The Maldives is an island nation consisting of 26 natural atolls (19 for administrative purposes) in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is located south of India's Lakshadweep islands, and about seven hundred kilometers’ (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka. The twenty-six atolls of Maldives' encompass a territory featuring 1,192 islets; two hundred and fifty islands are inhabited. Male' the capital is the seat of government and the centre of trade, commerce, business, health and education. Male' is located in the middle of the atoll chain.