Visit the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the temple complex of Mihintale. It is scattered with shrines and rock dwellings that date back as early as the 2nd century. Surrounded by rocky hills dotted by pretty frangipani trees, Mihintale is actually a mountain peak with 1,850 shallow yet wide granite steps climbing to the summit. The birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, exploring the relics here is an experience in itself.
Why you will love it!
- Visit the mountain-top birthplace of Buddhism.
- Ascend to the top of Aradhana Gala for incredible 360-degree views.
- Combine with a nearby forest monastery where monks still meditate.
- Learn stories about Buddhism started in the country.
What you will experience
Explore Mihintale, the place where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka. Mihintale is fringed with frangipani trees and has a fascinating string of temples, stupas, pools and monastery ruins scattered across a beautiful hillside.
The legend says that it was here in the rocky hills of Mihintale that King Devanampiya Tissa met monk Mahinda on the hilltop and that led to the beginning of Buddhism in the island country. The King proceeded to build 68 rock cells for Mahinda Thero and his retinue. And the Thero remained resident in Sri Lanka spreading Buddhism.
Witness the grandeur of the bygone era when you visit Ambasthale Dagoba, Naga Pokuna (Snake Pond) and after a steep climb, breath-taking panoramic views from meditation rock (Aradhana Gala).
Continue to Kaludiya Pokuna (Black Water Pond), a local, ancient monastic site where monks still meditate.