The Jetavana Dagaba, a magnificent monument of King Mahasen which is considered to be the largest brick monument in the world, has been torn in four directions.
These cracks are spreading from the rectangular box to the bottom of the womb in the northern, southern and western directions. When inquired from a senior official of the Central Cultural Fund, he said, These cracks are growing day by day and the wreckage of the womb above the present temple is in great danger.
The Jetavana Dagaba is a World Heritage Site that was declared a World Heritage Site by King Mahasen of the 4th century BC.
The Jethawana Dagoba, considered to be a major monument to historical and local tourist attractions, was conserved on May 15, 2009, after the establishment of the Central Cultural Fund in the early ’80s, which had been covered with trees of Valvedei since the 10th century. It was open to the public.
When the Jethawana Chief Incumbent Ihala Halmillewawe Rathanapala Thera inquired about these cracks, He said Jethawana Project Officers have been advised to check the cracks continuously and inform him of this.
Vidyajothi Gemunu Silva, a reputed engineer in the island and a consultant from the very beginning of the Jetavana Dagoba conservation process, inspected the dagaba with the officials of the Central Cultural Fund on Friday.
He has then advised them to take necessary steps to prevent rainwater from entering the womb through the cracks on the top of the reef and the rectangular box as well as to monitor the cracks. (Nochchikulam – Sumedha Karunaratne)