- Vata Mandana Rd Ancient City
Lonely Planet review for Jetavanarama Dagoba
The Jetavanarama Dagoba’s massive dome rises from a clearing back towards the Sri Maha Bodhi. Built in the 3rd century by Mahasena, it may have originally stood over 100m high, but today is about 70m. This was a similar height to the Abhayagiri, with which it is sometimes confused. When it was built it was the third-tallest monument in the world, the first two being Egyptian pyramids. A British guidebook from the early 1900s calculated that there were enough bricks in the dagoba’s brick core to make a 3m-high wall stretching from London to Edinburgh.
Behind it stand the ruins of a monastery that housed 3000 monks. One building has door jambs over 8m high still standing, with another 3m underground. At one time, massive doors opened to reveal a large Buddha image.