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Sandahiru Seya

Not to be confused with Sandagiri Seya, Tissamaharama and Sandagiri Seya, Hantana

Sandahiru Seya
Sandahiru Seya (Photo credit: Ragith Thilakaratne, Google Street View)

Sandahiru Seya (Sinhala: සඳහිරු සෑය) is a modern gigantic Stupa situated between the ancient Dakkhina Stupa and the Isurumuniya Viharaya in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. It was built to honour the members of the Tri Forces, Police, and the Department of Civil Security who sacrificed their lives during the nearly three-decade-long Sri Lankan civil war which ended in May 2009 (Performance Report, 2021). It is also the first of nine such Stupas to be built in the nine provinces in honour of the fallen War Heroes (Barua, 2018).
 
The foundation stone of the Stupa was laid on 22 November 2010 and the sacred relics were placed on 22 November 2014. The construction works were carried out for 11 years with the support of military personnel of respective security establishments. The Wilpattu Forces' Alayapattu Bricks Project of the Civil Security Department supplied about 67 lakhs of Stupa bricks for the project since 2012 (Performance Report, 2021). The Crest Gem was placed at the tip of the pinnacle on 8 November 2021 and the completed Stupa was opened for the worship of devotees by the then Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on 18 November 2021.

Sandahiru Seya is said to be the second biggest Stupa in the country. It is the largest Stupa in the last 1,700 years since the construction of the Jetavanaramaya Stupa by King Mahasena (276-303 A.D.). Sandahiru Seya Stupa is 282 ft. 6 in. (86.1 m) in height and has an 800 ft. (243.8 m) circumference and 255 ft. (77.7 m) diameter. The dome is 110 ft. (33.5 m) in height while the square chamber is 34 ft. 2 in. (10.4 m) in height. The Devatha Kotuwa is 22 ft. 9 in. (6.9 m) high and on the top of it is the pinnacle or the Koth Kerella which is 71 ft. 2 in. (21.7 m) tall. 

References
1) Barua, D.M., 2018. The Politics of Buddhist Relic Diplomacy Between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Journal of Buddhist Ethics ISSN 1076-9005. pp.429-464.
2) Performance Report, 2021. Annual Performance Report for the year 2021. Department of Civil Security (Sri Lanka). p.12. 

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This page was last updated on 23 April 2023

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