Mihintale – The cradle of Buddhism – මිහින්තලාව

Steps leading to Mihintale

Steps leading to Mihintale as in 1896 from The Ruined Cities of Ceylon by Henry W. Cave

In the 3rd century BC, area of Mihintale (mihinthalaya) was a thick jungle area inhibited by wild animals and was a hunting ground reserved for the royals. All this changed in 250 BC when the son of the Indian Emperor Asoka, Mahinda Maha Thero arrived at the Missaka Pauwa to meet king Devamnampiyatissa for the first time and asked the famous questions to decide whether he is intelligent enough to understand the philosophy of the Buddha. Initially Mahinda Maha Thero’s residence, but later Mihintale (mihinthalaya) became a main center for Theravada Buddhism and is considered the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

Mihinthale is a collection of four mountains each about 1000 feet in height.

They are

  1. Mihinthalawa
  2. Ath Vehera mountain
  3. Anaikutti mountain
  4. Rajagiri Lena mountain

Mihinthalawa is the main mountain and where the Aradhana gala (The rock of invitation) and the main Mahaseya stupa is situated.

alternate names : mihinthalawa, Mihinthalaya, mihinthale

Places of archeological interest in Mihintale

Map of Mihinlale

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.

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Driving Directions to Mihintale

Mihinthalawa can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttlam (Puttalama) and though Kurunegala. Traveling from Puttlam you will pass scenic Wilpattu area. the From Kurunegala there are two main routes to Mihintale. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is though Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the commonly used is the Kurunegala – Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to Mihintale (A3)

Route 02 from Colombo to Mihintale

Though : Negambo – Chillaw – Puthlam
distance from colombo :211 km
Travel time : 3.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Dambulla
distance from Colombo : 213 km
Travel time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps

Route 03 from Colombo to Mihintale

Route from Anuradhapura to Mihintale

Though : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
distance from colombo :220 km
Travel time : 3.45 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
distance from colombo :15 km
Travel time : 40 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map
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