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
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
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
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
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
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