The Lovamahapaya—also known as the Brazen Palace on account of its roof once having been copper-tiled—is located roughly between the famous Sri Maha Bodhiya and the Ruwanweliseya in the Sacred City. It served as a monastery, containing a large refectory, and halls conducive for monastic assembly. Over many centuries, the Lovamahapaya has fallen and risen multiple times.
Origins of the Lovamahapaya
It was originally built by King Devanampiyatissa, but King Dutugemunu expanded and redesigned the building in the 2nd century BC. The Lovamahapaya was once a nine-storey structure. Historical records say it originally measured 400 ft in length, and according to legend it contained hundreds of rooms.
The superstructure of the original building was destroyed many centuries ago, and all that remains of the edifice are its massive support pillars. It is believed that the base of the building may have been predominantly stone, but the rest would have consisted of wood.
The 1,600 pillars surround a single, much smaller structure, a relatively recent construction which serves as the chapter house of the Maha Vihara. The eerie yet enthralling site is certainly worth a visit.
❂ Useful Tips:
- The site is less than 6km from the Anuradhapura town.
- The ideal time to visit the Lovamahapaya is August to April.
- The Brazen Palace is fenced and visitors are not allowed within.