Abhayagiri Dagoba is in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most Sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Historically it was a great monastic centre as well as a royal capital, with magnificent monasteries rising to many stories, roofed with gilt bronze or tiles of burnt clay glazed in brilliant colours. To the north of the city, encircled by great walls and containing elaborate bathing ponds, carved balustrades and moonstones, stood "Abhayagiri", one of sixteen such religious units in Anuradhapura and the largest of its five major Viharas.

Surrounding the humped Dagoba, Abhayagiri Vihara was a seat of the Northern Monastery, or Uttara Vihara. Abhayagiri Dagoba (confused by some books and maps with the Jetavanarama), was the centrepiece of a monastery of 5000 monks. The name means ‘Hill of Protection’ or ‘Fearless Hill’, another claim ‘Giri’ was the name of a local Jain monk. The monastery was part of the ‘School of the Secret Forest’, a heretical sect that studied both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, also Chinese traveller Fahien (also spelt Fa Hsien) visited in AD 412. The Dagoba was probably rebuilt several times to reach its peak 75 metre height. It has some interesting bas-reliefs, including one near the western stairway of an elephant pulling up a tree. A large slab with a Buddha footprint can be seen on the northern side, and the eastern and western steps have unusual moonstones made from concentric stone slabs.