Ukulhas (Alif Alif Atoll)
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (May 2012)|
||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (May 2012)|
|Administrative atoll||Alif Alif Atoll|
|Distance to Malé||71.91 km (44.68 mi)|
|• Length||1.025 km (0.637 mi)|
|• Width||0.225 km (0.140 mi)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+05:00)|
Ukulhas is known to be one of the unique featured Islands in the Maldives with many significant characteristics. People of Ukulhas are well known for ‘Yellowfin tuna’ fishing; along with it major occupation of the island is also recorded as fishing. The people of this island are famous for their braveness and strong adherence with each other.
- 1 Geography
- 2 People
- 3 Politics
- 4 Transfer to Ukulhas
- 5 Culture
- 6 History
- 7 Ukulhas Health Centre
- 8 Waste Management in Ukulhas
- 9 Restaurants and Cafes
- 10 Gymnasium and Fitness Training
- 11 Shopping in Ukulhas
- 12 Climate
- 13 Activities
- 14 Sight Seeing
- 15 Ukulhas Picnic Island “Fushi”
- 16 Gaagan’du
- 17 References
Ukulhas is located in Alif Alif Atoll close to the most northern boundary. It is an oval-shaped, flat coral sand cay, oriented north-west to south-east, 1025 meters long, 225 meters wide. The island stands at the Longitude of 70° 52' 00 E and 04° 12' 00 N. The distance between Male’ and Ukulhas island is 71.91 km. The area of the Island is 17.40 Hec.
People of this unique island beautifies with many aspects. They are unified by a strong tie between each other, especially when they are hurry to fill up a commitment. The people are so friendly, kindred, intelligent, as well as devout. They are tolerant and respectful for each other and of visitor to the island. When you meet up someone in Ukulhas, it is a customary to shake hands. Visitors are always highly welcome by the Ukulhas community. When visiting someone in Ukulhas it’s a trend of escorting him or her to the home or coffee shop to serve a coffee or a local meal. When they receive a guest, they learn the hospitality of the local people. Almost each and everyone know more than one or two types of work. For example; a fisherman knows not only fishing, beside of it working in the environment, he knows carpentry or masonry works. Most of the people do involve with different games. Football, volleyball, tennis, badminton and swimming are the common sport items in the island. Colourful entertaining during the night time also marked by a traditional Music called ‘Boduberu’ (cultural music; drumming, singing and dancing). The night life in Ukulhas Island could be cherished by the so-called gathering with the cultural memories of traditional Music. The life of the island society is casual, peaceful and spiritual. Almost all are Sunni Muslims; local language is Dhivehi, however most people know English language very much. The people of the island are family oriented. As the Maldives locates in the middle of Indian Ocean, the route has been led to be a meeting place for African, Arab, Malay and Indonesian mariners. Due to this long time of interchange leads to form diverse culture. Ukulhas has got people from different ethnic groups. We have descendents of Tamil, Sinhalese, and Indians. The people get along in harmony and are proud of their public. The people of the Ukulhas having physical features rarely seen anywhere else in Maldives joyfully continue their lives in “white smiles”, honey-colored eyes and brownish hair.
The island had a series of political changes throughout the last couple of decades. Before the existence and the ratification of present constitution, the island had been entirely centralized by the central government. The island had a chief (Head of the Island) who had to be appointed by the Atoll chief (Head of Atoll). The atoll chief was a person who had to be appointed by the Minister of Atolls and Administration. Because of an autocratic rule which had been kept over the people by the government, the island chief had no power to make his own decision for his concern matters; he had to send messages to the Atoll office where Atoll Chief had to get prior permission by Minister of Atolls and Administration before sending back the reply to the island office. So the minister had the fully power to control over the island and its people. Because of the appointees to the chief posts of the island and atoll, chiefs or heads were fully control by the Minister. As a result of those appointees, island people had no power to elect the people by themselves. Eventually disputes started to arise between chiefs and the people of the island. Island people did not have the right to decide what they want; beside of it they had to accept whatever the orders given by the island chief, either good or bad. After the ratification of the present constitution dated on 7th August 2008, within the democratic movement in the government everything had revolved. The centralized system of the government had changed into a decentralization system. Local governments were formed in the name of local councils. Councilors were elected by the people of the island. Councilors got the authority to make decision in the name of island people. Councilors got the fully authority to decide what to do for their island and the people. They got the authority to utilize the resources within their jurisdiction outlined by the decentralization Act. Councilors too got the authority to pass local regulations well accordance with the constitution, ratified other laws and regulations.
Historical Political Changes in Ukulhas 1. Katheeb Kaleyfaanu (javaahirumaage’)( at the time of Shamsudhin)(Grand Father of Ibrahim Ali, (Dhon Ibrahim), Reynige’ Dhonfuthu Kuda Katheebu (Brother of Maakudey) 2. Ibrahim Katheeb (Irumatheege’, Father of Kalhuthube’ and a Father of Dhon Hassan) (At the time of Shamsuddin) 3. Katheebe Kujjage Bappa, Abdulla Katheeb(Grand Father of Hassan fulhu and Alifulhu) 4. Maakudey (Father of Hakeem) (At the time of Shamsudhin) 5. Katheeb Dhonbe’ or Bodu Katheeb (Father of Rashad) at the time of President Mohamed Ameen. 6. Khalid Katheeb, Reynige’ (Later he was an Imam) at the time of Mohamed Ameen and Mohamed Fareed) Naibs was Dhon Alifulhu. 7. Alifulhu Kuda Katheeb (Brother of Dhonfathima of Dhonthuthube’) 8. Mohamed Fauzee or Kuda Katheeb (Father of Hussain Fiyaz) at the time of president Ibrahim Nasir. Waleed Khalid, Reynige’ (at the time of president Ibrahim Nasir)Khalid was an Imam, Naibs were Bodufolhudhoo Abdul Raheem and Kuramathi Raazee 9. Dhonthuthu or Ibrahim Adam, Kuda Katheeb, (when Mohamed Fauzee was passed away) at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. Waleed Khalid, Reynige was promoted to an Assistant Atoll Chief at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. 10. Imad Khalid, Reynige’, Kuda Katheeb (was a former Family Health Worker, when Waleed promoted to Atoll Office), Dhonthuthu held the post of support staff. 11. Mohamed Khalid, Reynge, Kuda katheb (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom) 12. Imad Khalid, Reynige, Katheeb, (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom) 13. Mohamed Khalid, Reynige, Katheeb, (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom) 14. Abdul Latheef Imad, Kuda Katheeb (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom) 15. Mohamed Khalid, Bodu Katheeb (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom) 16. Imad Khalid, Kuda Katheeb, (at the time of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom) 17. Shaukath Ibrahim, Udhares, (at the time of President Mohamed Nasheed) 18. 1st Ukulhas Council (Shaukath Ibrahim, Abdulla Firaq, Hussain Fiyaz, Ahmed Shahid Hassan and Ali Waheed at the time of President Mohamed Nasheed)
Note: Till Khalid Kuda Katheeb, salaries were not paid officially by the government, instead of salaries; small portions were given from catches by fishing vessels, fruits and vegetables by trees etc. in a monthly basis.
Transfer to Ukulhas
As Ukulhas is situated 71.91 km away from Male’ the capital of the country, internal transfer system is well maintained with air and ferry services from Male’ to Ukulhas. A scheduled Dhoni ferry operates six days a week except Friday (Dhoni is virtually hand built by craftsman with strong wooden planks). The ferry leaves Ukulhas from MTCC (Villingili) ferry terminal (in Male’) on Sun, Tue, and Thu at 9:30am. The Ferry leaves to Male’ from Ukulhas ferry terminal (in Ukulhas) on Sat, Mon, and Wed at 10:30am. By ferry it’ll take 4:30hrs to reach Ukulhas and to reach Male’ respectively. Speed boat transfer also available on request, and if you wish to fly by air you could choose TMA Seaplane to reach the atoll. Speed boat and Seaplane transfer are arranged on request by Ukulhas Community. If you prefer to visit Ukulhas by Seaplane you many need one more transfer from Rasdhoo to Ukulhas, as TMA does not have a plat form at Ukulhas Island. TMA air taxi (Seaplane) lands at Rasdhoo plat form within 15 minutes. Rasdhoo is a neighboring island of Ukulhas. From Rasdhoo to Ukulhas it’ll take another 20 minutes to travel by Speed boat or 50 minutes by a fishing vessel. If you select speed boat from Male’ to Ukulhas it’ll take 50 minutes only to reach the Ukulhas harbor. So Ukulhas community warmly welcomes to arrange your holiday transfer well accordance with your transfer selection.
Ukulhas culture has been diversified by Arab, African, Sinhalese, and Inidan. Life style and the ordinary dress of the man was very simple, consisting of drawers, a cloth bound round the loins, after the mode of the Singhalese, and a handkerchief twisted round the head. On special days, such as Fridays, when they attend the mosque, the high caste wears a shirt and jacket.
Women's costume is exceedingly becoming. Round the waist, and reaching down to the ankles, is worn a cloth (mostly of native manufacture), coarse in texture, of a dark chocolate colour, with a border of parallel black and white stripes. Over this they wear a kind of loose shirt, or gown, of silk, with short sleeves, reaching nearly to the knees, which is not made to fit to the neck and shoulders, but is gathered in round them; the openings for the neck and arms are ornamented with embroidery in gold, silver, and silk thread. The hair, which is black, and generally long and thick, is tied up behind, and a handkerchief of the same colour as the shirt is bound round it. All ranks wear similar costume, the distinctions of caste being marked by the difference in the quality of the silk stuff of which the shirt is made, and of the embroidery.
Maldivians were denoted for a great skill of manufacturing mats as though they were fond of great skill of lacquer and fine arts, which led them to hold their reputation upon their harmonious life and furnishing of their reputation. In suvadiva Atoll of Maldives they had been made from a grass called by the Maldivian hau; which were used with three colours of black, dark yellow and white and which were obtained from plants which were lasted wonderfully so long. Walls mostly were built from coconut thatch, which were being surrounded by most of the houses at the height of six to seven feet which made impede the free air passage specially as though the windows where too small to insert the breezes, which results some residents were unhealthy even though their houses were scrupulously cleaned well. The Maldivian so called design, sometimes made apparently in case of illness, as many could be survived if they could have been refraining from closing the passage of airways. The inner compartment in the houses was used as a sleeping room in many of the house houses, and this apartment also remain for women especially when they were not engage in house hold or any other activity.
Pulling the fishing vessel ashore and pushing the fishing vessel offshore had been a remarkable exercise as though before the ashore time, residents were called up to gathered by blowing a conch shell. Conch shell was blown by the chief of the island to gather residents for a particular work, and the shell was blown with particular intervals well accordance with that of the required purpose. People were familiar to clarify and comprehend purpose of blowing accordance with blown intervals. For different purposes different people were gathered by blowing the conch shell with different intervals which had been kept in the safe at island office. When people were gathered the captain of the fishing vessel calls for to catch the rope which had been tied up with the vessel. By an instructed command and reading an ‘Anba’ (a traditional song) people starts to pull up the rope until the vessel stands on ashore. The other purposes of the conch shell blown were, to gather males and female together or males and females separately, when females were called to gather sometimes when they require opening their forests to take logs or firewood to cook their meals as though forests were not allowed enter unless the island chief had given permission to enter into the forest. Conch shell too was blown for emergency purposes. When a declaration of emergency the chief starts to blow the conch shell in a short timely intervals basis. So the people first gather to the place where office was located and chief would let them to know the solemnity of what had been happening before their leave to sole the urgent incident. Within the fort there would be many of old canoe, some might be course quite useless, being rusty and chocked with coral. Some were supposed to be serviceable while some are precisely not. The unserviceable canoe and fishing vessels would be taken back for firewood to cook their regular meals.
Fishing was their favourite exercise, however selling coir ropes and thatches made by islanders and collection of cowry shells, turtle shells and ambergris were being sold to produce their major income.
They were fond of kite-flying; but this pastime is only permitted at certain periods of the year especially when the season gets windy. During Eid festivals they compose and organise several road marched items; Maali which made by covering with thatches and plant leaves around the body, which were being unable to identify, with group of drummers were singing old songs and marched on the road. The people were being gathered at some place until the singing and dancing group arrives. When the group had arrived they started to clap their hands by singing the same song, while some were being accompanying to dance with the singing group. Before the program, famous girls got ready to prepare a bouquet decorated by flowers, birds made by thatches, several herbs with other plant materials. When the drumming by the drummers gets at the climax, the decorated bouquet was presented and introduced by the most popular girls in the island. And with the rhythmic song two or three people would pick up the bouquet with dancing made to get calm down the song.
Historical Facts of Ukulhas
Mother of Sultan Mohamed Imadhudheen II (Dhiyamigilee Bandaarain) called ‘Kan'baa Aminath Binth Mohamed’ (Ukulhahu Bodu Kan’baafaanu) is known to be from Ukulhas.
Ukulhas won the 1st place on National Cultural Music Competition called ‘Thaarajehun’(Thaara was called a duff). Thaara has a traditional Ray skin drum head with tuning machines installed discretely underneath the drum) at the time of Sultan Shamsuddin.
Ukulhas won the 1st place on National Island Cleaning Competition among the female sector at the time of President Mohamed Ameen.
Ukulhas recognizes one of the first islands which established formal schools in the island among all other inhabited islands of Maldives at the time of President Mohamed Ameen. The school was known ‘Reethi Madharusaa’ (Beautiful School)
Ukulhas won the 1st place on National Canoeing Competition (Gaumee Reyhah falijehumuge Mubaaraai) at the time of President Mohamed Ameen. By winning three times on National Fishing Competition in the year 1963, 1964, and 1965, Ukulhas had owned the National Fishing Trophy at the time of President Ibrahim Nasir.
Ukulhas is known to be the 1st electrified Island among all other inhabited islands (except Male’) in Maldives in the year 1982. At that time the electricity was transferred by only a 10 Kw generator. The first time electricity was provided for only 4hrs, from: 6pm to 10pm. Later on it was transformed and made for 6hrs. Likewise it was extended gradually till 24hrs a day. Ukulhas also known to be the 1st electrified island for 24hrs a day (Except Male’) by the immense effort lead by the Ukulhas people.
The first Cable TV center in the Maldives was established in Ukulhas in 1995 with the initiation of Ibrahim Ali (Bahaareege, AA Ukulhas) and Amir Khalid (Reynige, AA Ukulhas). At that time only 12 channels were rebroadcast by the Cable TV Centre to all the residences.
Like all other islands of Maldives, Ukulhas also had a series of historical changes throughout the centuries. The people, way of life, social, economic and political changes had been stepping forward in a periodic manner. Bracing back into the history of Ukulhas Island, the island itself had been encircled by a sandy beach, where no bridges, no sea walls ever had been built before. Due to lack of breaking water or sea wall facilities the island had experienced several endangered incidents had been occurred by the huge waves breaking against innocent white sandy beaches. Large vessels were not used for fishing or any means of transport. Stepping ashore from a Dhoni (traditional fishing vessel) could be practiced by the hand of someone, who had been holding and controlling a canoe by his hand while working in the lagoon and the passage through the surf in these boats is at times a matter of danger. They are built by a wooden plank quite a length of a proportion to their breath size, which results them really seaworthy, could made discomforts because the passenger is obliged to stand up in the stern, as no seats are available for his accommodation, so tha if he was careless to a sharp-out, he runs considerable risk of being shot overboard when the stern is lifted by a wave, in which case he might not possible to survive unless he was a good swimmer. Boatmen were expert of passage controlling, as they spent most of their daily lives in the water rather than stay back in their home.
People in the island appeared have regular features that tranquil expression usually found in Orientals. People were with different colors, such as quite fair, darker, complexions which approached a mahogany tint. The streets were straight, broad, and shaded with trees, and are kept very clean. Houses in the island were built of plaited coconut leaves plastered over with a stiff mud, and roofed with coconut leaves thatch; they were usually divided into two apartments, communicating by a doorway closed by a curtain, where front apartment is the general and sleeping room in, and is furnished with benches around the wall and a few stools beside a bed, which always the most conspicuous article of furniture in Maldivian house. This is suspended from the roof by chains or rope, the material of which depends upon the caste to which the proprietor belongs. High castes using brass chains, middle casts iron chains, and low casts coiled rope. The legs are also provided in order that the bed may be lowered down in case of illness, when the swinging motion to which it is liable would be social danger or annoyance to the patient. The furniture of the bed is a matter of great importance; high castes use a mattress and pillows of red silk; middle castes are content with cotton stuff; while low casts sleep on straw. The mattress on straw is covered with a mat, the pattern and quality of which are regulated by the caste of the owner. . Ukulhas people were very quiet and reserved in their intercourse with foreigners until their confidence has been gained, when they had showed themselves hospitable to a degree. They had few wants and in, and as they possess the means of easily satisfying them, were inclined to be indolent; sober, honest, and cheerful, they had been comparing favourably with the inhabitants of many other Eastern countries. They were very ingenious and expert in their manufactures, and display great aptitude in the imitation of any European articles they may come across, such as knife handles, scales, and other small articles of daily use amongst us.
The trade of the Máldives must all pass through in Malé and is mostly carried on indolent on the principle of barter. The bazaar in Malé is the only one which exists in the group, and it is here that all the foreign trade is carried on. The shops are the personal property of the Sultan, who lets them out to a number of Bombay merchants, at rents varying from 15 rupees to 50 rupees per month. These Bombay merchants mostly sell rice and cotton goods to the natives, taking in exchange tortoise-shell, coconuts, cowries, and dried fish.
As like all the Maldivians, Ukulhas people had been following Islamic law that generally supposed that their conversation to the faith of prophet took place some 1400yrs back. They had been following their religious procedures in particular. Their mosques were small and well built and kept in clean. Separate mosques were built for male and female worship. However the largest and most spacious mosque called Hukuru Miskiyu was set and used for the males as though their ceremonial prayers such as Friday prayers, Eid prayers, Eclipse prayer etc. were specialised for the males only and which the ceremony was so essential to the public. They were religious even though they had a strong belief of Devils. People were afraid of devils as though their superstitions exercise a great influence on their daily life. They had a belief that a Devil could make them responsible for all mishaps which befall which made them to expose themselves at nights unwillingly, for fair of meeting him.
Ukulhas had a trend of getting married at the early ages. As soon as they matured, they were hurry to get married with someone. According to Islam polygamy was allowed, but the number of wives was limited up to four, well accordance with Islamic shari’ah. Marriage ceremony was extremely simple; man having satisfied the parents of his intended bride their mutual wish to be joined in matrimony. The magistrate thereupon declares them to be man and wife, calling upon those resemble to be witnesses. That would readily be understood that a bond so lightly tied can be as easily severed; should a couple did not agree, they would attend again before the magistrate, who after satisfying himself that both parties desire the separation, declares the marriage annulled.
Like all other Eastern countries, all house hold duties were left to women, whose main job was to prepare the meals for their husbands and family. They were not allowed to have their meals with their husbands; they kept on wait until their husbands had fished their meal, when they retired to their own apartment for their repast. The rule was so awesome and many of them had been with complexity nearly fair as the women of Southern Europe. They rarely allowed to go out during night time as of devils might disturb to induce them to remain at home.
Crimes were really rare in the island; death penalty was never inflicted, the severest penalty being banishment to another inhabited island for a period commensurate with the offence committed. The commonest punishment is castigation, the blows being dealt on the back and thighs with a sheet of leather inserted into a handle; but when the punishment is intended to be very severe iron nails are inserted in the leather, which cruelly lacerate the flesh; this must be of very rare occurrence.
Ukulhas Health Centre
Before 1982 there were no provisions of formal health services in Ukulhas. Before the later date, ukulhas people used to gain health services by traditional medical practitioners. Traditional medical practitioners were fond of knowing how to treat ill patients either by medically or surgically. Formal health services were first established in the island office on 7th June 1982 by creating a separate section and providing a local Family Health worker. Family Health worker was a person who only qualified for the provision of limited health services, such as local consultations, counselling, distribution of birth control medicines, dressing a wound, distribution of other symptomatic medicines etc. Family Health worker also visits local residences in a periodic manner to monitor their health standards in order to make records which have to be send to the Concern Authorities.
After a several years of limited health services provided by a local Family Health worker, Ukulhas people had reached the fortune of experiencing a separate Health institution in the name of Health Post on 14th August 2004, with some more facilities and equipments available than a Family Health Section. Health post provided two trained traditional birth attendants with Family Health workers.
Health Centre in Ukulhas was established on 1st June 2007 (after some years of Health post services) with a professional Medical Officer (Medical Doctor), Staff Nurses and Administrative staffs. Health Centre is equipped with modern sophisticated equipments including, ECG machine, Nebulisation facilities, IV injections etc. People used to visit the Centre for their consultation each and every day to acquire treatments for their diseases. Medicines are ready to available from the ‘little pharmacy’ in the island. An ambulance is provided to take patients to the Health centre during urgent matters. Doctor is qualified to provide general medications as well as Accidents and emergency care. Doctor is also ready to attend emergency consultation for 24hr a day.
Waste Management in Ukulhas
Ukulhas is known to be the first ever Systematic Waste Management established inhabited island in the Maldives. The systematic waste managing was established on 1st November 2011. As a result of systematic waste management in the island, Ukulhas is marked as an environmentally role model island among all other inhabited islands of Maldives. As a symbolic love with environment and cleaning, ukulhas mark 1st of January of each year as a cleaning day in the name of ‘Saafu Ukulhas’ (clean ukulhas). Environmental awareness programs and waste management workshops are also conducted each year in Ukulhas, which is usually organized by EPA in collaboration with other island councils.
Today people of ukulhas or ukulhas households do not require going out for dump their garbage; instead of that, island council manages household garbage in a systematic manner. For outside trash management, dustbins have been kept in an adequate distance everywhere in the island. People in the island may not require throw away their litters such as cans, bottle, papers etc. As a result of systematic waste management and dustbin placement over the island, the island and its beaches are clean and tidy.
In ukulhas, households manage their wastes by separating into three major groups, such as recyclable items (e.g.; aluminum, copper, steel, plastics, papers etc.), organic items (e.g.; food items), and plant materials (e.g.; leafs, stems etc.). Those major three portions are kept separately by each household. Except Friday, each day council pick-up visits houses to collect their separated waste materials for the disposing and managing; so that households are not required to take their wastes by themselves to the dumping area. For the collection by the council, council charges MVR 100 per each house, per month for the disposing and managing.
After the transportation of household wastes to the ‘Waste Management Centre’, wastes are un-loaded from the pick-up for the major separation and the disposing. Major separation of the house household wastes is done here at the ‘Waste Management Centre’ and organic items, Recyclable items and Plant materials are separated. When the major separation gets over, disposing is started. Since landfill method is very common in Maldives, Ukulhas is one of the first islands where landfill method had stopped soon after the systematic waste management had been started.
Three major methods are used in ukulhas for the disposal of wastes, such as recycling, pyrolysis and Composting. For the recycling aluminum items such as beverage cans, copper such as wires, steel and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipments, polyethylene and PET bottles, Glass bottles and jars etc. are separated. Recyclable items are sold once or twice a month. For the pyrolysis, plant items, wooden materials, card boards, magazines, light paper etc. are placed on a decomposition chamber and those are burned into charcoal and ash. For the composting, organic matters are decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer. It’s a key ingredient for organic farming. For decompose organic matters such as leaves, ‘green’ food wastes are wetted make a heap and keep those heaps for a week or months to break down into ‘humus’. After the breaking down into humus, composed fertilizers are packed and labeled for the sale.
Restaurants and Cafes
Ukulhas cafés and restaurants offer diversify cuisines including western, eastern, Indian, Thai, continental and Maldivian ones. As Ukulhas is famous for fishing, fishes have always been the most prominent element of Ukulhas food. Especially sea food dinner makes you the keen interest of Maldivian taste. Like other parts of Maldives, Ukulhas food is spicy even though restaurants are ready to meet up your taste requirements by making it milder. Sweet, sour, hot and spicy foods are common in Ukulhas.
Snacks are found to be in the name of Hedhika. Hedhika is the short eats popular in many restaurants and cafés. Hot and spicy savories are made of smoked fish, grated coconut, lime juice, onion and chili. It includes bajiya (pastry stuffed with fish), Kulhi boakibaa (fishcake), Keemia (fish rolls), gulha (fish balls), and masroshi (small pancake stuffed with fish). Sweet items are made from flour, sugar, and essence. It includes fonibaokibaa (cake made of flour), githeyo boakibaa (made of flour, onions and butter), and huni hakuru folhi (made of grated coconut, sugar and flour). Usual option is served to be a cup of black tea (kalhu sai) within the short eats. Ukulhas cafés and restaurants are opened each and every day from early morning to 1 am.
Traditional meal consists of rice, garudhiya (fish soup) and side dishes consists of chili, lemon and onion. Instead of garudhiya, fish paste known as rihaakuru and curries are also used. (These meals are served during Eid festivals, christening of child, Maulood festivals etc.)
Today Ukulhas meals have been highly affected by western items like sandwiches, margarine; jam noodles and pasta like items. For common meals, like other Maldivians, Ukulhas community uses many items for their everyday meals. Traditional recipe of breakfast and all the other meals have already been altered. Beside of it Roshi (chapatti), mashuni (made of grated coconut, fish, lemon and onions), curries (made from fish or vegetable or egg), are used as popular dishes for breakfast. For lunch variety of items are prepared. Most of the islanders take rice with various types of curries (e.g.: curries made by fish, vegetable, chicken, dhal, potato, egg etc.), salads, garudhiya (fish soup), fried fishes, fried chickens, barbecued grilled fishes, raw vegetables and many others. Those meals are also served with numerous types of drinks. Coconut and Orange juice are the most popular drinks within the meals in Ukulhas Island.
Variety of appetizers, deserts, cool, soft drinks and coffees are also available at the restaurants.
Lots of other meals are also served on requests by the visitors. Alcoholic beverages and pork are prohibited by law in the local islands as per Maldives is known to be a 100 percent Muslim country. However those are served in other resorts and Cruises.
Gymnasium and Fitness Training
'Body Work' in Ukulhas is the first ever established body building and fitness training institution in North Ari Atoll. It’s a pleasure to experience your fitness at the gymnasium which locates at the harbor side in Ukulhas. Visitors can enjoy with strenuous work outs in a user friendly environment with fun and sophisticated equipments such as, bench press machine, chest fly machine, shoulder press machine, let pull down machine, biceps curl machine, leg extension machine etc. the place is spacious and could be enjoyed with your own inspection independently. The gym is organized and run by the oldest Association in the island known as Glorious Sports Club (GSC).
Shopping in Ukulhas
Bodu magu is known as the best shopping place in Ukulhas where most number of local shops are located. It is also the main road in Ukulhas which lies in the middle of the Island projecting horizontally from east to west, both ends of the road faces to the lagoons at the
two ends of the Island. From the local shops in Ukulhas you could get variety of items ranging from food and beverages to cosmetics and building materials. Variety of garments, perfumes, canned fish are also available from those shops. You could also reload your cell phone and get phone cards to reload your mobile SIM cards under Wataniya and Dhiraagu networks from those shops. Distinctive kinds of local fruits, vegetables, jams, sweetmeat, homemade sweets and pickles etc. are also available from those local shops. Eating out is not a problem in Ukulhas.
Ukulhas has a tropical climate however warm temperature year around could experience with sunshine. The warm climate has got relatively minor variation in daily temperature throughout a year period. The weather is seemed to large during monsoons. Southwest monsoon lasts from May to November when the northeast monsoon goes from December to April. April is the hottest in average and December is to be recorded as coolest season in average. The month February is notably seen as the driest season while December to April being relatively dries. Maldives is lucky to be remaining as a safe and harmonious country as severe storms are rare made by its location in the equatorial belt.
Swimming at the beach
As pristine and turquoise lagoon and reef is encircled by Ukulhas it is to be an excellent place to enjoy with white sandy beaches. The island provides beach towels, chairs, benches etc. on the beach by request. Looking at the crystal clear water it’s hard to be off from the water anything less than 2–3 hours both morning and afternoon. To protect sun burn or tanning it’s advisable to carry lot of sunscreen lotion. When you’re not in swim, relax in the beach especially shadow of a tree bushes.
Stroll in the island
It’s easy to cover up the tiny island to know everything about the Island as its small enough (71.91 km long) in its land area. Ukulhas had a tremendous natural setup with collection of small to large trees. Coconut palm tree could be seen almost everywhere in the Island. To discover and experience different plants, shells, cultural life, sea life etc. you could take a stroll around the island. It is to be happy time to spend one late afternoon in walking the entire Island few times. There may be sometimes paved walkways especially rainy season where you have to be careful when you stand on them as they tend to be very slippery.
Fishing in Ukulhas
Fishing has been an inherited, cultural activity practiced by the islanders as their major source of income since long time ago. Ukulhas is famous for ‘yellow fin tuna’ fishing while several fishermen are fond of being busy with their ‘reef fishing’ and ‘Marling fishing'.
Surface trolling and surface lining is an amazing method to catch small fishes, such as mackerels, especially for visitors who afraid to go by fishing boat away from the island. As Ukulhas is abundant of several fishes and living creatures it’s possible to fish from everywhere around the island. Ukulhas lagoon and reef is well clean and rich with reef fishes, it’s even a wonderful opportunity to catch the fishes enjoying with sandy beaches while stepping and playing with white turquoise shallow lagoon walking around the island.
Residents of Ukulhas and visitors enjoy the fun time of night fishing under the twinkling stars. For the night fishing ‘Dhoni’ leaves from the island and anchors at a neighboring reef before the sunsets and darkness falls on. When the dhoni (traditional fishing vessel with a mechanized engine) anchors, the fishing lines are set tethered with hooks and sinkers, which drop overboard from both sides of the vessel, it’s time for you to catch emperors, snappers, squirrelfish, jacks etc. It’s a tremendous, fantastic time if the fishing is good enough. If the fishing goes weak it’s an even happier to relax under the twinkling stars, on the deck of your isolated fishing vessel to listen the soft sound of waves which gently rocks against the vessel.
Big Game Fishing
This is an amazing experience to catch a big fish. For the big game fishing, the Dhoni (traditional fishing vessel with mechanized engine) leaves to the bait fish ground early in the morning for the collection of live baits such as small scads, silver side, mackerels and sardine etc. After the search of bait fishes they gear on their journey towards the shoal ground, the place supposed to be some 40 or 50 miles away from their local island. Those catches are kept in the hull of the vessel and sea waters are pumped in and out of the hull for the circulation. When they expose to the open sea they will search yellow fin tuna schools and speed up the vessel. When those tunas are sighted, the speed is reduced and crews begin to throw handful of bait fishes (the baits are thrown to let fishes coming to the surface), along with that crews start to place their hooked line into the shoal and starts to catch the tunas. As soon the tuna is caught fishermen start to pull the line to make it close to the vessel, which is hooked and hauled to place on to the deck of the dhoani and unhooked the line for a second round. Fishermen try to catch the fishes until the shoal stops or move another area.
Sun set Cruise
Sun set cruise is a traditional Maldivian boat (Dhoni in Dhivehi language) made by a sturdy wooden structure with modern engineering. Almost all the interior and exterior décor and furnishing in the vessel is built up by handy crafting. This traditional small boat offers you a luxury choice to enjoy the scenery as boat cruises by encircling the Island basking under tropical sun with a served coconut drinks on the boat deck while the sun goes down. It’s really a romantic activity pursuable while holidaying in the Ukulhas Island. It’s very much advisable to book the Sunset cruise in advance. It’s even a huge opportunity to take the pictures of sun going down. Occasionally it’s possible to catch glimpses of schools of dolphins as boat cruises its way encircling the Island.
Snorkeling is one of the best things to enjoy underwater life at Ukulhas. Ukulhas is encircled by a turquoise, crystal clear lagoon and a reef where variety of living marine creatures and fishes are existed. To enjoy with the underwater beauty at this tiny island you need only a Mask with a Fins. Snorkel gears (Snorkel items are provided on request by the island) When you snorkel on the reef or on the sloped reef area you could see numbers of those living creatures with uncounted numbers of fishes. Specially groupers, octopus, turtles, shells, moray eels, Manta ray, Stingray, Eagle ray, anemones, jellyfish, lobsters, prawns, shrimps, squid, giant clam, starfish, brittle stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, Surgeon fish, Butterfly fish, Bull eye, parrot fish, anemones fish, red tail butterfly fish, Aetobatus – Narinari etc. etc.
Ukulhas Grilled BBQ
When you visit the Ukulhas Island it would be a great pleasure and a new experience to try with your hand at new Maldivian delicious taste BBQ Grilled Fish on the white crystal clear sandy beaches encircled by the shallow lagoon with calm wave breaking sounds. It must also be one of the most interesting parts of your vacation which tends not to be completed unless you try grilling the local Ukulhas Fish on your BBQ under the twinkling stars.
Cultural Music in Ukulhas
Boduberu is one of the most popular forms of traditional music and dance founds in Ukulhas even in the Maldives too. Boduberu is performed by about 15 people, including four drummers with background and a lead singer. Bodu beru is played with a set of drums and an Onugan’du.
Onudgadu is a small piece of bamboo which lays horizontal grooves, from which raspy sounds are produced by scrapping. The songs may be of heroism, romance or satire. The prelude to the song is a slow with emphasis on drumming, and dancing. As the song reaches a crescendo, on or tow dancers maintain the wild beat with their frantic movements ending in some cases in a terrace. The costume of the performers is a sarong and white sleeved shirt.
Rahguda is the most famous boduberu group at Ukulhas Island, also known to be one of the top ranked Boduberu groups among all the Boduberu groups in Maldives. Rahguda achieved the 2nd place at MNBC Boduberu challenge (The biggest Boduberu competition lively telecasted and organized by the biggest TV channel in the country, also the highest number of Boduberu group participated competition in the Maldives) in the year 2011. The Lead Vocalist of the year also won by the lead sinsger Sihante’ from Rahguda at the later competition. Rahguda also comes with their special performances during the Eid festivals, Cleaning day events, Marriage Ceremonies’ etc. Rahguda also visits Male’ occasionally to perform in specials events by invitations. From this year onwards Rahguda has started its journey towards the resort Music. The most delightful thing is that Rahguda always does give their shows to Ukulhas people freely. They are very much welcome to be invited by the visitors at Ukulhas.
There are historical sites and monuments which are served as a popular tourist attraction of the island. One of the ideal sights which attracts is to be the “Kuda Miski’h” close to power house. The mosque (masjid) is known to be built at the time of Hukuru Miskiy (Old Friday Mosque) in Male’ dating from 1656. When you look at the mosque you could recognize that Coral-stone walls are intricately carved with patterns. Before the interior was superb and famed for its fine lacquer work and elaborate woodcarvings, but later on it was replaced by modern roofing sheets due to fungus occurrences. Now the mosque has been left for free due to insufficient space inside the premises for worship, which does not suite to allocate enough people in comparison with existing population of the island. But the monument itself indicates that the people used to live in the Island long time ago.
- GCE Advance Level Education in Ukulhas Island
‘Ukulhahu School’ established in the island of Ukulhas is recognized and notified as the first ever A-Level institution in the North Ari Atoll in the history of its archipelago. The A Level studies program (A Level campaign) was started and initiated with an immense effort led by the people of Ukulhas Island. After the inauguration of the A-Level program, Ukulhas community composed an organizing and managing committee for the A-Level program in the name of “A Level Committee”. When the A-level committee emerged from the first day itself they started its functions, trying to cross all the steps towards its establishment and sustainability. With enormous and tremendous efforts led together by the A Level Committee and the citizens of ukulhas the A-Level program has reaped immense success as the first A- level batch of the institution achieved the national top ten awards. For the continuity and sustainability of the ‘Ukulhas A Level program’ from the beginning, the citizens of ukulhas have been filling their commitment volunteering and providing free aid for all the students at all means if it is in relation with their academic progress. Qualified students from other islands are highly invited to join the program with Ukulhas Community providing everything required for the whole A Level program including travel costs, accommodation, clothing, uniform, pocket money, books, stationeries etc. Ukulhas community spends more than 1.5 million rufiyaa each year for the program. It’s a huge and a fantastic opportunity to join the ‘Ukulhas School’ to pursue A-Level studies in a gentle and a friendly environment. It’s also a golden opportunity to spend your higher secondary education days in an Island encircled with turquoise lagoons, marked by clean shady roads, filled with friendly and warm hearted people helping you out throughout ones studies. Students are also welcome to enjoy fishing during weekends and holidays.It’s a tremendous and a fabulous opportunity to receive placement in “Ukulhas School” which will be a great help in furthering your carrier and achieving your ambitions.
Ukulhas Picnic Island “Fushi”
Ukulhas holiday will not be completed unless you visit and experience the picnic island “Fushi” “Fushi” is a small uninhabited island which has got enormous natural beauty and a fully set up with three grown trees lining in the middle
of the island. Powder white sands lapped by dazzling turquoise waters and stunning underwater beauty. Visiting “Fushi” is also an ultimate holiday of the lifetime, which ensures that every minute of your stay here is worth a lifetime. This tiny uninhabited island is more natural than Ukulhas or any other inhabited islands and has more privacy to live. This picnic island has been left for free from all other manmade facilities such as toilets, bars, rooms, and dining facilities. However Ukulhas is ready to set up your Beach BBQ in this island. Ukulhas is also welcomes to serve coconut drinks with verity of beverages on request. You could spend your day for swimming in the clear blue lagoon, snorkeling, Beach games, relaxing yourself under shadows of those trees in this beautiful powder white sandy island. The lagoon and the reef of this tiny island are famous for reef fishing. Lot of tourists loves to go for this tremendous fishing before their BBQ Meal, while the Ukulhas Island wills to provide fishing gears and all the required facilities on request. The “Fushi” has also got a shallow long reef which projects quite a far away distance from the west coast of the island. Working on this long reef could certainly be a great experience. To work on the later reef you have to take a good care as the top of the reef will be very slippery. If you want to enjoy with your own use or if you need a greater privacy you could choose your time in this Island. Let’s make your first visit as much attractive as you can.
Gaagandu (the biggest isolated rock in the Maldives) has been erupted in Alif Alif atoll close to the Ukulhas Island has been marked as well known adventurous spot since long time back. The stories about the visitors and sailors to the massive rock have always been revealed and told by the Islanders. Those fishing boats had been crashed and sank down into the bear ocean close to this mass rock due to heavy wave broke against the big rock. The survival stories of fishing boats and sailors during the ancient time makes the history of the island so adventurous. Gaagan’du is about 50 feet in length, 25 feet in breathe, scarcely about 5 feet from the water’s edge, which recorded was the only solid point which waves of Alif atoll had not engulfed. It was as such of remained a structure of Lime stone surrounded by the deep ocean close to the Ukulhas Island. The rock had been cracked just in the middle, and had been shattered to two fragments; the rock is surrounded by abundant of living creatures, numbers of fishes. Specially groupers, octopus, turtles, shells, moray eels, Manta ray, Stingray, Eagle ray, anemones, jellyfish, lobsters, prawns, shrimps, squid, giant clam, starfish, brittle stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, Surgeon fish, Butterfly fish, Bull eye, parrot fish, anemones fish, red tail butterfly fish, Aetobatus – Narinari etc. The place is found to be really a fantastic place to see moray eels. This place is also recorded as one of the best dive spots in Ari atoll region. To dive or snorkel would certainly be an unforgettable experience during your Ukulhas holiday.
- Ramiz Ibrahim
- Ramiz Ibrahim