Lovamahapaya – The Great Copper Roofed Mansion – ලෝවාමහාපාය

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lovamahapaya

The king Devamnampiyatissa, the first Buddhist king of the country build a chapter house in this location on the instructions Mahinda Thero who brought Buddhism to the country. A century later king Dutugamunu (161-131 BC) built a massive structure of which the remains you see today.

Lovamahapaya stone columns

Lovamahapaya stone columns

According to Mahavamsa, the great chronicle of the Sinhalese, Lovamahapaya was a massive nine storied building with a height of 150 ft (47 meters) and each side with a 150 feet (46 meters) length. The building was supported by 40 rows of stone pillars with 40 pillars which totaled 1600 pillars. In each level there were 1000 rooms and 100 windows. The building of Lovamahapaya was adorned with corals and precious stones. Its roof was covered with copper-bronze plates. Although this description may be a little exaggerated, this would have been a very impressive building at that time looking at what remains today.

Superstructure of the Lovamahapaya probably would have been wood and the height of this building deceased with time. According to Mahavamsa, this building was destroyed by fire during king Saddhatissa (137-119 BC) and it was built to seven stories. King Sirinaga II (240-242 AC) restored this building again to five levels.  King Jettatissa (266-276 AC) once again raised the size of the building to seven levels.

King Mahasena (276-303) demolished this building and gave the material to the Abayaghiri Viharaya due to a conflict with the monks in the Mahavihara. His son Sirimeghavanna rebuild this mansion again but was destroyed  by the Pandayns  from South India who invaded the city in the 9th century and was rebuild again in the same century by king Sena II.

Again the Colas from India invaded the city in 10th century and plundered the city of it’s all valuables which finally saw the fall of the Anuradhapura as the capital of Sri Lanka after over 1400 years.

The great king Parakramabhu I who reigned from Polonnaruwa (1153-1186 AC) raised again the 1600 pillars and partly restored it. This is what you see today.

Alternate Names :great cooper roofed mansion, lova maha prasadaya, lovamahapaya, lowamahapaya

Old photos of Lovamahapaya from www.imagesofceylon.com

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

before restoration – photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s

Also See

Lovamahapaya Map

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.


Traveling Directions to Lovamahapaya  (Anuradhapura)

Anuradhapura can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttlam (Puttalama) and though Kurunegala. Traveling from Puttlam you will pass scenic Wilpattu area. the From Kurunegala there are two main routes to Anuradhapura. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is though Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the commonly used is the Kurunegala – Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to Anuradhapura

Route 02 from Colombo to Anuradhapura

Though : Negombo - Chillaw - Puthlam
distance from colombo :213 km
Travel time : 3 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Ambepussa - Kurunegala - Dambulla
distance from Colombo : 221 km
Travel time : 3.15 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps

Route 03 from Colombo to Anuradhapura

Route from Kandy to Anuradhapura

Though : Ambepussa - Kurunegala - Padeniya - Thambuthegama
distance from colombo :213 km
Travel time : 3 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Katugastota - Matale - Dambulla
distance from Colombo :139 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map


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