Mihintale rock is situated around 12kms east of Anuradhapura and history records that it was there that Sri Lankan King, Devanampiya Tissa, met Arahat Mahinda Thera from India, who introduced him to Buddhism, which subsequently spread to the king’s subjects. In the area are thick jungles, mountains and caves which monks used for meditation.
The main shrine of Mihintale is located in the Relic House, a climb of 1,840 cut steps. Of special interest is The Vedahala or ‘medical hall’ – an ancient hospital. It has been restored and visitors are allowed to view the premises consisting of four rooms: the consulting room, room for preparations and storage and a room for hot water baths. There are several stupas in the area creating an atmosphere of reverence as well as ancient ponds and sculptures.