Mihintale and Kaludiya Pokuna

Kaludiya Pokuna and its Neighborhoods
Most visitors of Mihintale often miss the fascinating pilgrimage site, a secluded pool, Kaludiya Pokuna. Once this place was the center of the cave monastic community. It is located only one and a half kilometers to the south-west of Mihintale, at the foot of Mount Anaikutti. In addition, nearby is the huge rocky mountain of Rajagirilena, where the destroyed ancient staircases, ceded caves, ponds and paths can be seen in a quiet and unhurried environment.

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The Rocky Mountain is 11 km. east of Anuradhapura in Mihinalale is called Aradhana Gala (Invitation Rock), where Buddhism was introduced in Sri Lanka in 247 BC. Mount Mahinda soon became a great monastic city, which is surrounded by four rocky hills, covered with forests.

Each pilgrim who wishes to reach the dagobah at the top of this sacred mountain must rise, having done 1840 steps up the stairs. The staircase was built by King Bhatika Abhaya. The ancient road, which is about 1500 years old, rises up the slope by 1.019 feet. At the foot of Mihintale mountain there is an ancient hospital. It is indicated by an inscription and a stone tank for medicines. Patients were immersed in this tank of stone to receive healing by bathing in vegetable oils. The neighboring Vihara of unknown age, and probably, marks the remains of the monastic complex.

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To the right of the stairs, about halfway up this climb route, is the magnificent Kanthaka Chetiya, dating back to the 2nd century BC. During the archaeological excavations in 1934, it was found in an almost perfect state of preservation. Now open to visitors, Kanthaka Chetiya displays some of the best architectural buildings of the early period of Anuradhapura. A height of 39 feet, with a base of 426 feet, it has four Wahalkada (fragments of altar sites) with beautiful decorative friezes and carved dwarfs. The Mandapaya or Pavilion, located on the terrace halfway up the Mihintale, is the point at which all the main paths from different parts of the complex converge. To the west is the Lion's Bath. It is a stone cistern, carving on which resembles a lion whose mouth had previously spewed out water.

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On the spacious glade in the upper part of the main staircase is Ambasthala Dagoba. Stupa marks the place where Mahinda Thera appeared before King Devanampiyatissa instead of the deer on which the king hunted. Next to the dagobah is the rock of Aradhana Gala, on which Mahinda Thera first preached. At the top of the mountain Mihintale, Maha Seya, dating back to the 1st century BC, is clearly visible. This dagoba keeps within itself one of the Buddha's hair. From here are also excellent views of the great Dagobah of Anuradhapura. The rocky basin on the way to the mountain from Mandapaya is called Naga Pokuna, because, on its back wall, a seven-headed cobra was engraved in the stone.

So, the shrines of Mihintale and the surrounding area can be visited almost any time of the year, if you come to Sri Lanka and stay in hotels in Anuradhapura and neighborhoods.
On your desire to visit the sacred sites of Mihintale and Kaludiya Pokun, please contact your Lankaus manager for the optimal solution of all details related to your accommodation, meals and sightseeing tour.


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