Sandahiru Seya


Two thousand years after the first of the great dagobas was constructed, a huge new stupa, the Sandahiru Seya, is rising on the south side of Anuradhapura, commissioned by President Rajapaksa in 2010. Designed to reach 85m in height, with a circumference of 244m, it will eventually rise above the ancient dagobas of Jetavanarama and Abhayagiri (but will not surpass their original heights). Sandahiru Seya is being constructed from over 30 million bricks and will be plastered and then whitewashed when finished.

Controversially, this is just one of nine new stupas planned, on orders of the president 'in appreciation of the noble service rendered by the armed forces and police to defeat terrorism and bring lasting peace to the country'. However, some have objected to the principle of dedicating a Buddhist monument to the actions of the Sri Lankan military.

The pace of construction and flow of funds has slowed in recent years, so it could be many years before the huge dagoba is finished.