Notes on the Geography of Sri Lanka: Anuradhapura: Photo 1
This is Ruvanvelisaya, the dagoba--alias stupa, pagoda, or reliquary monument--built at the Mahavihara by King Dutthagamini in the second century B.C. after recovering Anuradhapura from a period of Indian rule. Its form is classic, with a bubble-shaped mass of millions of baked bricks, covered with plaster to prevent water damage. On top, there's a square hataraskotuva with its sides appearing to be fenced. On top there's a cyclindrical devalakotuva and a final spire, cropped here, the chattravati. This stupa was eroded to a nub by the time the British set about restoring it. Even if it's substantially a product of the 20th century it's still the most sacred of any of the dagobas at Anuradhapura. The white, by the way, is historically authentic, although dagobas were probably trimmed with floral swags in plaster.
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