The ``cradle of Buddhism`` in Sri Lanka
Mihinthalaya is situated 11 km east of Anuradhapura. Its history dates back to 247c B.C when king Devanampiyatissa met Arhath Mahinda the great Buddhist missionary who preached the Buddhist doctrine to the king. Mihinthale, the mountain of Mihinda was identified as a great monastic city.
The rock is dotted with shrines and rock dwellings. Today it is venerated daily, especially on Poson Full moon poya day commemorating this historic event. A majestic flight of 1840 granite steps, 5 metres wide lead you to the summit, with its spledid views of the surrounding countryside. An atmosphere of serenity and the peace lingers heightened by the chants of the devotees and the stark, rocky surroundings.
The king having embraced Buddhism declared the forest where he met the Sage, a sanctuary, the first historically documented sanctuary in the world.