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On a full moon day of the month of June Arhat Thero chose Mihintale to meet King Devanampiya Tissa while he was on a hunting expedition. It was said that Mahinda Thero asked a few questions to measure the king’s capacity before preaching the Buddhist doctrines. The annual Poson festival is held at Mihintale to celebrate this significant meeting between Mahinda Thero and the King. There are many ruins to explore in the area including an ancient alms hall, hospital complex, stupas and the cave used by Arhat Mahinda Thero.
After being introduced to Buddhist, King Devanampiya Tissa built a vihara with 68 caves for Buddhist monks to reside and practise religion, and the vihara gradually grew to a complete monastery with various additions.
Aradhana Gala, the welcoming rock is the icon of Mihintale. It was believed that Mahinda Thero called the King by his name from the top of this rock. There are steps carved in with iron rails to help climbing up to the top. The rock offers amazing views of the surroundings from the top. It is the most photographed attraction in Mihintale.
Maha Seya or Maha Stupa
A massive white stupa built in the 1st century under the reign of King Mahadathika Mahanaga.
A red-brick stupa with a circumference of about 425 feets with four amazing frontispieces “Vahalkada” decorated with dwarfs, animals, flower creepers.
The instriptions of Mihintale suggest that eastern medicine was introduced to Sri Lanka with the arrival of Mahinda Thero. Ruins of the 7th-century hospital complex in Mihintale represents how advanced the ancient eastern medical practices were. Ruins of the hospital suggest that there were many rooms where admitted patients were treated and bathhouses. Also there are ruins of a medicine canoe, a granite mortar used to make various medicines. There have been many ancient medical equipment uncovered from the hospital and are displayed in the Mihintale museum.