Royal protection and improvement of the Maha Bodhi
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.