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. .
The second largest of the stupas in Sri Lanka, Abhayagiri Stupa has been built by King Vattagamini alias Valagamba (89-77 BC). This extends up to an extent of nearly 200 hectares. According Bhikkhu Fa-hsein who visited Sri Lanka in the fifth century there had been three thousand resident bhikkhus in the Mahavihara and five thousand bhikkhus in the Abhayagiri.
The development of Abhayagiri reached its peak in the reign of King Mahasen and was the centre of Mahayana Buddhism. Buddhist buildings found in the environs of Abhayagri indicate that this complex had been an important educational institution both locally and internationally.