Hey guys, today we are going to see a very mysterious and ancient Buddhist Temple in Sri Lanka, this was built around 300 A.D, so it was built 1700 years ago. This temple is known as Jetavanaramaya jetavanaramaya, and you can see how it is built in the shape of a bell. I have shown you many Hindu temples which are usually in the shape of pyramids, but Buddhist Temples like these are called Stupas.
This stupa was the world’s tallest stupa at the time of its construction and it was also the third largest structure in the whole world. Today, the height of this stupa is around 200 feet, but originally it was twice as tall, it was 400 feet tall, when it was constructed. As I enter the site, I notice something strange. The floor is made of bricks. Normally ancient sites I show you, the floor is made of rocks like granite, but this floor is laid with bricks. Imagine the number of bricks needed to fill the floor. Now, forget the floor, look at this stupa. The entire stupa is almost completely made of bricks. Guess how many bricks were needed to build this stupa? Archeologists estimate that 93 million baked bricks were used, imagine the sheer volume of that and experts are baffled at this fact. How could ancient builders mass manufacture so many bricks 1700 years ago? Even after all these years, this is still the largest stupa with a base-area of 2.5 million square feet. It is also the largest brick building ever built. It is hard to show sizes on camera, so compare my size, and the size of the stupa. Yeah I am that small. I mean, yeah the stupa is that big. But it was originally twice as tall as this size, think about that. Sri Lanka is known for its brilliant Buddhist structures.
While walking around the Stupa, I see a strange opening, a doorway kind of opening. I cannot access it because it is forbidden to climb to that level. What is inside this? Can I go in? Why is it locked? I need to go in and see what is inside.
Then I also see a shrine attached to the stupa. What is inside this shrine? Inside, there is a gigantic Buddha in reclining position, he looks mesmerizing. On top of his head, we can see that strange device, what is that. Everywhere in Sri Lanka, we see Buddha with that weird gadget fixed on his head.
He is the same Buddha we saw in another Buddhist site, he has a weird device on his head. But I look around, and I find some fascinating statues, there is something strange about them. They are all shown in a Namaste pose, paying their respect to Buddha. The entire shrine is very colorful, it is full of various colors.
I am very surprised at this hand. Is he wearing a wrist watch? Sure this statue is relatively new, but it must be a replica of an ancient statue which once stood here. I walk over to another statue and again, I see the same depiction. This bearded deity is also wearing a wrist watch. Did Ancient Gods use wrist watches? Believe it or not many ancient carvings show wrist watches around the world. For example Sumerians Gods are shown wearing wrist watches. Especially Anunnaki Alien Gods. Or maybe it is just a bracelet, but it looks very advanced, there are a series of multicolored circles inside, suggesting it could be an advanced device. Will this wristwatch somehow communicate with the device on top of Buddha’s head? Is there some advanced technology involved? I don’t know.
On the ceilings you can see these strange circular paintings. These remind me of cymatic patterns, this is how sounds will be seen visually. But on the walls there are even stranger paintings. Look at this lovely painting. Here you can see an elephant, but there is something special about this. The elephant is made of several women. Exactly 9, this is called NavanaariKunjara in Sanskrit. Carvings like this exist in ancient Indian temples.
But here, this is even more strange, 5 women come together and form a strange shape. Can you see what they are representing? This is called Pancha Naari Ghataya, meaning 5 women forming a pot or a vessel. What is the hidden meaning behind this? If you know the answer, you can leave it as a comment in the comments section.
On top of Buddha, you see what this is? Yes, this is the famous Hindu God, the elephant God Ganesha. And this is the not the only Hindu God, you can see several of them adorning the Buddhist Shrine. Hinduism and Buddhism are very close to one another. This purple colored statue is Lord Shiva, he has a snake around his neck and you can see the third eye on his forehead, and on the head, you can see river Ganga. A trident in one hand and a deer in the other hand. A very interesting set of Hindu gods shown here, they are portrayed as guardians of Buddha. Just outside the shrine, you can again see Shiva with plenty of snakes and a bull. What is that black thing coming out of his mouth on both sides? You can also see his son Murugan or Kartikeya with Om written in Tamil language, in his palm.
Now, let’s go out of the shrine and take another look at the stupa. Now, what is inside a stupa? I mean, you can walk inside Hindu temples, but most stupas look like solid structures with no way to access the inside. Experts say that Stupas are reliquary monuments. What does that mean? Reliquary Monument is a fancy term to indicate that a relic, an ancient object, is placed inside the monument. This stupa, has a part of Lord Buddha’s belt preserved inside.
Okay, let us look at these ancient entrances. They are at a higher level, so visitors cannot access them, but they are all gated and locked, so may be something important is inside. Look at the side of the doorway. It appears as though these are handrails on the side, for stairs. Do stairs exist inside? What do you think?
When you look around on the the doorway, you can see a strange carving. What is this? This is a 7 headed snake, a giant Naga. Look at the cracks in the stone, it is ready to crumble anytime. Here is the same Naga who has now shape-shifted into a human. Look at the feet of this reptilian, he is definitely going somewhere, perhaps he is going into the secret doorway of the stupa which can lead to something very precious. Remember the Nagas are always shown guarding secret doorways. This is shown in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Remember I told you this entire stupa is completely made of bricks, that is not true, there are some different stone blocks, specifically added to show various carvings of deities.
Here is another doorway, through which we can see something. It does seem to go somewhere. What is the purpose of them? What were they doing in ancient times? Are there stairs inside? Is it possible to reach the top? What is the purpose of the rectangular structure on top? Why is there a cylinder on the very top and why is it partly destroyed? Was this large structure built entirely for religious reasons or was there some kind of scientific purpose behind it?