In a beautiful woodland setting north of the Ruvanelisaya Dageba, the Thuparama Dageba is the oldest dageba in Anuradhapura, if not Sri Lanka. It was constructed by Devanampiya tissa and is said to contain the right collarbone of the Buddha. Originally in the classical ‘heap of paddy rice’ shape, it was restored in 1840 in a more conventional bell shape. The dageba stands only 19m high and at some point in its life was converted into vatadage. The circles of pillars of diminishing height around the dageba would have supported the conical roof.
Thuparamaya is an image house built in the 3rd Century BC for the worship of Lord Buddha. It is built in a style of the original form of architecture that flowered at Polonnaruwa. The barrel-vaulted and domed buildings had very thick brick walls, stuccoed and painted with figures and architectural subjects. The roof is still intact and several images in the interior are preserved.