While visiting the Maldives and you wish to know more about this tropical country, you should check out the Esjehi Art Gallery located on the east of Sultan Park and the national museum. With the primary goal of preserving and promoting traditional and modern Maldivian art, the gallery regularly conducts workshops and exhibits to give local artists a chance to showcase their talents. Local artists take advantage of this opportunity and so the gallery is almost always full of exhibited art pieces that are for sale to tourists. Western tourists can’t seem to resist buying an item from the gallery, because from here you are sure to take home authentic Maldivian artwork that cannot be found elsewhere in the world.
The Republish of Maldives is like no other. It is the only country that has more coral reefs than modern facilities and infrastructure. The archipelago consists of 1,200 islands and atolls that are shaped like a garland. Located below Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is most popular for its tourism industry, showcasing white-sand beaches and magnificent, first-class dive sites.
You can find Esjehi Art Gallery in Medhu-Ziyaarath Magu, one of the oldest buildings in Male, the capital city of the Maldives. Medhu-Ziyaarath Magu was built in the 1870’s and was owned by a nobleman. Esjehi is just a small gallery. The city is not that big, either, so it will be easy for you to take a short walk or public transport if you wish to see the gallery.
Inside the gallery are beautiful hand carvings, preserved wood panels, and traditional and modern paintings that represent the uniqueness of Maldivian art. Tourists love the local handiwork.
If you are visiting Male for the first time, no doubt you will be captivated by the people’s artistry as made evident in intricately carved tombstones, calligraphy in the mosques (specifically in the Grand Friday Mosque), wooden lacquer ware (specifically those made in Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll,) hand-made boats called “dhonis”, and the Thudu Kuna, traditional reed mats with abstract designs, made in Gadhdhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. In fact, the Medhu-Ziyaarath Magu itself represents Maldivian culture since it is one of the oldest structures in the country. Antique wood panels and hand carvings adorn this century-old building.
For a very affordable admission fee of Rf 20, you can peer into the soul of the artistic and colorful Maldivians. Even if you fail to catch an on-going exhibit, you would most likely bump into a national artist who is most willing to talk to you about his kind of art. The gallery is open from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM from Saturday to Thursday, and 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Fridays.
From Esjehi Art Gallery, you may also want to visit the local eateries and restaurants nearby, as well as two tourist attractions: the national museum and Sultan Park, which is the only remaining portion of what used to be the Sultan’s palace. Other attractions that are worth visiting in Male are the Grand Friday Mosque, Jumhooree Maidan, Hukuru Miskiiy, and Mulee Aage Palace, which is the presidential palace.