Thuparama Dagoba is the smallest and most historically significant dagoba in Anuradhapura. According to an inscription by King Gajaba, the stupa was named “Thubaraba” in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. The Pali translation of “Thubaraba” is “Thuparamaya”.As it was the first monastery with a Thupa, this monastery was later renamed “Thumbarup”.
The right eye relic of the Supreme Buddha is treasured in the Thuparamaya. These relics were brought by Sumana novices. These relics were guarded by the heavenly Shakra Devendra. With the establishment of the Ruwanweli Seya, it received the title of ‘Maha Seya’, but Thuparamaya was the main institution of the Maha Vihara. King Lajjitissa flattened the ground between the Mahasaya and the Thuparamaya and laid stones to make it look like a single courtyard. Unlike the later Mahasaya, Thuparamaya was not systematically built. The original form here was granular. It was also small in size. As a result of the present reform, today it takes the shape of a bell. At present, the diameter of this Dagaba is 59 feet and the height is 63 feet. The circular courtyard of the Dagoba is 164 feet. The Dagaba is located on a platform about 11 feet above the normal ground level. The old courtyard had two gates on the north and south, but today there is only one.
In 67-111 AD, King Vasabha built the Thuparama Vatadage which is considered to be the first Vatadage in Ceylon. It was later rebuilt by King Gotabhaya and has been seen by Ven. Buddhaghosa.The Thuparama Vatadage at that time had a copper roof. It is said that the second Dappula then roofed the Thuparama Vatadage with gold tiles and installed a golden door. Finally, it is said that King Manavamma and King Parakramabahu the Great renovated this shrine. The existing carvings and gatekeeper images are considered to be remnants after the restoration of King Manavamma.