Today, the main attraction of this aramaic complex is the massive Abayagiri Stupa which stands at 74.98 meters to the tip of the damaged spire. It is the second largest stupa in the island today. According to the 5th century traveler Chinese monk Fa-Hsien’s descriptions, this stupa has been 400 feet (122 meters) in height and has been decorated with gold and silver and studded with all kinds of jewels. There also has been a 20 foot (6.1 meters) high Buddha statue made out of green jade.
The king ignored this comment but when he came back to Anuradhapura after 14 years after defeating the the invaders, he has not forgotten this incident. The king razed this hermitage to the ground and built a massive stupa and 12 buildings and offered it to Mahathissa Thero. The stupa was named by coining the two rivals names “Abaya” (The king’s name) and “Geri” (The Jain monk) – The “Abayagiri” Later, this vihara became a rival to Mahavihara. Mahaviharians were followers of pure “Theravada Buddhism” and the priests at the Abayagiri were open to more ideas and followed principles of both Theravada and Mahayana teachings.