A group of foreign tourists, including French nationals, were seen climbing Mihintale mountain by torch light on Tuesday evening. The tourists were unaware that the electricity supply to the sacred city had been cut off due to non-payment of due arrears.
The tourists were reportedly visiting the Mihintale Rajamaha Vihara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to worship. They were surprised to find that the temple was in darkness, and they decided to climb the mountain by torch light.
The electricity supply to Mihintale was cut off on Tuesday morning by the Ceylon Electricity Board. The CEB said that the temple authorities had not paid their electricity bill for several months.
The incident has raised concerns about the maintenance of Mihintale, which is one of Sri Lanka’s most important religious sites. The temple authorities have said that they are working to restore the electricity supply, and they have apologized to the tourists for the inconvenience.