The Lankaramaya stupa, similar to Thuparama, the first stupa built after Buddhism was brought to the country in the 250 BC, was built by King Vattagamini Abaya, and bears the ancient name of ‘Silasobbha Khandaka Cetiya’.
Although little is known of the original, it is believed that this important Anuradhapura stupa was surrounded by a vatadage and covered by a roof supported by 88 stone pillars, some of which remain today.
The stupa’s rounded courtyard appears to have been 10ft (3m) above the ground, with a diameter of 45ft (14m), plus a 1,332ft (406m) circular courtyard. This impressive building provides is an important insight into the history of Anuradhapura.
Nearby is the spectacular man-made Eth pokuna (elephant pond), 522ft (159m) in length, 174ft (53m) across and 31ft (9.5m) deep, which holds 16,497,693 gallons (75,000cu m) of water. Underground canals from the Periyamkulama Tank supply the pond.