Mihintale has believed by Sri Lankans to be the area of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa, which inaugurated the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is now a pilgrimage area and the area of several religious monuments and abandoned structures.
Mihintale, an isolated peak (1,019 feet [311 meters]) in Sri Lanka, the height is approximately 8 miles (13 km) east of Anuradhapura. A town and a forest reserve also named Mihintale is nearby.
Its different shrines connect by 1,840 steps leading to the summit – steep enough to need deep breaths and a meditative pace. They complete during the reign of Bhathika Abhaya (22 BC-AD 7). However, a later paved road provided a shortcut to the first level.
The climb to Mihintale is not strenuous – it takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The best time to rise is in the early morning or the late afternoon. It is a fabulous place to see the sunset. It is not touristy at Mihintale Mountain.
Exceedingly broad for a pedestrian climb, the impressive staircase of identical distinction, well sheltered and shaded with frangipani flower trees and ever-green wood, provides an enjoyable upgrade. The blossoms of Araliya (frangipani) create the staircase fragrant. At the same time, intrusive monkey hoards hang around and hang in the branches of the trees to grab snacks off the visitors.
With Buddhism’s accession, Sri Lanka began to serve as a residential site for the sacred monks headed by Arahath Mahinda Mahathera. Although soon, with royal patronage, the sanctuary housed a team of monastic buildings-stupas, Uposathgharama, Bodhidharma- to serve the monks. Sixty-eight cave dwellings provided the monk’s shade and shelter. Mihintale, the sanctuary for many thousands of laypeople and religious men, had all the amenities and facilities for base residence.
There was a hospital at the foot of the mountain in Mihinthala. The inevitable need for a hospital arose with the upturn of the community of monks and pious laymen. The first Hospital at Mihintale was estabalished by King Sena, and the second (853-887 AC) at Mihintale. The identification has based on a tenth-century inscription encountered at the spot.
Today, the remains of a hospital with its layout renovated can see at the entrance to the site of Mihintale.
There were monks’ monasteries at the foot of the mountain in mihintala
Between the ancestral Hospital and the grand stairway to the peak of Mihintale are ruins of old monastic buildings girt by a boundary wall. The entrance to the monastery has decorated with steps, Guard-Stones, Makara (dragon) barriers, and naga (cobra) figures. This building is similar to the aroma buildings found in Anuradhapura.
Another feature of Mihintala is Kaludiya Pond Rajagiri Caves and Idikatu Saya. It is also a must-see.