Anuradhapura Thuparamaya Chapter House (අනුරාධපුර ථුපාරාම උපෝසථාගාරය)

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Thuparamaya  is the first stupa to be built in the country after the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Built during the time of king Devamnampiyatissa (250BC – 210BC) this was a stupa as well as an Aramic complex (monastery). “As Contemporary with Asoka ” (says Mr. Fergusson, in his History of Indian and Eastern Architecture ), “it belongs to the most interesting period of Buddhist history, and is older, or, at least, as old as anything now existing on the continent of India” (Smither and Wikramagamage, 1993).

The Chapter House of Thuparama is located to the South of the stupa. It is smaller in dimension than the Chapter House of the Mahavihara. However a feature common to both these buildings is the erection of pillars. This building is believed to have been built by king Bhathika Tissa (140-164 CE) (Mendis, 1999).

At the entrance there are two beautiful guardstones, balustrades and a moonstone. The moonstone does not depict an advanced state of development. However, the guardstones and the balustrades display highly developed state.

To the South of this Chapter House is a guard stone accommodating the figure of a Yaksa. There is also a figure of an animal on one side. This has been an example of combining figures of animals representing the directions and figures in Yaksa guard stones.


  1. Wikramagamage, C., (2004). Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.61.
  2. Mendis, R.C. (1999) The story of anuradhapura: Capital City of Sri Lanka from 377 BC – 1017 AD. Kotte: Lakshmi Mendis.

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Map of Anuradhapura Thuparamaya Chapter House

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Driving Directions to Anuradhapura Thuparamaya Chapter House

Anuradhapura can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttalam (Puttalama) and through Kurunegala. Travelling from Puttalam, you will pass the scenic Wilpattu area. From Kurunegala, there are two main routes to Anuradhapura. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is through Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the most commonly used is the Kurunegala-Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute 02 from Colombo to Anuradhapura
Through : Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam
Distance from Colombo : 210 km
Travel time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo : 223 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute from Kandy to Anuradhapura
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Narammala – Wariyapola – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
Distance from Colombo :203 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katugastota – Matale – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo :136 km
Travel Time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Route from Anuradhapura Railway Station to Thuparamaya Chapter House
Distance : 3 kilometers
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map


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