Royal protection and improvement of the Maha Bodhi

Ruwanveli Seya
Ruwanveli Seya, an ancient dagoba from the Anuradhapura period. Built by one of the Sinhalese' favorite kings, it has stood the test of time for over 2200 years. 333 feet high -- yet another architectural feat for its times.

After the establishment of the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi it was accorded the veneration similar to the living Buddha because there was a belief that it was directly connected to kingship. The ancient chronicles have recorded various steps taken by many kings for the protection of the Maha Bodhi and its precincts. Also the royalty considered it their duty to attend to improvement and restoration work as and when necessary.

In the subsequent centuries, around the high terrace on which the sapling of the Maha Bodhi was planted a Bodhigara and an architectural structure with railings had been constructed. Also an outer wall enclosing the complex with four entrances at four cardinal points was developed.

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