The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa, located in the ruins of Jetavana monastery in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It height reaches to 122 metres and it was the world’s tallest stupa and the third tallest structure in the world when it was built by King Mahasena of Anuradhapura (273–301) and also the second tallest non-pyramidal buildings after Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria.
The structure is significant in the island’s Buddhist history as it represents the conflicts within the Theravada and Mahayana sectors of Buddhism. With the destruction and abandonment of Anuradhapura kingdom in the 11th century, the stupa was covered by jungle and later King Parakramabahu in 12th century renovate this stupa and it was rebuilt to the current height, a reduction to 71 meters.
The structure is no longer the tallest, but it is still the largest, with a base-area of 233,000 m2 (2,508,000 sq ft). Approximately 93.3 million bricks were used in its construction; the engineering knowledge behind the construction of this structure shows the significant development in the history of the island.
The compound covers approximately 5.6 hectares and is estimated to have housed 10,000 Buddhist monks. The stupa has a 8.5 m) deep foundation, and sits on bedrock.