Historical records show that Sri Lanka possesses the largest amount of Buddha's sacred relics to found in any country—and Mirisaveti is one of the earliest stupas built to safeguard them.
This Anuradhapura stupa was built by King Dutugemunu (161-137 B.C) to mark the end of wars fought for control of the country. Subsequent rulers paid their respects by depositing more and more relics and valuable items.
Mirisavati is unique in being the only stupa where royal items are enshrined with the Buddha's relics, and is distinguished by having some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful classical stone carvings and murals.
Even when Mirisaveti’s place in the history of Anuradhapura was challenged by other ritual structures—the temple, image house, dwelling cells, chapter house, refectory hall, hospital and assembly hall—it remained the principle structure in this historically important cultural complex.