Head to explore the cradle of Sri Lankan Buddhism – Mihintale, and gain knowledge in depth about how Buddhism was subsequently spread in Sri Lanka. This 4-hours tuk-tuk tour with Beyond Escapes Tuk Safari Team will be a lifetime experience for you during your holiday in Sri Lanka. Don’t forget to take some picturesque shots once you reached the top.
Eight miles east of Anuradhapura, close to the Anuradhapura - Trincomalee Road is situated the "Missaka Pabbata" or Mihintale, which is 1000 feet in height and is one of the peaks of a mountainous range.
In the 3rd century BC, area of Mihintale was a thick jungle inhabited by wild animals and was a hunting ground reserved for the royals. According to Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa, Arahath Mahinda Thero – the son of the Indian Emperor Asoka came to Sri Lanka from India on the full moon day of the month of Poson (June) to spread the message of peace instead of war, and at this time he met King Devanampiyatissa and the people and preached the doctrine in 250 BC, which resulted in inauguration of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Today it is the main centre for Theravada Buddhism and recorded as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
In Sinhala Mihin-Thalé literally means the “plateau of Mihindu”. This plateau is the flat terrain on top of a hill from where Arahath Mihindu was supposed to have called King Devanampiyatissa, by the King's first name to stop him shooting a deer in flight. Hence, “Mihin Thalé” is a specifically Sinhala term. This is how the place has been called and still is, in the local vernacular “Sinhala”. A study of the local vernacular will give ample proof for this.
You will visit the Mihintale Temple which includes a magnificent 40ft stupa which dates to centuries and at the foot and ruins of an ancient hospital with medical bath carved in stone, stone inscriptions and urns belonging to the ancient period. Many believe this to be the oldest hospital in the world.
After a short climb of 15-20 minutes, you will reach the summit and see the breath-taking surrounding area once on top. Kantaka Cetiya, the Refectory, Ambasthala Dagaba, The Cave of Arahat Mahinda, Maha Stupa, Aradhana Gala, Kaludiya Pokuna, Singha Pokuna and Naga Pokuna are also famous monuments and attractions that you will visit when exploring Mihintale. You can explore the ruins of Mihintale with your guide while listening to the stories related to the history of the site. Be sure to carry your camera with you when you go to Mihintale as the sights here are truly breath-taking!