The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa, located in the ruins of Jetavana Monastery in the sacred world heritage city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. King Mahasena (273-301 AD) initiated the construction of the stupa following the destruction of Mahavihara. His son Maghavanna I completed the construction of the stupa. A part of a sash or belt tied by the Buddha is believed to be the relic that is enshrined here.
The structure is significant in the island's history for it represents the tensions within the Theravada and Mahayana sects of Buddhist monks, it is also significant in world history as one of the tallest structures in the ancient world. The height of the stupa is 400 feet (122 m) and was the tallest ancient stupa in the world, the structure is no longer the tallest however it is the largest with a volume of 233,000 m2 (2,508,000 sq ft). At the time of its completion the structure was the third tallest structure in the world behind the Great Pyramids of Giza. Approximately 93.3 million baked bricks were used in its construction; the engineering ingenuity behind the construction of the structure is a significant development in the history of the island. The sectarian differences between the Buddhist monks also are represented by the stupa as it was built on the premises of the destroyed Mahavihara, which led to a rebellion by a minister of king Mahasena.
This stupa belongs to the Sagalika sect. The compound covers approximately 5.6 hectares and is estimated to have housed 10,000 Buddhist monks. One side of the stupa is 576 ft (176 m) long, and the flights of stairs at each of the four sides of it are 28 ft (9 m) wide. The doorpost to the shrine, which is situated in the courtyard, is 27 ft (8 m) high. The stupa has a 8.5 m (28 ft) deep foundation, and sits on bedrock. Stone inscriptions in the courtyard give the names of people who donated to the building effort.
The Jetavanarama Dagoba, which was the pet project of King Mahasena (274-301 AD), is the largest building at Anuradhapura. Originally it was no less than 122 metres high, making it the third tallest structure on earth after the pyramids at Dharshur and Gizeh in Egypt. The Jetavana Dagoba must have dominated the ancient city, just as it dominates the ruins today, even though its height has diminished to about 75 metres. But whereas for centuries its dome has been encrusted with vegetation and its spire broken, it is now being restored with support from UNESCO.
Thanks for taking the time to read this thread, and hopefully I've been able to show at least a few people some of the wonderous structures on our planet that they may not have known of previously.
Keep a watch out for Part III coming soon.
edit on 19-2-2013 by isyeye because: (no reason given)