The “Cradle of Buddhism”, 11 K.M. east of Anuradhapura. Its history dates back to 247 c.B.C. when King Devanampiyatissa met Arhath Mahinda the great Buddhist Missionary who preached the Buddhist doctrine to the King. Mihintale, “the mountain of Mahinda” was identified as a great monastic city. The rock is dotted with shrines and rock dwellings.
Today it is venerated daily, especially on Poson full moon poya day commemorating this historic event. A majestic flight of 1840 granite steps, 5 meters wide lead you to the summit, with its splendid views of the surrounding countryside. An atmosphere of serenity and peace I lingers heightened by the chants of the devotees and the stark, rocky surroundings. The King having embraced Buddhism declared the forest where he met the Sage, a sanctuary, the first historically documented sanctuary in the world.