The Maldives is an archipelagic state in South Asia located in the Indian Ocean. It is located around 750 kilometers from the Asian continent’s mainland, southwest of Sri Lanka and India. From Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to Addu Atoll in the south, the chain of 26 atolls spans across the Equator. With a total land area of 298 square kilometers and a territory of almost 90,000 square kilometers including the water, the Maldives is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed sovereign states, the smallest Asian country, one of the smallest Muslim-majority countries by land area, and the second least populous country in Asia, with approximately 557,751 inhabitants. Malé is the capital and most populous city, traditionally known as “King’s Island” because of its center location, where ancient royal dynasties ruled.