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Ruwanweliseya is one of the glorious ancient stupas situated in the city of Anuradhapura. It was built by King Dutugemunu who became the king of Sri Lanka after a war in which Chola King Elara was defeated. Ruwanweliseya is also named the Maha Stupa which means the great Dagaba and it is also named as the “Swarnamali Chaitya”, “Suvarnamali Mahaceti”, and “Rathnamali Dagaba”.

About the destination

Ruwanweliseya is one of the world’s tallest ancient monuments. It is 103 m in height and with a circumference of 290 m. The original stupa is said to be about 55 m in height and was renovated by many kings. This is one of the Solosmasthana (the 16 places of veneration) and the Atamasthana.  This is considered to be a sacred place for many Buddhists all over the world. The Mahawamsa contains a detailed description of the construction and the opening ceremony of the stupa.

History of the destination

Some chronicles contain full details about the constructions done by King Dutugemunu back in 140 BC. As stated in Thupawamsa, the land in which the Swarnamalimaha Chethiya was built, was said to have the sacred touch of four Buddhas; Gauthama, Kashyapa, Konagama, and Kakusanda. Hence it could be seen that in the shrine, there are four Buddha statues of the several Buddhas. There is a belief that the rare and precious raw materials required for the stupa are said to have miraculously appeared in the hands’ locales who are not far from the city. Materials such as stones, bricks, mercury, wood apple resin, and fine clay are said to have been used in the foundation as well as sheets of bronze and silver.

It is stated that the king died before construction could be completed, and it was the duty of his brother Saddhatissa to complete the stupa.

Reaching the destination

From Colombo

Go on McCallum Road. Continue straight onto Colombo – Katunayake Expressway and take the Ja-Ela exit. Turn left onto Ja Ela-Ekala Highway and turn right onto Kurunegala Road.

Turn left at Kalugamuwa Junction onto Kalugamuwa-Wariyapola Road then go straight past Kurunegala Junction onto Mihindu Mawatha. You have to  take the 2nd exit onto Thuparama Mawatha and turn right onto Abhayawewa Road to reach your destination

From Anuradhapura

Go on Sangabo Mawatha and turn left onto D S Senanayake Mawatha. Turn right onto  Puttalam- Trincomalee Highway and turn right at Kurunegala Junction onto Mihindu Mawatha.

You have to take the 2nd exit onto Thuparama Mawatha and turn right onto Abhayawewa Road to reach your destination.