Assembly Hall of Mihintale
Assembly Hall of Mihintale, called 'Sannipata Salawa' in Sinhala, is where Bhikkus gathered to converse. Ancient architects, in their wisdom, had built the hall in the middle of the monastery complex. There is an elevated seat in the middle of the hall, reserved for the 'Naka balana himi' - chief Bhikkhu of the fraternity.
The square hall with a side 62 feet in height would have accommodated a large number of Bhikkus. The room is spacious and built to facilitate large congregations without any enclosing walls. The open space concept of the structure would have made congregating in a dry climate much easier. The still standing symmetrical pillars carved out of stone once supported the assembly hall's roof. And, Bhikkus would have been able to access the assembly hall from all four directions via flights of steps.
References & External Links
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