Eight miles east of Anuradhapura, close to the Anuradhapura – Trincomalee Road is situated the “Missaka Pabbata” which is 1,000 feet (300 m) in height and is one of the peaks of a mountainous range. Geographically, the mountain range consists of three main hills: Ambastala Plateau of the Mango. Rajagiri, Mountain of the King, and Aanaikuddy the Mountain of the Elephant. The word ‘Aanaikuddy’ is Tamil. Thus, this mountain range should have some connection with the Tamils, probably the Tamil Buddhist Monks.
According to Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa, Thera Mahinda came to Sri Lanka from India on the full moon day of the month of Poson (June) and met King Devanampiyatissa and the people, and preached the doctrine. The traditional spot where this meeting took place is revered by the Buddhists of Sri Lanka. Therefore in the month of Poson, Buddhists make their pilgrimage to Anuradhapura and Mihintale.
In Sinhala Mihin-Thalé literally means the “plateau of Mihindu”. This plateau is the flat terrain on top of a hill from where Arahat Mihindu was supposed to have called King Devanampiyatissa, by the King’s first name to stop him shooting a deer in flight. Hence, “Mihin Thalé” is a specifically Sinhala term. This is how the place has been called and still is, in the local vernacular “Sinhala”. A study of the local vernacular will give ample proof for this. Therefore, the supposition that this name “Mihin Thalé” was derived from the Tamil name Mahinda Malai is erroneous and unfounded.
This is said have been called Cetiyagiri or Sagiri, even though it was more popularly known as Mihintale – the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Aradhana Gala is on a summit of a hill and faces Maha Seya. Even during very windy weather pilgrims do not fail to visit this rock, which has iron railings to help them to climb. In the ancient books such as the Mahavamsa it is written that Mahinda came to Sri Lanka by travelling through the air. He came down and landed at Sri Lanka on the top of the Aradhana Gala.