The illuminations at Mihintale was switched on by President Maithripala Sirisena on the eve of Poson Poya amidst the chanting of seth pirith by the Maha Sangha headed by Mihintale Raja Maha Viharadipathi Ven. Walawahengunawewa Dhammarathana Nayake Thera.
President Sirisena offered Atapirikara to the Maha Sangha and later handed over the casket containing relics of the Buddha to the Nilames.
The relics will be taken in procession at the Poson Maha Mihindhu Perahera parading the streets in the Mihintale Scared City.
Mihintale Raja Maha Viharadhipathi Ven. Walawahengunawewa Dhammarathana Nayaka Thera in an anusana emphasised that the arrival of the President and the Prime Minister in Mihintale to switch on the illuminations was memorable.
He said after the commencement of the Lake House Mihintale Aloka Pooja by Lake House founder D.R.Wijewardene 53 years ago, the rulers of the country visited Mihintale to participate in the Aloka Pooja.
“They have contributed immensely to bring the Mihintale Sacred City to the present position and revive its past glory and religious splendour,” the Nayaka Thera said. He said a well planned Mihintale sacred city preservation project was needed to protect hundreds of ancient shrines, monuments, artefacts, caves, ponds and hermitages found in about 1,000 acres.
“It will be meritorious deed if a Sangha Wasa and a Dhamma Salawa are built in the sacred city before the dawn of the next Poson season,” Ven. Dhammarathana Nayaka Thera said.
Ministers Patali Champika Ranawaka, Duminda Dissanayake, Chandrani Bandara, North Central Province Chief Minister Peshala Bandara Jayarathne NCP Government Agent P.B.Dissanayake, Anuradhapura Additional Government Agent Saman Bandulasena, Mihintale DS Ruwan Ekanayake, Media Ministry Secretary Karunaratne Paranawithana, Lake House Chairman and Managing Director Kavan participated in the inauguration of the third day of the Mihintale Aloka Pooja.