"Oh! Great King, the birds of the air & the beasts have an equal right to live & move about in any part of this land as thou. The lands belongs to the peoples & all other beings & thou art only the guardian of it" - read the board near the parking lot. This teaching was given by Mahinda to the king Devanampiyatissa.
This is believed to be the place where Mahinda (son of Ashoka) met the Sri Lankan king Devanampiyatissa and later on went on to initiate him to Buddhism. A flight of 1840 steps take you to the top of the mountain where there are a number of important places. The steps make for a fairly easy climb.
Midway to the top, you can see remains of the kitchen area which was used to feed the monks that stayed here. There are 2 stones here which have the rules and regulations of the monastery engraved on them. English translation put up by the tourist department is very useful and makes for interesting reading.
Once you reach the top, you can visit the stupa and Aradhana Gala. As per Mahavamsa, Mahinda travelled to Sri Lanka through air and landed at Aradhana Gala. This is at the summit of the mountain. There are rock cut steps and iron railings to help you reach the top. It is very windy. The view, once you reach the top, is breathtaking.
Stairs to the top
View from the top