Located in the historic town of Anuradhapura, Lovamapahaya, often referred to as Lohaprasadaya, translates to ‘brazen palace’, because of the bronze roof tiles that were once laid during its construction. The structure that stands now is a restoration that only took place recently, however, the original structure is believed to have been built in the 2nd century BC, during the reign of King Dutugemunu. Although there were taller structures at the time, such as the Abhayagiri Stupa and the Jetavanarama Stupa to name but two, the Lovamapahaya was the tallest building in the island from the 2nd century BC till the 10th century AD that boasted of nine stories and measured 400ft in length on one side.
This particular building is a perfect example of how the kings of old respected the structures of their predecessors, along with the strong connection of Buddhism in society, and is documented in the Mahavamsa as a building that faced many natural and man-made disasters , but was rebuilt to make sure its significance does not wane away. The highlighting factor is, of course, the many pillars that once amounted to more than 1000 at a time. Even today, the small structure behind the 40 stone pillars acts as the chapter house (uposatha) for the Maha Vihara.