One of the most significant and sacred cities that belong to the ancient world, Anuradhapura was the first capital of Sri Lanka. Hosting UNESCO world heritage sites this city is the core of Buddhism and its people due to its grandeur history and the vast array of Buddhist monuments that dates back to more than 2000 years. The largest brick monuments of the world named, Jethavanaya and Abhayagiriya were situated there. Sri Mahabodhi the sacred Bodhi tree shrine of the Mahaviharaya which was planted in the 3rd Century B.C. .

Jeetavanarama was built by King Mahasen (276-303 AC). King Mahasen was a follower of Mahayana Buddhism. Jetavanarama is distinctive because of its large stupa. The premises where the Jetavanarama is located earlier belonged to the Nandana Park. It is the place where Thera Mahinda preached the Dhamma for seven consecutive days. Complete with all the buildings needed for a monastery, buildings here, in addition to those built by King Mahasen, had been constructed by Kitisirimevan (303-331 AC) and kings who succeeded him.


The Most Attractive Places in Jeetavanarama


jethawanaramaya-stupaJetavanarama Stupa

The Jetavana Stupa built by King Mahasen is about 400ft in height and it is the third largest monument in the world and the tallest brick-built monument. During a recent excavation, nine gold folios containing a Mahayana Sutra, the Pragnaparamita Sutra, were discovered. There are four vahalkadas (frontispieces) facing the four cardinal directions of the stupa. The stupa has been built on a mound higher than the ground level. Archaeological excavations have revealed the remains of an elephant wall around the terrace. Excavations have also revealed various coins, Chinese ceramic ware and other special artefacts. This stupa has now being completely restored by the Central Cultural Fund.

Pratimaghara (Image House)

Pratimaghara (Image House) is a singular architectural feature at Jetavana. It has also been known as ‘Manimevula Prasada.’ The monolithic door jamb is 27ft in height. The image house is the largest of the kind found in Anuradhapura or Polonnaruva. The padmasana (lotus pedestal) seen here suggests that there had been a large statue of the Buddha. It is calculated to have been about 37ft in height. The remains of a yantragala (stone reliquary) are also seen beneath the lotus pedestal. It is mentioned that this has been built by King Sena I (833-853 AC) in the ninth century and that he had deposited a gold Buddha statue here.