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Mihintale Tour Excursion, Sri Lanka

Region: ancient-cities | Location: Mihintale
 Other regions: capital-colombo | east-coast | hill-country | south-coast | west-coast
Mihintale is situated 12 kilometres east of the ruins of the great city of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. Mihintale is a sacred mountain peak considered to be the location where Buddhism was first introduced to the island of Sri Lanka.

According to historical sources, in the middle of the third century BC the great Indian Emperor Ashoka had sent his son Mahinda to Sri Lanka to spread the teachings of the Buddha. Mahinda and his group of Buddhist monks were camped upon the sides of Mt Mihintale when King Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura encountered them during a royal hunting expedition. Mahinda spoke to the king of Buddhism and recited the Culahastipadopama and other sutras. The date of this meeting between King Devanampiya Tissa and the Buddhist monk is believed to have been on the full moon of June in the year 247 BC. Soon thereafter the king (and 40,000 inhabitants of Anuradhapura) converted to Buddhism.

Today the peak of Mihintale, approached by a grand stairway of 1840 granite steps, has many temples, lodgings for monks and several splendid statues of the Buddha. Each June on the full moon there is a pilgrimage commemorating the date when Mahinda first preached the Buddhist doctrine in Sri Lanka and many thousands of pilgrims flock from all over Sri Lanka to meditate on the holy peak.
At the foot of the mountain are the ruins of a hospital, medical bath (or stone canoe in which patients were immersed in medicinal oil) a stone inscription and urns belonging to the ancient period have been unearthed. Between the hospital and the steps leading to the rock are the ruins of a large monastery. On the floors of the square building which is 125 feet (38 m) on one side, are beautiful carvings and also are stone balustrades and guard stones. As this side is precipitous, the steps are on the eastern side of the slope, spacious and in 4 sections. The stairway has 1840 steps made of granite, leading to the summit. At the end of the first set of steps on the right side of the plain, is a small mountain peak. On this is situated the most famous Kantaka Cetiya.

Tours to the Mihintale Region, Sri Lanka

 

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Excursions of the ancient-cities Region, Sri Lanka

 
Sri Lanka Anuradhapura Ancient City TourAnuradhapura Ancient City TourAnuradhapuraancient cities
 Anuradhapura ancient city in Sri Lanka is a magical place. Anuradhapura features some of the most ancient archaeological treasures in Sri Lanka dating back to the 4th century BC. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites that must be missed.
 

Sri Lanka Polonnaruwa Ancient City TourPolonnaruwa Ancient City TourPolonnaruwaancient cities
 Polonnaruwa ancient city remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom's first rulers. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
 

Sri Lanka Sigiriya Rock FortressSigiriya Rock FortressSigiriyaancient cities
 Sigiriya Rock Fortress is another fascinating World Heritage site dating back to the 5th century which was once a stronghold for a king who sought refuge. It remains on a 200 meter high rock with magnificent views of the surrounding jungle.
 

Sri Lanka Jungle TrekkingJungle Trekking ancient cities
  
 

Sri Lanka Hot Air Ballooning Sri LankaHot Air Ballooning Sri LankaDambullaancient cities
 Discover the ancient kingdoms and national parks in style. Hot air ballooning is now available in Sri Lanka.
 

Sri Lanka Dambulla Cave TourDambulla Cave TourDambullaancient cities
 Dambulla Cave Temple is the best preserved cave temple complex in the country with beautiful statues and paintings.
 

Sri Lanka Mihintale TourMihintale TourMihintaleancient cities
 Mihintale is a sacred mountain peak considered to be the location where Buddhism was first introduced to the island of Sri Lanka. The mountain peak is approached by a grand stairway of 1840 granite steps.
 

Sri Lanka Avukana Buddha statueAvukana Buddha statueKala Wewaancient cities
 The magnificent free-standing Avukana Buddha statue carved out of a single granite rock face during the 5th century is the tallest Buddha statue in existence today.
 

Sri Lanka Minneriya National Park SafariMinneriya National Park SafariPolonnaruwaancient cities
 Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank, Minneriya National Park has plenty of scrub and light forest in its 8890 hectares to provide shelter for its toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants – to name a few.
 

Sri Lanka Elephant Back SafariElephant Back SafariSigiriyaancient cities
 In the afternoon take an optional Elephant Back Safari through the forests and villages of Habarana/Sigiriya.
 

Sri Lanka Rathnapura Gem miningRathnapura Gem miningRatnapuraancient cities
 Sri Lanka is one of the top five gem-bearing nations in the world. The long-established gem mining area in Sri Lanka is Rathnapura, also known as the City of Gems. In between rich greenery and paddy fields, you will see locals gem mining.
 

Hotels related to Mihintale Region, Sri Lanka