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Mihinthale Sanctuary

Mihintale, Ancient Central, Sri Lanka.
Location : Mihintale
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Overview
Being the first sanctuary in the world and one of the most venerated sites of Buddhist devotees Mihinthale sanctuary swells its significance. Therefore there is a legend which trace back to 3rd century BC, behind this sanctuary. 

Buddhism is a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of ‘right to live’ not only of human but of every living beings. And these great teachings of Buddha were brought into Ceylon in 3rd century BC by ArahatMahindaThera. The then ruler of Sri Lanka was king Devanampiyatissa, and he was deer-hunting in the jungles of Mihinthale, Anuradhapura while MahindaThera arrived into this particular place in Sri Lanka. The Therastopped the king and talked to him. Then he explained in hispreaches that the king is only the ruler and not the owner of this land, and it belongs to all the people and animals. Since then Mihinthale was designated as a sanctuary by the king. This fact has been accepted by all environmentalists and archaeologists, based on facts in the Mahavamsa and other available documentation such as stone inscription found at Mihinthale.

Subsequently in 1938, the Department of Wildlife Conservation had legally protected this area as a sanctuary.  The area stretches over 999.6 hectare land along with the mountains and hills of Mihinthale, the KaludiyaPokuna, MihinduGuhava, Ambasthala area and the AmbaVanaya. The vegetation of the sanctuary varies as palu, weera, burutha, teak, ebony andmilla, whereas fauna comprises of mammals such as elephants, deer, sambhur , bears and many avifaunal speicies.

Despite the great archeological and ecological significance of Mihinthale, it is being degraded day by day. Therefore it is our unavoidable responsibility to preserve this place which is a jewel to our nation.
 


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