8° 21′ 2.14″ N, 80° 31′ 1″ E

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Dhana Shalawa (Refectory) of Mihintale Monastery

Dhana Shalawa (Refectory) of Mihintale Monastery

Dhana Shalawa (Refectory) of Mihintale Monastery

Dhana Shalawa (Refectory) of Mihintale Monastery 


The refectory measuring 34.92 metres in length and 23.49 metres in width was adequate to provide alms for thousands of Buddhist monks. There was a trough to the East of it which served as a repository for curries. To the west was another trough measuring 12.81 x 4 metres which served as the trough to store rice. It can be understood that rice and vegetable curries obtained from these containers were used in the serving of alms to the monks. There had been a centre compound in this refectory. 


The fact that the entire building had been covered with a roof is evident from the ruins of pillars still apparent at the site. The main entrance was linked with the centre compound. There had been two other small gates to this building. One was lying to the right of the main entrance and the other to the North. A spout that provided water facilities to the refectory was found at the roof level of the building. It can be understood that the monks, having obtained alms from the refectory, retired to their respective quarters before partaking of meals. 


(Heritage of Rajarata by Prof. Chandra Wikramagamage P168)

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