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Sunday, 24 May 2009





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Government Gazette

President to unveil historic Jethawana Dagoba

Ven. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thera, Atamasthanadhipathi and Chief Prelate of North and Central divisions. Chief Prelate of Jethawana Viharaya, Ven. Ihala Halmillewe Rathanapala Thera

It is a momentous occasion for all Buddhists across the world to mark the completion of the restoration work of the world famous Jethawana Dagoba - the largest construction of bricks in the world - working on it for 28 long years while a fierce war was raging close by in the North and East.

Reminiscing the grandeur that prevailed during the ancient times, this great Dagoba located in Anuradhapura, a city designated as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO,will formally be presented to the Buddhist world for their veneration in its restored form by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the auspicious time of 4.00 p.m. on June 3, under the directions of Atamasthanadipathi, Ven. Pallegama Siriniwasa Thera.

Chief Prelate of Jethawanaramaya Viharaya and former lecturer at Buddhashrawaka Bhikkhu University Ven. Ihala Halmillewe Rathanapala Thera says that this momentous occasion is reminiscent of the festival held by King Dutugemunu after completing the work of Mirisawetiya Dagoba which was constructed enclosing the King’s “Jayakonthaya” after establishing a unitary State in the country.

Preparatory to the occasion a “Bahirawa Poojawa” will be held at four “Wahalkadas” of the Dagoba from 3 to 7.30 p.m. on June 2. A whole night Pirith chanting will be held thereafter followed by alms-givings in the morning and at noon.

The President will unveil the Dagoba at 4.00 p.m. on June 3 at 4.15 p.m. after which a meeting will be held.

an “Aloka Poojawa” for the Dagoba will be conducted continuously by the “Lak Danav” institute.

A large number of people, including Monks, Ministers, MPs and foreign diplomats etc. are expected to participate. A great number of Buddhist devotees from all parts of Sri Lanka are expected.

Jethawana Bodhigara pond constructed by King Agbo II (608-618 AD) after its restoration Jethawana main monastery Jethawana Pohoya Geya consisting of 176 stone pillars, where higher ordination (upasampada) rituals of Bhikkhus were conducted

Dagoba standing in the Nandana Uyana, is a work of King Mahasen, also known as “Minneri Deviyo”. That name suggests that he was considered as a God.

It is believed that Nandana Uyana was the place where Arahant Mahinda conducted his preachings of discourses. From here Buddhism spread throughout the country. This Uyana (park) was called later as Jothiwara Uyana (Light spreading park) and after that for easy pronunciation it was called Jethawana.

The extent of Jethawana Park is about 200 acres. The height of Jethawana Dagoba is 348 feet. The extent of Salapathala Maluwa is 8 acres. Circumference of the Dagoba is 1,147 feet. Other ancient places of importance located on the same site are, Sirisanghabo Privena, Mekhala Prasadaya, Pohoya Geya consisting of 179 stone pillors, Bhadvora Mardapaya etc. All artifact excavated from this area are now displayed at Anuradhapura Jethawana Museum.

Restoration work of Jethawanaramaya was begun by Cultural Triangle in 1981 After 6 years, work came to a standstill and was recommenced in 1985 by Central Cultural Fund. However, it has taken 28 long years to complete the work. According to Ven. Rathanapala Thera, the total expenditure incurred for the entire restoration work has not been calculated yet. However, Ven. Rathanapala Thera says that it would be a monumental amount.

The restored Jethawanaramaya dagoba Jethawana monastery complex Jethawana Pokuna, from the excavation at the vicinity of this rectangular pond several important artefacts including statues of Goddess Luxmi and creatures living in water and also a stone casket have been found


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