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Tissamaharama Viharaya

  Province Southern
  District Hambanthota
  Nearest Town Tissamaharamaya
  Period 3rd to 1st century BC
  Ruler King Mahanaga and King Kavan Tissa


One of the largest Dagobas (Stupas) in Ruhuna is situated in the temple which is said to have been built by king Kavantissa in the 2nd Century BC. The Silpasena Pirivena has been at this site.

The Tissamaharam Raja MahaVihara is one of the largest dagobas (Stupa) in Sri Lanka. A stupa is a Buddhist dome-shaped religious monument found largely on the Indian subcontinent and called a dagoba in Sri Lanka. According to chronicles this stupa has been built by King Kavantissa who ruled Ruhuna in the 1st century BC But it is believed that this stupa was initially built by King Mahanaga in the 3rd century BC and King Kavantissa probably enlarged the shrine. The site was consecrated by Buddha himself, who spent some time in meditation there with 500 arhats (individuals who have reached enlightenment).

Tissamaharama Stupa is the largest stupa in the Southern region of the country with a height of 158 feet and 550 feet in circumference


It is said that an ill samanera called “Gauthama” in the Seelapassa Pirivena passed away and was conceived in to Queen Viharamahadevi in this location who later became the great king Dutugemunu. It is also believed that Great King Dutugemunu was born on this area.It is believed that the fontal bone relic of Buddha was temporally enshrined in this stupa but later it was enshrined in the Seruvila Mangala Maha Chethiya. According to a pillar inscription in Kirinda, the left tooth relic of Buddha is supposed to be enshrined in this stupa.The latest restoration of this stupa had begun in 1858 and was completed in 1900. The granite pinnacle of the original stupa is now lying on the platform on which the dageba was built.