ChampikaG - Wikimedia.org
The complex of 1600 rock columns can be seen beside the road from Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi to Ruvanveliseya was once the amazing nine storied building with a roof of bronze tiles known as Lovamahapaya. The complex was built during the time of King Dutugemunu.
During ancient times the complex was used as a chapterhouse and a Seemamalakaya, where Buddhist monks gather every fortnight to recite the Prathimoksha. The complex has a floor area of 160, 000 square feets. Each side of the building has 40 rock columns, which add up to 1600 columns. It was believed that the construction of the complex took six years, and it is the tallest building in ancient Sri Lanka, while Jetavanaramaya, Abhayagiriya and Ruwanwelisaya are taller monuments.
After the death of King Dutugemunu, his brother Saddhatissa was ascended to the throne. Not being as strong as his brother, during the time of Saddhatissa Lovamahapaya got completely destroyed.
There is a new building which can be seen from the road beyond the rock pillars, which is a modern chapterhouse used by the Maha Vihara monks.