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National Physical Planning Department Designates 11 Temples as Sacred Sites in Government Gazette

In a significant move, the National Physical Planning Department has officially designated 11 temples with profound archaeological, historical, and sacred significance as Sacred Sites. The announcement was made through the Government Gazette.

Presided over by Presidential Secretary Saman Ekanayake, the documentation for these areas, now recognized as sacred sites, was submitted to the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday (Feb. 15).

The following historical shrines have been declared as sacred sites:

  1. Ambagaswewa Purana Rajamaha Vihara – Horowpathana Divisional Secretariat Division (DSD) of the Anuradhapura District
  2. Pothuvatawana Maha Vihara – Dankotuwa DSD of Puttalam District
  3. Ampara Muhudu Maha Vihara – Pottuvil DSD of Ampara District
  4. Maddegama Raja Maha Vihara – Dompe DSD of Gampaha District
  5. Uddhakandara Rajamaha Vihara – Tissamaharamaya DSD of Hambantota District
  6. Sri Saddharma Yuktika Vana Senasuna (Monastery) – Kuchchaveli DSD of Trincomalee District
  7. Dambadeniya Sri Vijaya Sundararama Raja Maha Vihara – Narammala DSD in Kurunegala District
  8. Shanthi Viharya – Kuchchaveli DSD of Trincomalee District
  9. Kabalewa Ambawa Sri Sudharmarama Purana Vihara and Gambhara Siddha Kabala Mul Soonyam Devalaya – Kuliapitiya West DSD of Kurunegala District
  10. Yan Oya Rajamaha Vihara – Kuchchaveli DSD of Trincomalee District
  11. Sagara Pura Samudragiri Vana Senasuna – Kuchchaveli DSD of Trincomalee District

With this designation, the total count of sanctuaries recognized as sacred places of worship in Sri Lanka has now reached 142.

President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake reaffirmed President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s unwavering commitment to upholding and protecting Buddhism in accordance with the Constitution. Additionally, he highlighted various government initiatives aimed at advancing Buddhism, including plans for archaeological excavations at the Maha Vihara, establishing the Maha Vihara University, and constructing an international Buddhist museum in Kandy.

The gathering, chaired by Most Venerable Balangoda Sobhita Nayaka Thera, was attended by prominent figures, including Most Venerable Ganthune Assaji Maha Nayaka Thera and Most Venerable Medagama Nandawansa Thera. Minister of State Shanta Bandara, Member of Parliament Samanpriya Herath, and other officials also participated in the event. A charitable donation was made at the Presidential Secretariat in honor of the Maha Sangha before the presentation of the ‘Puja Bhumi Sannaspathra.’

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