Bodhi Tree

The Ancient Cities

The bodhi tree to the left of the steps leading to the Mahaseya Dagoba is said to be one of the oldest surviving trees in Sri Lanka. The tree is surrounded by a railing festooned with prayer flags left by pilgrims.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Ancient Cities attractions

1. Statue of the King

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This statue of king Devanampiya Tissa wearing traditional dress, situated next to the Ambasthale Dagoba, marks the spot where he met and was converted by…

2. Ambasthale Dagoba

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The main ceremonial stairway, lined with frangipani trees, leads to the Ambasthale Dagoba, built over the spot where Mahinda converted Devanampiya Tissa…

3. Aradhana Gala

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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…

4. Mahaseya Dagoba

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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…

5. Buddha Statue

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To the side of the Ambasthale Dagoba is a flight of rock-carved steps leading to this large white sitting-Buddha statue.

6. Relic House

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This modern building houses an ornate golden relic casket flanked by elephant tusks. The trail to the Mahinda Cave starts from the back of the courtyard.

7. Dagoba


To the side of the Mahaseya Dagoba is this older, smaller brick dagoba, one of the oldest in Sri Lanka and yet largely ignored by visitors.

8. Naga Pokuna

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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…