The Republic of Maldives, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean The twenty-six atolls encompass a territory featuring 1,192 islets, roughly two hundred of which are inhabited by local communities. Islands housing Hotels, antennae, fuel tanks, and other such premises, are not counted as inhabited islands by the administration. Originally a Buddhist nation, Islam was introduced in 1153. It later became a Portuguese (1558), Dutch (1654), and British (1887) colonial possession. In 1965, Maldives obtained independence from Britain and in 1968 the Sultanate was replaced by .Maldives is the smallest Asian country in terms of population. It is also the smallest predominantly Muslim nation in the world.