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Thoddoo (Alif Alif Atoll)

Thoddoo is one of the inhabited islands of Alif Alif Atoll in the Republic of Maldives.
There are important Buddhist ruins in an area of this island and some key remains were found. Muhammad Ismāīl Dīdī, leading member of the committee exploring the Buddhist ruins of Toddu Island in the 1950s, was amazed at the care with which a Buddha statue they found had been buried. His mind wandered back to the time of forceful conversion and his opinion was:

Even though the people in Malé had already become Muslims, (Toddu) islanders were still attached to the Buddhist tradition. However, knowing that they had to submit to the official religion, they decided to hide the idol they used to worship and did so with utmost care. As fast as they could, they removed the idol (budu) from its pedestal and placed it on a depression of the floor of the surrounding temple compound filling it with fine sand. They buried it very respectfully along with other holy implements and flower garlands, circling the perimeter with stones. They didn’t destroy the temple building itself, probably because our ancestors of this island hoped that after a short time, the Buddhist religion would establish itself again. Then they would be able to reinstate the idol to its original position.
Unfortunately the Buddhist sites were not protected after excavation and have been vandalized in recent times.