Jethavanaramaya was built by King Mahasena (276-303 AD) in 3rd century; it was completed by his son Sirimeghavanna. In the respect to the great king Mahasena no any other king tried to beat its height. It is believed that this monument was built upon the enclosure where Mahinda Maha Thero was cremated. Recent excavation in the stupa has unearthed a one meter thick brick wall adjacent to a layer of ash and charcoal. This is believed to be the chamber where the remains of the great thero rest. Jethavana Stupa is the largest stupa in the Sri Lanka. 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. 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 an 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. 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. Famous archeologist Emerson Tenant said it can made 3m high wall London to Edinburg. The sectarian differences between the Buddhist monks also are represented by the stupa as it was built on the premises of the destroyed Maha Vihara, which led to a rebellion by a minister of king Mahasena. King Mahasen has donated the temple to Sagalika sect. It was house for more than 3000 monks.
There were 4 entrances to the dagaba. Unfortunately they have been partially collapsed. There are beautiful stone carvings in these entrances. The dagaba is being reconstructed under the Cultural Triangle Project.
Inside ‘Budu Ge’ (worship house for Lord Buddha) there are 3 statues of Lord Buddha and few statues of kings. The first statue among them is the statue of king Mahasen who build the temple. Today this stupa is going through a painful and slow conservation to bring it to its ancient glory. Even today you can see massive trees which have come up on the stupa itself on the sides where reconstruction has not started. As all other buildings in Anuradhapura this too was subjected to destruction by North Indian Invaders. Then when the Anuradhapura was finally abandoned as the capital in the 11th century this stupa with others were covered by the jungle. King Parakramabahu (12th century) in the Polonnaruwa era again tried to renovate this stupa and it was rebuilt to the current height, a reduction from the original height. Today it stands at 232 feet (71 metres).
"Dear Cyril, We would like to thank youthat you have arrange ourholiday which we have enjoyed so much, that we can call them the best holiday we have ever had. You are avery helpful guide- because you know about your beautiful country very much. We also appriciate your advices that you gave us during our two weeks long journey and your perfect trip arrangement we have enjoyed every single day. All the best to you and your family. Hope to see you again. Martha & Jarda 08 No..." Martha & Jaroslav Jirout
"We had a fantastic holiday in Sri Lanka, thanks Cyril Tours, Our driver, Amiila, was brilliant and nothing was too much trouble for him. The places we visited were really interesting and we saw some lovely scenery.I would definitely recommend your company to other people. Emma - UK 2010 December " Emma Patterson
"Thank you so much for your great service and making our honeymoon in Sri Lanka, so special and joyful. Best regards from Yuffa and Elad Abbo – Israel- 10 July 2008 " Yuffa and Elad Abbo - Israel
"We found Cyril on-line and after checking with lots of other guides we decided he is the one for us, that decision was the best one we did for our trip From the beginning, in our emails, Cyril listen to us and was very helpful, he gave us information and helped us to create the best trip for us.We had 10 days trip, for our honeymoon, to many parts of Sri-Lanka. the country is amazing, green, nice people and good food.Cyril was a great driver and even greater guide, he has so much knowledge and e..." Coral and Oded from Israel
"Cyril Tours is a very good agency. Because we did use it from 01st of March to 14 March 2013. From the start till end of our emails, he has (Mr.Cyril) given all required details. Also he send us very detailed itinerary with pictures. Actually no need guide after go through it.Cyril Tours is not a big agency. He was a guide in Sri Lanka more than 26 years. Many clients recommend him to their friends and to relatives who want to visit Sri Lanka.They asked from him to travel, that is why he be..." John and Mary from Canada
"Dear Cyril, Sincerest apologies for this delayed email --- reason being that I had been extremely busy with work & travel, since returning from Sri Lanka and just got a breather now, to download our photos and catch up with private matters. Hope this email finds you & family, in the best of health & spirits. Your granddaughter must be keeping you busy and giving you & Mrs. Baddegama immense joy. At this end, we are doing fine. Nikhita is back at school, now in Grade 7 and havi..." Pradeep Kumar Menon - Singapore
" Dear Cyril, We are fortunate to have you as a friend here in Sri Lanka. You are extremly Knowledgeable and more than ever - having an attitude of helpful nature and the willingness to solve issues on hand whilst on our tour around Sri Lanka. As I have said to you we will reccommend you to all our friends who wish to tour in Sri Lanka. My family Karen, Kalvin and Andre also liked your company and wish you and your family well. God bless you all and we will keep in touch, for sur..." Alwyn Santhumayor & family
"Cyril was absolutly Fantastic,Veryhelpful, Patient and extremly knowledgable. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend and travel with him again. Whole tour was well organized and perfectly done. Kate Williams and family from UK 04th January 2015" Kate Williams UK
"Cyril was an excellent guide and gave us a very good insight into the history and cultures of Sri Lanka. He was always polite, helpful and prompt. His driving was always calm and controlled - unlike some of the other vehicles we saw!!! We would recommend him to others traveling to Sri Lanka. WH - UK - January 2011" Wilson Harland
"Hello, We had 2 weeks exploring Sri Lanka and for most of that time Cyril drove for usto various towns, sites of interest. Cyril wsa a very pleasant chauffeur. Always prompt and greeted us with a smile. He was well informed about the sites we visited and pointed out many interesting historical buildings en-route. We had a great 2 weeks in Sri Lanka and Cyril's plesant and helpful nature contributed to this briliant holiday. Thank Cyril Sara and Steve from Birmingham, England" Sara and Steve