Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep Islands, between Minicoy Island and Chagos Archipelago. It stands in the Laccadive Sea, about 700 kilometres (430 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka and 400 kilometres (250 mi) south-west of India. During the colonial era, the Dutch referred to the country as 'Maldivische Eilanden' (pronounced [mldivis ilnd(n)]) in their documentation, while 'Maldive Islands' is the anglicised version of the local name used by the British, which later came to be written 'Maldives'. The Maldives was dominated from the mid sixteenth century by colonial powers: Portugal, the Netherlands, and Britain.
Contributions by Oblivious, Pgan002, and 18.104.22.168.