The Jetavanaramaya is one of the Eight Sacred places known as “Atamasthana”. It is located in the Sacred City of Anuradhapura in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The Jetavanarama Stupa was built by King Mahasen (276-303). During the reign of King Mahasen, this has become a center of Sagalika sect (also it is said that the Sagalika sect has started in Jetavanaramaya). This stupa was rehabilitated for the last time by King Parakramabahu in the 12th century.
It is believed that this stupa has enshrined a part of a sash or belt tied by the Lord Buddha. Originally this was 122m high and said to be the highest stupa built with bricks in the world. Also, this is the 3rd largest structure in the ancient world. The present height of this is 71m.
The stupa compound is spread over 8 acres and the length of one side is about 175 m long. There are stairs at each of the four sides to get onto the compound. At each of the four sides of the stupa, there are ruins of four gateways (“Vahalkada” in Sinhala) and they evidence that there were some carvings and arts on them.
There are ruins of a number of ancient buildings around the stupa.
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