Several historical shrines designated as Sacred Sites
Posted on February 16th, 2024

Courtesy Hiru News

The National Physical Planning Department has designated 11 temples of significant archaeological, historical, and sacred importance as Sacred Sites in the Government Gazette. These areas, now recognized as sacred sites, had their respective documents submitted to the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (15), presided over by Mr. Saman Ekanayake, the Secretary to the President.

Ambagaswewa Purana Rajamaha Vihara belonging to Horovpatana Divisional Secretariat Division of the Anuradhapura District, Pothuvatawana Maha Vihara belonging to Dankotuwa Divisional Secretariat Division of Puttalam District, Ampara Muhudu Maha Vihara of Pottuvil Divisional Secretariat Division of Ampara District, Maddegama Raja Maha Vihara belonging to Dompe Divisional Secretariat Division of Gampaha District, Uddhakandara Rajamaha Vihara belonging to the Tissamaharamaya Divisional Secretariat, Hambantota District, Sri Saddharma Yuktika Vana Senasuna (Monastery) belonging to the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat division of Trincomalee district were designated as sacred sites.

Further, Dambadeniya Sri Vijaya Sundararama Raja Maha Vihara belonging to the Narammala Divisional Secretariat division in Kurunegala district, Shanthi Viharya belonging to the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat division of Trincomalee district , Kabalewa Ambawa Sri Sudharmarama Purana Vihara and Gambhara Siddha Kabala Mul Soonyam Devalaya in the Kuliapitiya West Divisional Secretariat division of the Kurunegala District and Yan Oya Rajamaha Vihara belonging to Trincomalee Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat Division, Sagara Pura Samudragiri Vana Senasuna which belongs to Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat Division of Trincomalee District were also declared as sacred sites.

As a result, the total count of sanctuaries recognized as sacred places of worship in Sri Lanka has now risen to 142. President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake affirmed President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s unwavering commitment to upholding and protecting Buddhism in accordance with the Constitution. Additionally, the Secretary to the President highlighted various government initiatives aimed at advancing Buddhism, guided by the President’s directives.

These include plans to initiate archaeological excavations at the Maha Vihara, the epicenter of Theravada Buddhism, establish the Maha Vihara University, and construct an international Buddhist museum in Kandy.

The gathering was chaired by Most Venerable Balangoda Sobhita Nayaka Thera. Also in attendance were Most Venerable Ganthune Assaji Maha Nayaka Thera, as well as Most Venerable Medagama Nandawansa Thera.

Minister of State Shanta Bandara, Member of Parliament Samanpriya Herath, Secretary of the Buddha Sasana Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs Somaratne Vidanapathirana, Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs, Director-General of the Physical Planning Department, along with officials from related institutions and donors of temples, attended the event.

Prior to the presentation of the”Puja Bhumi Sannaspathra” a charitable donation was also made at the Presidential Secretariat in honour of the Maha Sangha who graced the occasion with their presence.

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