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Timings : 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entry Fee : Free

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Thuparama, Anuradhapura Overview

Thuparamaya, also known as Thuparama, is the first stupa which was constructed in Sri Lanka after the introduction to Buddhism and is in the beautiful city of Anuradhapura. The ancient stupa of Thuparamaya was built during the reign of the King Devamnampiyatissa somewhere in the 3rd Century BCE and is said to enshrine the right collar bone of Gautama Buddha. The ruins of the complex today cover an area of approximately three and a half acres of land.

The shape of the stupa was initially of a paddy rice shape which was later restored to a conventional bell shape in the year 1862. There were several changes to Thuparama, but some of the most significant changes were first in the 7th Century BCE when the stupa had gold and silver castings, further changes also took place in the 10th Century BCE, to the final renovations in 1862 which completely changed the structure of the stupa.

Thuparamaya is an archaeological site by the government of Sri Lanka, and the government offers it special care and protection. The stupa is today one of the most revered sites for the Buddhists in and outside Sri Lanka.

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Entrance fees and timings at Thuparamaya

Timings: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entrance Fees: Free of cost

Approximate amount to time to spend: 30 to 45 minutes

History of Thuparamaya

Thuparamaya was the first stupa in Sri Lanka after the introduction of Buddhism in the country by the King Devamnampiyatissa. History states that King Ashoka had sent his envoy to Sri Lanka who introduced Theravada Buddhism and also Chaitya worship to Sri Lanka. It was on his advice that King decided to construct the stupa in which he enshrined the right collar bone of Gautama Buddha.

The name Thuparamaya comes from "stupa" and "aramaya" which is a residential complex for monks. An ancient inscription states that a tank was near Thuparama, and the ancient harvest from the paddy fields around the reservoir was given to the Bhikkhus (an ordained male monk in Buddhism).

Things To Do at Thuparamaya stupa

The present stupa was renovated and finished in 1862, which has made significant alterations to its original state. Beautiful guard stones at the entrance decorate the building. Some of the pillars showcase the lotus-shaped crown and smooth polished surface which have survived even today after almost two millenniums.

Towards the left of Thuparamaya, you will find the preserved remains of the Image House, which was built by King Devanampiyatissa which was earlier decided to be the first house of the Tooth Relic of Buddha.

On the opposite side of the stupa is a granite doorway and two smaller guard stones, along with that is a smaller stupa which is known as the Padalanchana Stupa.

On the North West side of the stupa, you will find one of the most ancient buildings that are the Basawakkulama tank which was built by King Pandukabhaya in the 4th century BCE.


The busiest day at Thuparamaya is Sunday, so if you wish to avoid the large crowd, visit on any other day. It is also essential that you dress appropriately and cover your legs and shoulders. You may also use a scarf or a sarong for the same purpose. Lastly, do remember to wear socks since you will be asked to take off your footwear. The socks will provide you with adequate protection from the heat.

How To Reach Thuparamaya

Thuparamaya is in Anuradhapura, and you can access the stupa by hiring a private taxi or by tuk-tuk.

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