Thuparamaya Dagoba in Anuradhapura

Thuparamaya Dagoba in Anuradhapura is the first Buddhist strucutre in Anuradhapura. It is located a short distance from the Lankarama Stupa. Compared with the other dagobas in Anuradhapura, it is considered as little. But it is exceptionally sacred to Buddhists, as they trust it enshrines the collarbone of the Buddha. In a beautiful woodland setting north of the Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba, the Thuparama Dagoba is the oldest dagoba in Sri Lanka –indeed, probably the oldest visible dagoba in the world .It was constructed by Devanampiya Tissa in the 3rd century BC and is said to contain the right collarbone of the Buddha. Its ‘heap-of-paddy-rice’ shape was restored in 1862 to a more conventional bell shape and to a height of 19m.

The surrounding vatadage’s slender, capital-topped pillars, perhaps the dagoba’s most unique feature, enclose the structure
in four concentric circles. Impressions on the dagoba pediments indicate the pillars originally numbered 176, of which 41 still stand. Although some Sri Lankan scholars believe these once supported a conical wooden roof, there is no archaeological evidence for this theory, nor does it follow any known antecedent in South India, whose dagobas were the prototypes for virtually all Sinhalese dagobas.

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