Kiri vehera is considered as the second tallest stupa in the ancient city of Polonaruwa. This is situated north to the “Lankathilaka Status House”. And this stupa is part of the “Alahana Pirivena” which was a learning institute for the monks.
It is not known exactly about the origin of this stupa. However, it is either built by King Parakramabahu the Great who ruled Polonnaruwa Kingdom in 1153-1186 AD in memory of Queen Subadra, consort of King Parakramabahu the Great or it was built by Queen Subadra herself. The original name of this stupa was “Rupawathi Seya”.
The stupa is 28.5 meters tall and it one of the best-preserved stupa among other stupas found in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. This stupa has a diameter of about 88 feet at the base and is surrounded by four frontispieces at the cardinal points. At either side of the front pieces, there are small rectangular shaped Buddha shrines with brick roofs. There is a bubble-shaped dome rising upward from a base of three receding terraces. The original lime plaster on the dome is better preserved and is still visible. Maybe the name of this stupa has also derived due to this well preserved lime plaster.
This stupa is quite simple without any background features. There aren’t any moonstones, guardian stones, customary images of gods and demons or Vatadage around this stupa.