The Northern Atolls – the least-developed region of Maldives – remain scarcely known to foreigners, which makes them a great place to experience traditional Maldivian life. Maldivian history owes much to this part of the country – national hero Mohammed Thakurufaanu, the man who drove the Portuguese colonizers out of Maldives in the 16th century, was born on the island of Utheemu in Haa Alifu Atoll. The island is today a place of pilgrimage for Maldivians, who come to see his small wooden palace.
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