Mirisaveti Monastery

King Dutugamunu after defeating King Elara, built the Mirisaveti Stupa. After placing the Buddha relics in the scepter, he had gone to Tisawewa for a bath leaving the scepter. After the bath he returned to the place where the scepter was placed, and it is said that it could not be moved. The stupa was built in the place where the scepter stood. It is also said that he remembered that he partook a chilly curry without offering it to the sangha. In order to punish himself he built the Mirisavetiya Dagaba. The extent of this land is about 50 acres (20 ha). Although the king Kasyapa I and Kasyapa V renovated this, from time to time it was dilapidated. What stands today is the renovation done by the cultural Triangle Fund.

King Dutugemunu built it as a Dagoba of the “Mahavihara” fraternity but as the monks started living there, it sees that Mirisawetiya developed as a separate monastery. However it is believed that it would have functioned as a monastery belonging to the Mahavihara Fraternity.

Several Kings, at different intervals made renovations to the Dagaba. Among them are King Gajabahu 1 (112-134 AC), and King Voharika Tissa (214-236 AC).

  • King Gajabahu 1: Put a new coating on Mirisawetiya
  • King Voharika Tissa: Restored the umbrella of the Dagoba and rebuilt a wall around the Dagaba)
  • The stupa and other buildings needed restoration after the Chola invasion and it is said that King Kassapa V (914-923 AC) did the restoration.
  • King Kassapa V also is said to have built a massive mansion called “The Chandana Prasada”, adjoining the Temple to house the scared hair relic (keshadathu), which was supposed to have been brought to Sri Lanka during the time of King Moggalana (495-513 AC)
  • The Dagaba was again damaged by the recurrent Chola invasions and it is said that King Parakaramabahu 1(1153-1186 AC) did a comprehensive restoration and built the stupa to a height of 120 feet.
  • The last recorded renovations around that period were done by King Nissankamalla (1187-1196 AC).