Raja Maha Vihara temple, Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka.

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Tissa Dagoba

Top choice in Tissamaharama

This large much-restored dagoba looming between Tissa town centre and the wewa is believed to have been originally built around 200 BC by Kavantissa, a king of Ruhunu, located in present-day Tissamaharama. The white stupa has a circumference of 165m and stands 55.8m high. It is thought to have held a sacred tooth relic and forehead bone relic. It’s attractively lit up at night.

Next to the dagoba is a statue of Queen Viharamahadevi. According to legend, Viharamahadevi was sent to sea by her father, King Devanampiya Tissa, as penance after he killed a monk. Unharmed, the daughter landed at Kirinda, about 10km south of Tissa, and subsequently married Kavantissa. Their son, Dutugemunu, was the Sinhalese hero who liberated Anuradhapura from Indian invaders in the 2nd century BC.

Within the site is the much smaller Sandagiri Wehera dagoba and the remains of a monastery complex thought to date back around 2000 years.

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