Points of Interest - Anuradhapura

Jetavanaramaya Stupa

The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa located in the ruins of Jetavana in the sacred world heritage city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Built by king Mahasen and completed by his son Sirimeghavanna, in 273 -301 AD, Jethavanaramaya is documented as the largest sthupa in Sri lanka, and height over 400 feet it is one of the tallest stupas in the world, largest brick building ever built and 3rd largest structure. At the moment of its construction Jetavanaramaya was the 3rd highest building (122 m) in the world after the pyramids of Khufu (the Great Pyramid) and Khafre in Giza.

The bricks used in this dagoba show the significant level of Sri Lankan architecture achievements, they consisted with 60% of sand and 35% of clay, thus they could handle great weights. In 1860 "colonial secretary" of Ceylon James Emerson Tennent wrote in his diary, ‘’there were enough bricks in the dagoba to build a 3 m high and 25 cm thick wall from Edinburgh to London (650km)’’

It is believed that this monument was built upon the enclosure where Mahinda Maha Thero was cremated and on the premises of destroyed Mahavihara, which instigated and inflate the tension amongst the Theravada and Mahayana orders.

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