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, - both in content and height, is associated with this Mahavamsa’s great King and hero of the Sinhalese, King Dutugemunu.
Added to the inexplicable cosmological and geographical mysteries associated with Ruwanweliseya Stupa, is the fact that locations for the construction of Ruwanweliseya and Mirisavatiya were determined by a couple of extraordinary circumstances. Still more astonishing is the sudden yet timely surfacing of precious metals and jewels at the beginning of the construction of Ruwanweliseya Stupa.
The pristine white Ruwanweliseya, enshrining the relics of Lord Buddha, dominates the skyline of Anuradhapura and is unique and special.
The reasons behind the unparalleled adoration and veneration of Ruwanweliseya Stupa have been numerous.

  • Ruwanweliseya Stupa’s popularity, first and foremost, owes to a great extent, to its peerless builder: King Dutugamunu, the Hero of the Nation, and the son of the Heroine of the Nation Queen Vihara Maha Devi (daughter of King Kelanitissa of Kelaniya and Queen consort of King Kavantissa of Ruhuna).
  • Secondly, Ruwanweliseya Stupa was the realization of a prophesy made by non-other than Maha Thera Mahinda (Arahant Mahinda Thera), the most illustrious Buddhist missionary sent to Sri Lanka by Mauryan Emperor Asoka (273-232 BC) of India, the greatest emperor ever in the history.
  • Thirdly, the historical record on the construction of Ruwanweliseya Stupa in Mahavamsa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka was of such glory, it has never failed to appeal to the very heart of the Sinhalese Buddhist population of the Island in many aspects: the manner in which the Buddha’s relics were secured by the novice Uttara; the acquisition of materials, i.e. gold, copper and silver; King Dutugemunu’s unparalleled generosity in daily wages and gifts to the workmen throughout the days of the construction; the welfare facilities afforded by the King to all the workmen ranging from Engineers, architects, artisans, craftsmen, bricklayers and common workmen; the manner in which the tamed elephants including the royal battle elephant named Kandula were harnessed for heavy labor in construction; the invitation to the whole populace, all the people in every walk of life to enshrine relics according to their means; the death of the heroic and pious King by the side of the Stupa prior to its completion.

Legend has it that King Dutugemunu built the Stupa at a place where he found a rock inscription by Arahant Mahinda Thera. The inscription says “In time to come a great King would establish a great Stupa where the stone is established."