Abhayagiri Stupa is the second-highest stupa in the country and it is located in Anuradhapura District of North Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is one also of the Eight Sacred places known as “Atamasthana”. The stupa was built by King Valagamba was also known as Vattagamani Abhaya and Valagambahu in 1st century BC.
According to legends, the king has built this stupa to commemorate some incident that happened while he escaping from one fight with Tamil invaders. According to this legend, a Jain monk called Giri has shouted at the king saying “the great black Sinhalese is fleeing” while he was passing at this location during his escape. However, king Valagamba regained the throne by defeating the invaders after fourteen years and build this giant stupa at the same location.
The name Abhayagiri has formed by combining the two names “Abhaya” (name of the king) and “Giri” (the name of the Jain monk).
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