Mihintale Mihindu Seya

Mihindu Seya
Mihindu Seya is a Stupa located in the ancient monastery complex of Mihintale, Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

According to the chronicle Mahawamsa, King Uttiya (c. 267-257 B.C), the younger brother of King Devanampiyatissa (247-207 B.C.), built a Stupa on the summit of the Mihintale mountain by enshrining a part of the relic of Arhat Mahinda Thera, the Buddhist monk who brought the Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. (Nicholas, 1963). The old Stupa which is found to the west of the Maha Seya has been identified as the Stupa which is mentioned in the chronicle Mahawamsa (Nicholas, 1963). Presently, this Stupa is called the Mihindu Seya (the Stupa of Mahinda).

An old Stupa
The bricks with Brahmi Letters of the pre-Christian era that were found among the ruins of this Stupa indicate that Mihindu Seya is one of the oldest Stupas built in the country. It was declared as an archaeological monument in 1941. 

Excavations were carried out on the Stupa in 1951, by the Archaeological Department. During the excavations, several golden and clay caskets and Buddha images were unearthed and they were handed over by officials to the chief incumbent of Mihintale Viharaya and to the Anuradhapura Museum (Dhammika, 2008; Wikramagamage, 2004). The Buddha images were assigned to the 7th century A.D. and therefore it is believed that this Stupa had been renovated during that century (Wikramagamage, 2004). The relic embryo of the Stupa was also discovered by these excavations and the restored Stupa finally stood at 46.93 m in height, 37.18 m in diameter and a perimeter of 117.34 m.

Conservation of the Stupa was again started in 2021 under the financial patronage of Aludeniye Subodhi Thera. A relic chamber was discovered during this conservation process from the upper level of the Stupa and it was identified as the relic chamber that was initially excavated and recorded in 1951 by Senarath Paranavitana.

Mihindu Seya .
1) Dhammika, B. S., 2008. Sacred Island; A Buddhist pilgrim’s guide to Sri Lanka. Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN: 978-955-24-0271-5. p.94.
2) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). pp.164.
3) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.170-171.

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This page was last updated on 14 January 2023

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