Justin Lee - Google
A large red-brick stupa built to remember the cremation grounds of one of the country’s greatest King Dutugemunu by his nephew King Vatta Gamini Abhaya in the 2nd-century BC.
For years it was believed that this stupa was the tombstone of the Tamil Chola King Elara, and King Dutugemunu built it to honor his rival. However a Scottish architectural historian James Fergusson discovered this stupa could not be Elara’s tomb.
According to the chronicles during the times of King Devanampiya Tissa, Arahat Mahina Thero had requested the king to cremate his remains in this exact location where there has been a Pulila tree. It further says that after the death, King Dutugemunu’s remains were also cremated in the same location. Later King Vatta Gamini Abhaya got one of his ministers to build this stupa to remember his uncle King Dutugemunu.