Explore Offbeat Sri Lanka- Mihinthalaya and Minneriya National Park


Standing at the base of Mihintale, I am filled with a sense of reverence and awe. This sacred hill, just a short drive away from the ancient city of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, holds profound significance in the history of Buddhism. The lush green landscape and the serene ambiance make it a truly special place.


Mihinthalaya is said to be the point of meeting between Mahinda, the son of Emperor Ashoka, who arrived from India, and King Devanampiyatissa, where they formed and preached the doctrine of Buddhism, which was the opening point of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is believed that in the month of June, Mahinda arrived from India on Poson Full Moon Poya Day and stayed here.

Photo of Explore Offbeat Sri Lanka- Mihinthalaya and Minneriya National Park by Pamela Mukherjee

Note - Poson, often referred to as Poson Poya, is an annual celebration of the introduction of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the third century BC that is held by Sri Lankan Buddhists. The festival is the second most significant Buddhist celebration of the year, after Vesak, and the most significant Poya (full moon) holiday of the year.

Why is Mihinthalaya so famous?

1. Mihintale is renowned as the place where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka. It is closely associated with the arrival of Arahat Mahinda, the son of Emperor Ashoka of India, who brought Buddhism to the island. This event is considered a pivotal moment in Sri Lankan history and Buddhism's spread in the country.

2. Mihintale is home to the Great Stupa, a massive and ancient Buddhist monument that serves as a symbol of the site's historical and religious significance. The stupa is a focal point of pilgrimages and cultural significance for Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

3. Mihintale, along with the ancient city of Anuradhapura, where it is located, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This recognition underscores its cultural and historical importance on a global scale.

Mihintale is not just a historical site; it's a place of deep spiritual significance. The Mahaseya stupa, gleaming white against the blue sky, is a reminder of the enduring presence of Buddhism in this land. Pilgrims and devotees gather here to pay their respects, and the atmosphere is imbued with a sense of tranquility and devotion.

My heart races with excitement as I approach the entrance of Minneriya National Park. This vast wilderness in Sri Lanka is known for its incredible wildlife and, most notably, the gathering of elephants. The anticipation of witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is palpable.

Minneriya National Park Safari

Minneriya National Park Safari is the best in class, considering the number of elephants living in the area. The National Park is very famous because of the biggest crowd of Asian elephants. Minneriya is the top-most-liked place for all elephant lovers and photographers around the world. The giant tusker is an icon of the animal kingdom, and this national park has it in abundance.

Photo of Explore Offbeat Sri Lanka- Mihinthalaya and Minneriya National Park by Pamela Mukherjee
Photo of Explore Offbeat Sri Lanka- Mihinthalaya and Minneriya National Park by Pamela Mukherjee

So, here's my detailed itinerary and travel guide for Mihinthalaya and Minneriya National Park.

If you want to know more about Indian history in Sri Lanka and the Ramayan Trail, you may consider checking out the playlist here. - Indo-Lankan Relationship

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