The Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya was an important mahavihara or large Buddhist monastery for Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It was founded by king Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura (247–207 BCE) in his capital city of Anuradhapura.The Mahavihara was the place where the Theravada Mahaviharan orthodoxy was established by monks such as Buddhaghosa (4th to 5th century CE) and Dhammapala who wrote commentaries on the Tipitaka and texts such as the Visuddhimagga which are central to Theravada Buddhist doctrine. The monks living at the Mahavihara were referred to as Mahaviharavasins.
The most important attraction in the compound include :
- Thuparama vatadage *
- Ruwanwelisaya stupa *
- Sri Maha Bodhi tree shrine *
- Brazen Palace (Lovamahapaya)