Mihintale is, besides Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla, one of the most significant heritage sites in the Cultural Triangle region. It is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, because this is the place where Buddhism was introduced in ancient Sri Lanka's kingdom in the third century B.C., when it was the Anuradhapura king's hunting ground. Soon afterwards it became a monastery and the whole hilly area thereby became an animal sanctuary, too, where animals were protected instead of hunted. This is why many say that Mihintale is the most ancient natural reserve of the entire world. Though tourists come to see the ancient structures in the first place, Mihintale remains a place for animal observation, too. Besides birds and reptiles, the giant squirrel can be sighted often. A crocodile lake is nearby.
Sinharaja rain forest
Kanneliya small rain forest
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Dry zone south
Yala NP camping-safari
Bundala NP bird watching
Kumana NP birds and wildlife
Okanda village life and beach
Rufus Kulam remote lake
Lahugala NP with heritage site
Gal Oya NP lakeside wildlife
Udawalawe NP wild elephants
Ussangoda serpentine rock
Dry zone north
Minneriya NP elephant gathering
Kaudulla NP elephant gathering
Habarana oxcart excursions
Nelumpure authentic village life
Mihintale ancient sanctuary
Namal Uyana ironwood sanctuary
Rasvehera monastery and wildlife
Tabbowe lake near Wilpattu NP
Horton Plains trekking hotspot
Bambarakanda 240 m waterfall
Adam's Peak pilgrim mountain
Hakgala Botanical Garden
Kitulgala white water and birds
Peradeniya Botanical Garden
Meemure village life and trekking
Knuckles Range trekking highlight
Randenigala NP alternative camp
You can find a similar linklist with images just below:
The best way to visit the sacred hill of Mihintale, where the pilgrimage site Ambasthala Dagoba and Sri Lanka's most ancient stupa building Kantaka Chetiya are located, is a half-day excursion from Anuradhapura, where many hotels and guest houses can be found.
For exploring the natural surrounding with some further ancient structures, too, a full day is required, there is really a lot to see in Mihintale, and many tourists and national guides don't know the hidden places.
Sightseeinglanka is a tour operator based in Sri Lanka and 100% owned by Sri Lankans, specialized on organizing eco-friendly and extraordinary safari and authentic Sri Lanka village-life experiences - truly no tourism industry fake! Kapila, founder and leader of Team Sightseeinglanka, is a biologist. Please read more...
Enjoy Sri Lanka's charming cultural and natural heritage with Team Sightseeinglanka!
... but why not, later on, travel to another lovely Theravada Buddhist country? The world-famous Cambodia jungle temples are astonishing...