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Seenu Atoll
Type of Location
About Location

Gan is the southernmost island of Addu Atoll, as well as the southernmost island of the Maldives.It is relatively large by Maldive standards.Gan Island is the second largest island of the atoll, after Hithadhoo, and measures 2.2561 square kilometres (0.87 sq mi) in area.Gan Island was formerly inhabited, but its inhabitants were moved to neighboring islands after the British naval and airbase was built.It had been having continuous human habitation since very ancient times.There were large cultivated fields of yams, manioc and coconut trees on this island.The origin of the word "Gan" is in the Sanskrit word "Grama", meaning "village".

Gan Island has now a hotel catering for tourists and is connected by causeways to the neighboring islands of Feydu, Maradu and Hithadhoo.This island should not be confused with other Maldive islands called "Gan" in Huvadhu Atoll and Haddummati Atoll.In 1922 H. C. P. Bell visited this island and investigated the ancient Buddhist ruins there.These included the foundations of a temple (vihara) and a mound or low hill which was a very ruined stupa. Gan's ruins were the remains of the southernmost Buddhist site of the Maldives.The mound, as well as the foundations of the nearby vihara, disappeared after the airport was built.

The Japanese remained unaware of the base’s existence until their plans for expansion in south-east Asia had come to nothing, even during their carrier raids in the Indian Ocean in April 1942. Later in the war, submarine reconnaissance established the base’s existence.Despite openings into the lagoon being permanently closed by anti-submarine nets, the German U-boat U-183 torpedoed the tanker British Loyalty in March 1944 (she had been previously torpedoed and sunk at Diego Suarez); it was an impressive long-range shot from outside the atoll through a gap in the anti-torpedo nets.Although seriously damaged, the tanker did not sink.She was not fully repaired but kept as a Ministry of War Transport Oil Fuel Storage Vessel.There was significant oil pollution after this incident and British personnel were used to clean the lagoon.

Most of the employees who had experience working for the British military spoke good English. When the base at Gan was closed for good they turned to the nascent tourism industry for employment.As a result, there was an influx of Addu people to Male seeking employment in the nearby resorts and also looking for education to their children.After the British military left, the airstrip was neglected and remained almost unused for many decades.Recently it has been developed into what is now Gan International Airport.


How to Reach

By Air

Gan International Airport (IATA: GAN, ICAO: VRMG) is located on the island of Gan in Addu Atoll (also known as Seenu Atoll) in the Maldives.The British handed it over to the government and it was used as a domestic airport.Recently the airport has been upgraded to international standards in preparation for international flights with the opening of tourist resorts in the area.

By Ferries

Ferries to the airport charge Rf. 10.00 per person.If you are in a large group it may be more convenient and economical to charter one.The price of charters ranges from Rf. 75.00 during the day, Rf.100.00 after sunset to 150.00 after midnight.The airport ferry jetty, Jetty no.9 is located in Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Henveiru close to Nasandhura Palace Hotel.

Key places to visit
Fuvahmulah, British War Memorial, White Tern Dhon Dheeni, Havitha


Places to Visit


The island is about 4.5 km by 1.2 km with a submerged reef extending for about three km in a SE direction. In the distant past fuamulaku was a small coral atoll whoes southern end was open at a spot called Diyarehifaando and the inside of the island was a saltwater lagoon forming a natural harbor, In time the inner lagoon lost its saltiness and all that remains today are small lakes, wetlands and marshy taro fields.Therefore Fuamulaku is a small Atoll that closed and filled in with silt. The Northern lake of the island is known as 'Dhadimagi-Kilhi' and the southern is known as 'Bandaara-Kihi'.Lacking a lagoon and being subject to violent ocean swells, FuvahMulah island was often inaccessible to seafarers. Recently a harbor has been built at the SE top of the island, but its not easy to use in the often-harsh weather conditions.

British War Memorial

The wetland area of Edigalhi kilhi and kotey Area is environmental protected under the Maldivian Law.This is a breeding ground for different species of birds living in this area, also different kinds of Migratory birds can be seen depending on the season.

White Tern Dhon Dheeni

Gygis Alba Locally know as 'Dhondheeni', sometimes called as Kandhuvalu dhooni is a small seabird traditionally only confined to the Addu atoll.The white tern is one of the Most beautiful and interesting resident birds found in the Maldives.It has a full body of white feathers with a distinctive black ring around the eye and a black bill with blue at the base.This white tern is protected in the Maldives.


Havitha,Gnaviyani Atoll Fuvahmulah this historical place located in Fuvahmulah is known to be a buddist stupa called a 'Havitha' this place has a height of 25 meters.

Right Time to Visit

June - August
December - February


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