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Mihintale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka It is currently an expedition site, and the site of several religious monuments and abandoned structures.

Birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka

According to legend, it went to Mihintale - actually "Mahinda's Hill"-- that the Indian missionary Mahinda, satisfied and converted King Devanampiyatissa in 247 BC, developing Buddhism as the island's state religion. Mahinda was the boy of the great Mauryan emperor Asoka, sent by his dad to bring word of the Buddha's mentors to Sri Lanka. Buddhism was instantly welcomed with fervour by the Sinhalese individuals as well as soon ended up being securely established in the island - unlike in India, its birthplace, where it would subsequently fall into terminal decline.

How to Reach Mihintale, Sri Lanka

Mihintale is best accessed from Anuradhapura. It is a short bus journey or tuk tuks can be worked with. Allow a half day.

Best Places to Visit in Mihintale

Maha Stupa (Great Stupa) - The large Stupa quickly visible on your left on the way up the hill.

Ambasthala Dagaba - The site where Mahinda met King Devanampiyatissa is listed below the Maha Stupa and also noted by a Dagoba surrounded by old pillars.

Aradhana Gala - The rough outcrop beside the Aradhana Gala where Mahinda is intended to have actually used his psychic powers to fly to Sri Lanka in order to satisfy King Devanampiyatissa. The high climb is now made easier with railing and some concrete walkways.

Mahinda's cavern - About 10 minutes walk down the other side of the hill is a small precipitous cave where Mahinda apparently liked to reside.

Et Vihara - Take the back track out of the Maha Stupa to return through the Et Vihara and also Naga Pond. The Et Vihara is the part of the ancient monastery that when inhabited the location. This is a steeper climb however provides an amazing panorama including the Maha Stupa.

Naga Pond - The Naga Pond is a natural catchment that was developed to provide water to the monastery. It was piped to the Lion Water Fountain and also the Refectory near the parking lot location. Accessibility it either from the main tracks to the Maha Stupa or by means of the back track. If originating from the Et Vihara or the Maha Stupa back track take the degree track along the rocky outcrop as opposed to the stairs leading straight down the hill.

Museum - There is a small museum (no charge) en route with some wonderful artefacts.