Attractions

Top Choice Buddhist Stupa in Mihintale

Ambasthale Dagoba

The main ceremonial stairway, lined with frangipani trees, leads to the Ambasthale Dagoba, built over the spot where Mahinda converted Devanampiya Tissa to Buddhism. A nearby statue of the king wearing traditional d…
Top Choice Monument in Mihintale

Sinha Pokuna

Just below the monks’ refectory on the second landing, and near the entrance if you are coming via Old Rd, is a small pool surmounted by a 2m-high rampant lion, reckoned to be one of the best pieces of animal carvin…
Archaeological Site in Mihintale

Mihintale Ruins

The sleepy ruins of Mihintale are closely associated with the earliest introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. A ceremonial staircase climbs past pools, monastery ruins and rock inscriptions to reach two large dagoba…
Viewpoint in Mihintale

Aradhana Gala

To the east of Ambasthale Dagoba is a steep path over sun-heated rock-carved steps leading up to a point with great views of the surrounding valley. A railing goes up all the way. Aradhana Gala means ‘Meditation Roc…
Ruins in Mihintale

Monks’ Refectory & Relic House

On the second landing is the monks’ refectory with huge stone troughs that the lay followers kept filled with rice for the monks.Nearby, on a raised platform identified as the monastery’s relic house, are two inscri…
Buddhist Stupa in Mihintale

Kantaka Chetiya

At the first landing a side flight of 100 steps branches right to this partly ruined dagoba, one of the oldest at Mihintale. It’s 12m high (originally more than 30m) and 130m around its base. A Brahmi inscription de…
Buddhist Stupa in Mihintale

Mahaseya Dagoba

This dagoba (the largest at Mihintale) is thought to have been built to house relics of Mahinda. On the far side you'll find the original, smaller brick dagoba, one of the oldest in Sri Lanka and largely ignored by …
Pond in Mihintale

Naga Pokuna

Halfway back down the steep flight of steps from the Ambasthale Dagoba, a path leads to the left, around the base of the hill topped by the Mahaseya Dagoba. Here you’ll find the Naga Pokuna (Snake Pool), so called b…
Buddhist Stupa in Mihintale

Et Vihara

At an even higher elevation (309m) than the Mahaseya Dagoba is the little-visited and modest Et Vihara (literally, ‘Elephant Monastery’) stupa, which offers excellent views over the valley. It's a fine place to watc…
Lake in Mihintale

Kaludiya Pokuna

On the southwest outskirts of Mihintale is the lovely Kaludiya Pokuna, an artificial pool that features a rock-carved bathhouse and the ruins of a small monastery. It's a charming spot for a quiet picnic.