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).
"Thank you so much for wonderful Sri Lanka trip.We had a great time. The trip was very relaxing as well as fun. My daughter MAHI who lovingly started calling you "Cyril Dada"(grand farther) Had a memorable trip. She cannot stop talking about elephants. Our trip to Sri Lanka will be full of great memories, its because of you. Thank you for showing us your beautiful country the way we wanted, eating local food, lots of King coconut and Corn stops. We will be surely coming back to see rest o..." Mithil Patel
" Hi Cyril We have had a fabulous holiday driven and guided by Cyril from CYRIL TOURS. Hotel recommendations were perfect and knowledge supertb. We would happy to introduce CYRIL TOURS to our frieinds and relatives. Thank you for the photos you are taken and send to us, they are a great reminder of our amazing experience in Sri Lanka. We had a truly memorable time and we are grateful to you for all your knowledge and guidance throughout our trip, it would not have been..." Mr. Richard & Mrs. Bridget Simson and family from
"Dear Cyril, Thank you very much for wonderful holiday. Your attention to detail and care of your clients is extraordinary. We certainly hope to cross paths again and we will recommonding you to all of our friends and to family too. Many thanks again. Paul nad Machelle Brisbane, Australia. Visited during 10/10/2012 - 26/10/2012" Mr. Paul and Mrs. Machelle from Australia
"11th April 2014 01 week tour around Sri Lanka A fantastic week was had by all with Cyril, exploring Kandy, Nuwaraeliya and Bentota. Your meaningful insights & excellent explanations of the Sri Lanka’s culture, nature and traditions were invaluable. Your smile and charm helped is feel related and comfortable. Not getting stressed once. With your guidance & tips, the holiday flew by with only one problem: it was very short! Your comprehensive list of talents ranges from findin..." Ian Price and family from UK
"Hello my dear friend Mr. Cyril We are all fine dear, I have visited Sri Lanka and I loved the country, Insha’Allah I will visit again your country, it is amazing place. This is the first day at work , really I enjoy the tour to sri lanka with my family and it was very nice and I wish to go again to sri lanka and of course you were very good and polite and respectable guy -thanks a lot for every thing and I wish you ..." Nasser Mohamed from Oman
"If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka (and I think you should) this is your guide!!! Martha Iordanidou - Thesoloneki - Greece " Martha Iordanidou
"(10 days). Before the trip I did a lot of research here on the site and other sites on the tour options and after checking in we decided to go with a guide attached. Choice in was not easy and I started Travels "correspondence with more than ten guides to staying with the" chosen ". No doubt it was an excellent choice! Before Asbury on our guide, I wanted to note that after the visit, I understand the importance of taking guide (driver) suite. Roads and driving in Sri Lanka ..." Corey
"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
"I want to thank Mr. Cyril for this 17 days long tour. He is an excellent chauffeur guide, always on time with a car more than the clean. He knows all the places in the Island and organized very well. Most of all, he is very kind person, always with a smile and ready to help. I want to reccommond him to all my friends. Ria Deleu Belgium Travel period 25 Jan 2020 - 10 Feb 2020 ( 17 days)" Mrs. Ria Deleu from Belgium
"Cyril was our driver and guide for the last nine days. We had the comfortable white Toyota van shown in the pic - it was just as clean and shiny, and not a scratch on it. He is clearly a very skilled driver. He is particularly knowledgeable about the history of the many places we visited. We were pleased we had Cyril as our driver. He had been recommended to us by an acquaintance. Andrew Speirs Melbourne, Australia Travel period 04 Jan - 12 Jan 2018" Mr. Andrew an Mrs. Suzy Speirs from Australia