Advertorial: Eighth stop of ‘Savaadheeththa Dhathuru’ Maldives Yacht Rally 2024: Hoandedhdhoo

‘Savaadheeththa Dhathuru’ is a sailing event organized by the Maldives Integrated Tourism Corporation (MITDC) which invites yachtsmen from across the globe to participate in a journey across the Maldives seas, making stops at local islands, exploring the heritage, experiencing famous dive sites, sandbanks etc.  The second edition of the rally began on 10th February 2024 from the Kaafu Atoll, taking a course of 2 weeks to reach Gan in Seenu Atoll.

Located in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll in the southern regions of the Maldivian archipelago, Hoandedhdhoo has retained its status as an agricultural island. Renowned for its clusters of uninhabited islands accessible from Hoandedhdhoo during low tides, the atoll boasts a rich historical heritage. Among its notable landmarks is a centuries-old mosque, steeped in history dating back 500 years.

In the morning, guests were traditionally welcomed with boduberu music and a dance performance. Following this, they embarked on the Huvadhoo Walk, strolling through the chain of islands all the way to Dhigerehaa.

After the Friday prayer, guests explored traditional Maldivian stalls, where locals showcased their works. A drama based on the history of the island was presented, followed by traditional Maldivian singing, featuring performances of Bandhi and Raivaru poems by locals.

As night fell, the atmosphere shifted to a dinner night, accompanied by Maldivian boduberu music and dance. The evening concluded with a mesmerizing fire show.

On the second day of activities in GDh. Hoandedhdhoo, guests were treated to a captivating tour of the island's historical landmarks and cultural practices. The tour commenced with a visit to the mosque. As the guests marveled at the architectural grandeur and soaked in the spiritual ambiance, they were transported through time to an era of profound significance. Following this, the tour took them to witness an age-old tradition known as Goanibe, deeply rooted in the island's cultural heritage. This ritual, predominantly participated in by men, unfolded as they gathered at two distinct locations on the island's northern shores. Afterwards, the women of the island came into the Goanibe, a ritualistic act where they ceremoniously cut off the koadi. The individual performing this crucial task was then adorned with ink and ceremonially cast into the sea, symbolizing a collective cleansing and renewal. Thus, ending the ritual. It was a day brimming with historical insights and cultural immersion, leaving the guests enriched by the island's traditions and heritage.

Afterwards, guests were taken back to their vessels. A trip to S. Hithadhoo is on the cards for guests next.