This somnolent village and temple complex, 13km east of Anuradhapura, holds a special place in the annals of Sri Lankan lore. In 247 BC King Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura was hunting a stag on Mihintale Hill when he was approached by Mahinda, son of the great Indian Buddhist emperor, Ashoka. Mahinda tested the king’s wisdom and, considering him to be a worthy disciple, promptly converted the king on the spot. Mihintale has since been associated with the earliest introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.
Each year a great festival, the Poson Poya, is held at Mihintale on the Poson full-moon night (usually in June).