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Tags : Historical Site

Timings : 24 Hours

Entry Fee : Free

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Ruwanweliseya, Anuradhapura Overview

The Ruwanweliseya stupa is one of the largest stupas or dagobas, which is in the heart of the beautiful heritage city of Anuradhapura. This magnificent stupa was built by King Dutugamunu, who was hailed to be the hero of the island. The Ruwanweliseya stupa is also known as the Maha stupa and is one of the most adorned structures of the people of Sri Lanka.

Today the Ruwanweliseya stupa stands tall with a height of 338 feet and a diameter of 951 ft. The stupa is surrounded by large paved courts and platforms which add to the beauty of the place. Initially, on the outer side of the boundary of the wall is a complete circle of elephants, made out of the brickwork. Till today, there are many renovations which have taken place from time which has made the Ruwanweliseya stupa is one of the most revered and influential areas of worship for the Buddhists in Anuradhapura.

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Timings and Entry Fees

Entrance fees: The entry is free of cost
Timings: The stupa is open for all 24 hours
Average time to spend: 30-45 minutes
Best time to visit: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

History and Legend of the Ruwanweliseya Stupa

Ruwanweliseya stupa is one of the rare jewels in history, and the ancient account believes that the Ruwanweliseya stupa was built on the site which has the sacred blessings of Buddha. According to the folklore, a beautiful goddess named Swarnamali resided in the Ran Thelambu tree. 

Legend says that she agreed to leave the site only after King Dutugemunu decided to build the Stupa in her name. The story continues with King Dutugemunu lacking the necessary resources to make the stupa. At this occasion, the King of the Gods- Sakradeva came to know of the King's wishes and came down providing all the material which comprised of gold, silver, pearls, and gems from the different countries to build the Ruwanweliseya stupa.

When the construction was coming to an end, and the King Dutugemunu was nearing his last breath, the then King covered the Ruwanweliseya stupa with a white cloth to show the completed view of the Ruwanweliseya stupa to King Dutugemunu.

Folklore at Ruwanweliseya Stupa

An ancient belief states that the remains of Buddha were brought from India to Sri Lanka by the Buddhist monk- Sonuttara. Mythology says that the sacred remains of Buddha transformed into the appearance of the living Buddha and started emitting fire and water at the same time when the relics were deposited at the Ruwanweliseya stupa.

How To Reach Ruwanweliseya

The best way to reach the Ruwanweliseya stupa is by hiring a private taxi or a tuk-tuk which will take you directly.

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