport that has an entire island just for itself. Walking out of the terminal building, I was awestruck to see the blue sea and boats parked just outside. Finally I exclaimed, we are in Maldives! We are in Paradise!
Maldives is a carefully woven combination of natural and man-made spectacular presented to you in the most awe-inspiring way!
It has received the title of one of the most romantic places on earth for its stunning setting and the experience it gives to feel lost in one another. It is no wonder that the tourist influx crosses a million every year with people from various age groups and diverse professional fields coming here and falling in love, all over again.
Most of the resorts in Maldives are star rated. They provide unprecedented hospitality in the race to compete for distinction. From Beach Bungalows to Water Villas with private lap pools, the essence is exclusivity.
A dip into the ocean and we were taken aback by the number of varied species of colourful fishes including baby Sharks. They were peacefully swimming all around us. Unaffected by the nationality or ethnicity of the people next to them. Such is life in paradise, where co-existence is the key to happiness and where undue interference is not an option.
Maldives offers a plethora of excellent water sport activities. It is home to the best diving and snorkeling sites due to the coral reefs and rich marine life. Man-made lagoons provide the perfect opportunity for Surfing. For the non-divers, the resorts offer joy rides like Dolphin Cruise, Jet Ski, Para Sailing to name a few. Few of the resorts also provide coaching in SCUBA and Snorkelling.
Far from this Paradise, is the vibrant capital city of Male. Dubbed as one the most populous islands in the world, it is the place to explore the history of Maldives. A half day city tour will guide you through the historic sites, Mosques, Museums and the shopping district.
Environmentalists say by the year 2020, there is a strong possibility of the entire country being submerged due to the rising water levels. A few of the islands have already been lost and many more and on way. The authorities are taking every precaution possible.
So pack your bags right now before it is too late.
*All opinions and photos are my own.
*This article was first published in Sakal Times.