One such medieval wonder is the hills of Mihintale, 12 km from Anuradhapura, known for religious faith, monarchy, and the inherent sense of stunning scenery diversity.
Mihintale – Birth of Sri Lankan Buddhism
The tale of Anuradhapura begins at Mihintale. It is the place where a little-known Sri Lankan king (Tissa, one who is loved by gods) embraced Buddhism and changed the kingdom of Anuradhapura and Sri Lanka forever. The place became to be revered and eventually developed into a Buddhist monastery. Today it is a place full of ruins, legends, and faith. Located 12kms away from the urban hubbub of present-day Anuradhapura are the scattered ruins of Mihintale. Ruins of a monastery complex peek out from a dense forest that spreads over a hill crowned by a huge boulder. It is believed that enlightened Mahinda appeared on top of this boulder and met King Tissa in 3rd century BCE. The curious ascetic earned king Tissa’s faith in himself who was brother to King Asoka of Northern India. Enlightened Mahinda taught king Tissa the ideas of Buddha. What followed was a revolution of ideas held by the islanders. The impact of this incident reverberates throughout Sri Lanka even today.