About the Great Stupa

The Ruwanwelisaya (Ruwanweliseya Stupa or Ruwanveli Seya Stupa) is a Stupa in Anuradhapura District in North Central Province of Sri Lanka, considered a marvel for its architectural qualities and sacred to many Buddhists all over the World. It was built by the great King Dutugemunu (164 BC – 140 BC), who became lord of all Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Elara, was defeated. The Mahathupa or Ruwanweliseya is known by several other names as well. It is also called Maha Stupa / Mahathupa (the great Dagoba), Rathnamali Stupa / Rathnamali Dagaba, Suvarnamali Mahaceti (in Pali) and Swarnamali Stupa / Swarnamali Chaitya has been the most adored, most venerated among the great ancient Stupas (Dagobas) of Sri Lanka. The name Mahaseya or Mahathupa (the Great Tope) was used in the Golden Age of Anuradhapura. Ruwanweliseya Stupa is one of the “Solosmasthana”, the 16 sacred religious locations in Sri Lanka and the "Atamasthana".

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Things can be seen

Elephant Wall


Statue of Queen Vihara Maha Devi


Statue of King Dutugemunu



The 5 Buddhas Of Our Kalpa

Sculptures & Paintings


The recline Buddha Statue

Statue of King Dutugemunu with the great Tusker Kandula & his Army

Story about the Stupa

The Stupa is considered as highly sacred due to several factors.

History of the Stupa

Sri Lanka's City of Anuradhapura is host to many monumental structures such as Stupas. Those contribute to Sri Lanka being unique, as host to so many Stupas from ancient times.

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The importance

The story of the Ruwanweliseya Stupa, the most venerated and mighty Dagaba at Anuradhapura, which is said to be larger-than the third pyramid at Gizza in Egypt

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The Restoration work

The tradition set upon in Sri Lanka by King Dutugamunu, inspired his successors, in the centuries to come. The great stupas would be built and the older stupas would be renovated

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Construction of the Stupa

The sourcing of materials and their nature is a marvel. A. Denis N. Fernando refers to the Mahavamsa's Chapter XXVIII as The first recorded mineral survey.

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The Terminology

The terms Chaitya, Cetiya, Thupa, Stupa and Seya refer to the type of structure in Pali, Sanskrit and Sinhalese languages and absorbed into English,

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Ancient Records of the Stupa

This presently existing 2nd Century B.C. work of architecture has been recorded copiously in writing several centuries ago. The building of these structures have been recorded in

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Rituals & Programs

As customs, various kinds of offerings are held at the Ruwanweliseya Stupa for paying homage & get blessings for the Country.

Other Sacred Places around Anuradhapura


Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya















How to Visit

Temple Address

Ruwanweliseya Temple, Abhayawewa Road, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.




+94252 222 120

May the triple gem bless you!