The Sacred Jewel of Anuradhapura


Thuparamaya is Situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, It stands as a testament to the island nation’s rich cultural and religious heritage. With its grandeur and historical significance, this magnificent stupa holds a special place among the Buddhist faithful and history enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will delve into the captivating story behind Thuparamaya, exploring its architectural splendor, religious significance, and the enduring legacy it carries in Sri Lanka.

Historical Marvel

Thuparamaya, built in the 3rd century BC during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa, is believed to be the first-ever stupa constructed in Sri Lanka. It marks a crucial milestone in the establishment and growth of Buddhism on the island. The stupa was erected to enshrine the sacred right collarbone of Lord Buddha, making it an object of profound veneration for Buddhists worldwide. Thuparamaya’s historical significance lies not only in its religious importance but also in its architectural brilliance, showcasing the early influence of Indian Buddhist architecture.

Architectural Splendor

Thuparamaya’s architectural design exemplifies the early stupa style prevalent in ancient Sri Lanka. The circular stupa structure, adorned with rows of carved stone elephants, forms an impressive sight against the Anuradhapura skyline. The stupa stands at a height of 59 feet, with a circumference of 164 feet. The construction predominantly utilizes bricks, while its pinnacle is adorned with a ceremonial umbrella and a gem-studded finial, adding a touch of magnificence. The intricate carvings, stone railings, and decorative motifs reflect the skilled craftsmanship of the era and provide valuable insights into the artistic prowess of ancient Sri Lankan artisans.

Religious Significance

Thuparamaya holds immense religious significance for Buddhists, as it houses the sacred right collarbone relic of Lord Buddha. The stupa serves as a place of pilgrimage and meditation, attracting devotees from all corners of the world. The serene ambience, coupled with the sense of spiritual tranquility, makes Thuparamaya a revered sanctuary. Monks can often be seen performing religious rituals and conducting prayer sessions, deepening the spiritual connection within the stupa’s precincts. It serves as a constant reminder of the profound influence of Buddhism in Sri Lankan culture and the enduring legacy of Lord Buddha’s teachings.

Enduring Legacy

Thuparamaya’s enduring legacy stretches beyond its religious significance. It symbolizes the cultural and historical richness of Anuradhapura, reflecting the ancient civilization’s architectural prowess and its embrace of Buddhism. The stupa, with its meticulous preservation and restoration efforts, allows visitors to immerse themselves in the grandeur of Sri Lanka’s past. Thuparamaya also serves as a prominent archaeological site, attracting scholars and history enthusiasts keen on unraveling the mysteries of ancient Sri Lankan civilization. Its significance has been recognized by UNESCO, as Anuradhapura has been designated a World Heritage Site.


Thuparamaya, with its captivating history, architectural brilliance, and religious sanctity, stands as an enduring symbol of Sri Lanka’s cultural and religious heritage. The stupa’s prominence as the first-ever stupa built in Sri Lanka and its enshrinement of Lord Buddha’s sacred relic make it a revered site for Buddhists worldwide. A visit to Thuparamaya is a journey back in time, offering a glimpse into the glorious past of Anuradhapura and the profound influence of Buddhism on the island’s identity.

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Useful Tips

  • Thuparamaya is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

  • here is no entrance fee to enter Thuparamaya, but visitors can make a donation to support the maintenance of the temple and its surroundings.
  • isitors are required to dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering the temple. Women should cover their shoulders and knees, and men should wear long trousers or sarongs.
  • Photography is allowed inside the temple, but visitors should ask for permission before taking pictures of the monks or any religious ceremonies.
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