Thuparamaya is considered the oldest Stupa and was built after the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Arahath Mahinda Thero. This was built in the era of king Devanampiyatissa during 250BC – 210BC as a monastery complex enshrining the sacred collar bone of the Lord Buddha.
The name Thuparamaya comes from "stupa" and "aramaya" which stands for a residential complex for monks.
The Stupa follows a special architectural feature called vatadage (stupa house), and it is believed that the stupa was covered with gold and silver casings and stupa house was built with golden bricks and golden doors, which caused plunder by the Pandyans number of times. The building is embellished by a pair of beautiful guard stones at the entrance. The original shape of the stupa was ‘paddy heap’ but after a number of reconstructions due to damage caused by time to time, it now stands as a ‘bell shaped’ stupa.
The columns found around the stupa were a part of the walkway that supported by a dome-shaped roof which covered the sacred edifice. There have been 176 pillars which supported this stupa house and in 1896, some of the pillars still hold the lotus shaped crown and smooth polished surface which has survived over 2 millennia.