Sri Lanka, Mihintale: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Mihintale is a mountain peak located near Anuradhapura. The small town is located about 12 km east of Anuradhapura. The town contains many historical and religious sites. The town has a spiritual significance to Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans believe that it is the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa that started the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. This event is celebrated each year as a festival at Mihintale on the Poson full moon night which is generally in the month of June. The festival is called Poson Poya. Mihintale holds 1,840 steps that lead to the summit. They were built in the reign of Bhathika Abhaya (22 BC – AD 7). Also, a later paved road provides a short cut up to the first level.
There are buses directly departs from Anuradhapura’s New Bus Station. The journey usually takes around 30 minutes. A return taxi with two hours to climb the stairs costs around Rs 1500. A three wheeler costs around Rs 1200.
The main area is accessed via en easily traversed staircase. The sights are connected with stairs. There is a car park about half way up the hill for three wheelers to stop. It is also an easy walk from the town.
Places to Visit
It is located at the end of the stairs. The 2nd century BC Kantaka Chetiya is one of the earliest religious monuments on the island. It was originally excavated in 1934. It is 12 m high and 130 m around its base. There are four richly decorated shrines that face the cardinal points. The best preserved one is the eastern façade.
It is located close to the peak of the mountain. It is said to have been built by King Makalantissa. It marks the place where Mahinda surprised King Devanampiyatissa in the middle of a hunt. The stupa is built over the exact spot where Mahinda stood. Nearby stands a statue of the king in the place where he stood. On the opposite side of the dagoba, there is a sitting Buddha statue. The name Ambasthala means ‘Mango Tree’ and it refers to a riddle that Mahinda used to test the King’s intelligence.
Mihindu Guha (Mahinda’s Bed)
From the Ambasthala Dagoba, the steps lead up to the Rock of Convocation from where Mahinda preached his first sermon. The path leads to an enormous boulder that covers Mahinda’s Bed. The bed is a smooth slab of stone and the covering rock is the rood.
Vejja Sala (The Hospital)
The ruins of a hospital, a medical bath, a stone inscription and urns belonging to the ancient period are located at the foot of the mountain. There are the ruins of a large monastery located between the hospital and the steps. The ruins of the hospital dates back to the 3rd century AD which is some 400 years before the earliest hospital in Europe.
It means the Pond of Black Water. The name comes from the pond appears to be black in colour. It is a five minute drive from the main entrance. This artificial lake supplied water to a monastery that stood there during the 10th or 11th centuries. There are a few fragmentary monastic ruins standing around the lake.
Where to Stay
Eco Hotel Black & White
The hotel features free Wi-Fi, a restaurant and a year round outdoor pool. The hotel also offers pet friendly accommodation. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free parking is available on site. There is a 24 hour front desk at the property. The hotel also offers bike hire. Address: Mihintale Road, Kannattiya, Mihintale, Sri Lanka.
The hotel features a restaurant and a garden with barbecue facilities. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all areas. The rooms come with air conditioning, a satellite TV, mountain views and a private bathroom with free toiletries. Some rooms have a balcony. The hotel is a 10 minute drive from Anuradhapura Train Station. Address: No 85/564 University Square, Mihintale, Sri Lanka.
Happy Leoni Hotel
The hotel offers an indoor swimming pool and a restaurant. It is a 20 minute drive to the city of Anuradhapura. Free Wi-Fi access is available in the public areas of the property. Rooms come with air conditioning, a cable TV and a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries. There is a 24 hour front desk at the property. There are also a garden and barbecue facilities. The hotel is located 2.1 km from the Mihintale Railway Station. Address: Mihintale Road, Mihintale, Sri Lanka.
The hotel is located 10 km from Anuradhapura. Rooms come with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Free private parking is available on site. Some rooms come with a seating area. All rooms are fitted with a private bathroom. There is a shared lounge at the property. The hotel also offers bike hire. Address: Anuradhapura Road, Mihintale, Sri Lanka.
This guest house features free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. It is located 13 km from Anuradhapura. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms come with a private bathroom with a hot tub. There is a 24 hour front desk at the property. The guest house also offers car hire. Address: Trincomalee Road, Mihintale, Sri Lanka.
The hotel is an 8 minute walk from the famous Mihintale Buddhist Temple and it is a 30 minute drive from Cultural Triangular. The hotel offers a restaurant and free parking on site. Rooms come with air conditioning and an en suite bathroom with toiletries and hot shower. The hotel also offers car rental to the guests who wish to explore the area. Guests can enjoy Sri Lankan meals at the on site restaurant.
Miheen Hotel & Resort
The hotel is located 11 km from Anuradhapura. It features a children’s playground and views of the garden. Rooms come with air conditioning and a flat screen TV. Some rooms come with a seating area. All rooms are fitted with a private bathroom with a shower. Free Wi-Fi is available on site. There is a 24 hour front desk at the property. No 173/2, South Electricity Street, Anuradhapura Road, Mihintale, Sri Lanka.