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architecture, history and travel of Sri Lanka

Mihintale


Mihintale Mihintale Maha Stupa

Where Buddhism Blossomed in Sri lanka

 

Mihintale is only 12 kM away from the famous Anuradhapura city. The sacred forest mountain Missaka Pabbatha where King Devanampiya Tissa met Arhat Mahinda Thera and his companions is situated in Mihintale. Prior to that the Lord Gautama Buddha had visited this place on his Third visit which was called as Missaka Pabbatha then. Being one of the sixteen places (Solosmasthana) the Lord Buddha had visited in Sri Lanka, this is regarded as one of the most important sacred places by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

The area of Mihintale surrounds with a jungle and there are rock boulders scattered around the mountainous area. There are many caves which were earlier used by monks for meditation in a quite surrounding away from the main city of Anuradhapura.

There is abundance of ancient stone architecture surrounding the many Stupas, monastic complexes and other sacred places.

Asoka , the Emperor of India who became victorious after fighting a long war was disillusioned and sought Buddha's refuge to heal up his inner self. Becoming an ardent Buddhist, he let his son and the daughter be ordained as a Bhikku and a Bhikkuni (Buddhist priest and a nun named Mahinda and Sangamitta) whom later became Arhats.

Arhath Mahinda and his companions came to Sri Lanka as a delegation sent by Arahath Moggali Putta Tissa with the patronage of Emperor Asoka on the 236 th year of the Buddha parinirvana.

The Sinhalese architecture, paintings and sculpture were a result of the Buddhism which nourished these throughout the centuries that followed.

Mihintale architectural feats are mainly visible in Kanthaka chetiya Vahalkada, Alms Hall, Ancient Stairway, Kalu Diya pokuna and at ancient Hospital.

 

Ancient Stairways

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Ancient Stairway Ancient Stairway Ancient Stairway Ancient Stairway

The way to Mihintale rock is through a wide stone steps as seen here.

There are 1840 Stone steps to the middle terrace area and the second row of steps starts from there to the Ambastala Stupa at the upper terrace.

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Monastery with Alms Hall and Relic House

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Monastery Monastery Monastery Monastery

Monastery Monastery Monastery Monastery

Monastery Monastery Monastery Monastery

 

This had been the Dana Salawa or the Alms House for the vast number of monks who stayed in these areas. The hall has an area of 114 x 77 feet and the ruins of stone pillars which held the roof can be seen even now. Remains of the stone water distributing system is of interest to the visitor. There are two large Stone tablets of 6 x 4 feet with Sinhala scripts.The Slab Inscriptions of King Mahinda IV were dating back to 956-972 AD.

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Kantaka Chetiya (Stupa)

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Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya

Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya

Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya Kanthaka  Chetiya

 

Kantaka Chetiya is one of the earliest Dagebas built in Sri Lanka and dates back to 2nd Century BC. Though the upper portion of the Dageba is now not there, it still has a height of 40 feet. It has a circumference of 425 feet and has four Vahalkadas. These Vahalkada designs are recognized as of earliest Sinhala sculpture techniques.

 

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Kalu Diya Pokuna [ The Black Water Pond ]

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Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna Kaludiya Pokuna

 

Kaludiya Pokuna is a monastic complex surrounding a water pond of 200 feet in length and 70 feet in width. It is situated away from the main complex along the main road proceeding about 500 mts.This is an artificial pond where the water is collected from the surroundings during the rainy season. The name Kalu Diya Pokuna or the Black Water Pond is said to be derived from the fact that the darkish colour of the reflections of the rock boulders and the surrounding trees appearing in the water.It is thought that the monks had mainly used this complex for meditation purposes. There is an inscription engraved which has Brahmi scripts belonging to B.C era.

 

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Sinha Pokuna [ The Lion Pond ]

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Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna

Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna

Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna

Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna

Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna Sinha Pokuna

 

Amidst the Monastic Building ruins near Assembly hall, this unique Pond or the open air bath could be found. This is near the middle terrace, where the new road terminates and the vehicle park is situated Water is collected to a rectangular shaped tank from a water rail and comes out of the mouth of a magnificiently sculptured granite Lion The life size Lion figure is sculptured out of the rock in which a part of the water tank also is built.The water for this pond is taken through a channel from the Naga Pokuna. This water bath is believed to be used by the monks lived in many caves in the surrounding areas.

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Arhat Mahinda Cave - Mihindu Guhawa

 

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Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala

Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala

Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala

Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala

Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala

Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala Mihindu Cave,Mihintala

Arahanth Mahinda used this cave for dwelling and spent most of his Rainy Season periods in Sri Lanka in this cave, it is stated. This cave was offered to Arhat Mahinda by King Devanam Piyatissa. There had been sixty eight caves offered to the Sangha at that time and sixty two of them had been found now.This cave is situated on a hill slope near Ambastala Chetiya at Mihintale. The cave has been formed by two separate rock boulders so there is an opening on the both sides of the cave. The cave bed is chiseled out to have a flat surface and that area measures a bit over 2 mts x 1 mts. in length and breadth. It is believed that this flattened area was used by the arahanth as the bed space. Arhat Mahinda lived for 80 years until parinirvana ( since he is an Arhat) at Mihintale which was earlier called as the Chetiya Pabbatha.

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Reference

Anuradha Senevirathne " Ancient Anuradhapura"

J.B.Disanayaka - " Mihintale"- Sinhala Edition


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Anuradhapura Weather Now

Ancient Stairways

Monastery

Kantaka Chetiya (Stupa)

Kalu Diya Pokuna ( Black Water Pond)

Sinha Pokuna (Lion Pond)

Arhat Mahinda Cave- Mihindu Guhawa

 

 


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Anuradhapura

Dambulla Cave Temple

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Haththikuchchi Temple

Kandy

Kelaniya Temple

Lankatilaka Temple

Mihintale

Mulkirigala Temple

Polonnaruwa

Ridi Vihara

Sigiriya

 

 


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Horton Plains National Park

Knuckles Mountain Range

Nuwara Eliya

Pidurutalagala Mountain and Forest Reserve

Ritigala

Sinharaja Rain Forest

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