Mihintale: The Birthplace Of Buddhism In Sri Lanka


Due to its rich legacy, which has made Sri Lanka a well-known travel destination, the beautiful island is graced with a multitude of religious & cultural sites. Mihintale is one of the main attractions among them, both as a place to go hiking and as a cultural destination. When tourists travel to the historic city of Anuradhapura, they frequently stop at Mihintale.

There are four mountains called Mihinthale, each of which is roughly 1,000 feet high. These are Rajagiri Lena Mountain, Anaikutti Mountain, Ath Vehera Mountain, and Mihinthalawa Mountain. The major mountain, Mihinthalawa, is home to the famous Mahaseya stupa and Aradhana gala (Invitation Rock).

Mihintale Location:

Mihintale is situated in the Anuradhapura district of Sri Lanka’s North Central region. It is close to Anuradhapura, a revered ancient city. Anuradhapura was also the first capital of ancient Sri Lanka. As a result, it served as the island’s primary center for Buddhist history, culture, and religion.

Over 10 kilometres separate the cities of Anuradhapura and Mihintale. The Mihintale rock is reachable on foot from the Mihintale town. Around 311 meters (1019 feet) are above sea level where the rock is located. As a hamlet in the cultural triangle, Mihintale has immense religious and historical significance.


Mihintale History:

The territory of Mihintale was a dense jungle region inhabited by wild creatures and a hunting zone reserved for the royals in the third century BC. All of this changed in 250 BC when Mahinda Maha Thero, the son of the Indian Emperor, Asoka, first encountered King Devanampiyatissa at the Missaka Pauwa and posed the infamous questions to determine whether or not he was bright enough to comprehend the Buddha’s doctrine.

Mihintale, which was first the home of Mahinda Maha Thero, later became a major Theravada Buddhist institution and is regarded as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was built over millennia by numerous kings as a vast monastic complex with hospitals for ailing bhikkhus.

As mentioned above that the Buddhist monk Mahinda, a descendant of the Indian emperor Ashoka, and King Devanapiyatissa are thought to have met in Minhintale, which has been historically identified as the origin of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, in the third century BC. On the full moon in June (Poson), Mahinda gave the monarch and his subjects a sermon on the teachings of Lord Buddha; as a result, all Poya (full moon) days came to be observed as holy days by Sri Lankan Buddhists.

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Tourists should be aware that on Poya days, the island does not serve meat or alcohol. Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and the Dambulla Cave Temple are only a few examples of the island’s old cultural treasures. This encounter marked the start of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, which swiftly assimilated into Sinhalese society.


What to see?

  • Refectory or the Alms Hall
  • Dalada Ge
  • Assembly Hall
  • Sela Chaithya (Ambastala Dagoba)
  • Mihindu Guhawa (Cave)
  • Maha Seya of Mihintale
  • Mihindu Seya
  • Aradhana Gala
  • Eth Vehera
  • Kantaka Chethiya
  • Ancient Hospital Complex
  • Maninaga Mandiraya
  • Lion Pond
  • Pothgula
  • Cobra Pond, etc

Mihintale is today a major Buddhist pilgrimage site in Sri Lanka and is the location of several great religious structures, including a stunning 40-foot stupa that was built in the first century BC. You can spend as much time as you like exploring the historic ruins of Mihintale after a quick and easy ascent of 15-20 minutes.

Compared to some of the other locations in the region, it continues to be comparatively unvisited. Early in the day or late in the day are the best times to climb and around dusk, it is a stunning location to visit. Respectful attire is necessary, and there may be times when you need to take off your shoes.


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