was named after the first Buddhist monastery (names of the
Jethavanarama and Abhayagiriya Dagabas are sometimes
reversed). The largest dagaba in Anuradhapura (considered by
some to be the highest in the world). It is also being
renovated with help from UNESCO.
Started by King Mahasena (AD
275-292), the paved platform on which it stands covers more
than 3 ha and it has a diameter of over 100m. In 1860 Emerson
Tennet, in his book Ceylon, calculated that it
had enough bricks to build a 3m high brick wall 25cm thick
from London to Edinburgh, equal to the distance from the
southern tip of Sri Lanka to Jaffna and back down the coast to
Its massive scale was designed in a competitive
spirit to rival the orthodox Maha Vihara.