Ruwanvelisaya is a creation of King Dutugemunu who ruled Sri Lanka in the years of 161 BC to 137 BC. It is believed to be housing relics of Lord Buddha and is one of the must-see stops in the city of Anuradapura, which was then the capital of Sri Lanka. The stupa is also recognized as one of the tallest monuments in the world with a height of 103 meters and a circumference of 290 meters.
The ancient texts depict that precious materials were used to build Ruwanvelisaya, such as gems, copper, gold, silver, pearls and corals obtained from different parts of the country. The construction had commenced on a Vesak full moon poya day, which is considered as the most significant day for Buddhists that resembles the birth, enlightenment and demise of Lord Buddha. Other names for Ruwanvelisaya are Maha Stupa, Ratnamali Dagaba, and Swarnamali Stupa.
Legends say that the King Dutugemunu had to ask for permission from a Goddess named Swarnamali in order to build the stupa in her premises; hence it was named after her. Sadly the king did not live long to witness the completion of the building, he breathed his last while gazing at the Stupa. Following his brother’s footsteps, King Saddhatissa concluded the construction process of Ruwanvelisaya revealing an architectural wonder to the Sri Lankan Buddhist culture