It was here that in the year 247 BC, King Devanampiyatissa became converted to Buddhism in his encounter with Mahindra. Mihintale, called the “Mountain of Mahindra” soon became a great monastic city composed of 4 rocky, forested hills. Today, an aura of seclusion still lingers here, despite a thriving bazaar at the foot of the hills, and the thousands of pilgrims who flock there. Every person who wishes to reach the dagoba at the summit of this sacred mountain must climb 1840 steps, to do so.