Explore the ruins at Anuradhapura and Mihintale
A day spent visiting the ancient city of Anuradhapura and the sacred hilltop of Mihintale is a must for anybody touring Sri Lanka with an interest in history and Buddhism. We will show you the sights with an expert guide, either being chauffeured around in a comfortable vehicle, or by bicycle if you are feeling more active.
Visit the ancient remains of Mihintale, a sacred place which is regarded as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The rock is dotted with shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1840 steps made of granite slabs, 5 meters wide, leads to the summit with its splendid views of the surrounding countryside. Unless otherwise requested, your driver will take you to a point about half of the way up to cut out the walking. The most interesting and important sights of Mihintale are at the top. Please be aware that a good level of fitness is required to reach the summit and some of the viewpoints when you get there are up further flights of steep and narrow steps.
You'll also be taken to see the ancient city of Anuradhapura itself. Founded in the 4th century B.C., Anuradhapura has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982. It has the largest number of ancient monuments of the great Sinhala civilization which has flourished in Sri Lanka. You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest Dagobas of Sri Lanka, Ruwanweliseya Dagoba, built in the 2nd century BC and famous for its elephant walls and the Thuparama Dagoba, built in the 3rd century. The ‘Sri Maha Bodhi' or the sacred Bo tree at the heart of Anuradhapura is over 2200 years old and reputed to have grown from a branch of the very tree under which "The Buddha" attained enlightenment - making it the oldest historically documented tree in the world.
There are several good hotels around Anuradhapura and Mihintale, including the luxurious Ulagalla, but the area can also be visited as a day trip from the Wilpattu National Park, Trincomalee or other highlights further south in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle such as Dambulla, Sigiriya and Habarana.Back to experiences in Sri Lanka