Assembly Hall of Mihintale – සන්නිපාත ශාලාව

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Sannipatha Shalawa or the Assembly Hall

Sannipatha Shalawa
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An integral part of a Buddhist monastery is the Sannipata Salawa or the Assembly Hall where the Bhikkhus of the monastery met to discuss matters of common interest pertaining to the rules of discipline administration.

The most senior Bhikkhu of the Vihara and took the chair at such meetings. In the case of Mihintale we see from the inscription in the neighbourhood that the senior Bhikkhu of the Vihara was called the Naka balana himi meaning the chief Bhikkhu of the fraternity.

The elevated stone seat that you see in the middle of the hall was meant for him. From the building it is quite clear that the Assembly Hall is situated in a central place in the huge monastic complex where monks could meet at a short notice.

This building which was used for common purposes included the preaching of Dhamma. It is also interesting from an architectural point of view.

The Hall is square in plan with a side about 62 feet in length. It had no enclosing walls or rooms attached to it. The roof was carried by symmetrically arranged stone pillars that still survive though now without the roof.

There would have been about 64 (8×8) such pillars. The Hall had access from all four directions with flight of steps. The open nature of the building would have been environmentally suitable for a place of congregation in a dry climate.

Primary source : Mihintale – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Map of the The Assembly Hall of Mihintale


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Driving Directions to The Assembly Hall of Mihintale

Mihinthalawa can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttlam (Puttalama) and though Kurunegala. Traveling from Puttlam you will pass scenic Wilpattu area. the From Kurunegala there are two main routes to Mihintale. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is though Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the commonly used is the Kurunegala – Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to Mihintale (A3)

Route 02 from Colombo to Mihintale

Though : Negambo - Chillaw - Puthlam
Distance :211 km
Travel time : 3.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Ambepussa - Kurunegala - Dambulla
Distance : 213 km
Travel time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps

Route 03 from Colombo to Mihintale

Route from Anuradhapura to Mihintale

Though : Ambepussa - Kurunegala - Padeniya - Thambuthegama
Distance :220 km
Travel time : 3.45 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Distance :15 km
Travel time : 40 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map
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