Rankoth Vehera is the largest stupa in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa and the 4th largest in Sri Lanka. It is about 33m in height and 170m in diameter. It was built by the King Nissanka Malla (1187-1196). This stupa has constructed with the same design as the Ruwanwelisaya in the Sacred City of Anuradhapura. According to a stone inscription found in the vicinity of the stupa, it was initially named as “Ruwanweli Stupa”. However, later it has come to be known as Rankoth Vehera.
At each of the fours sides of the stupa, there are ruins of four gateways (“Vahalkada” in Sinhala) and image houses have built-in between them.
A stone seat located closer to the stupa is considered to be the one which the King Nissankamalla was seated to observe the construction of the stupa. The inscription of the seat further includes the record of donations and the war victories of the King.
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