Sri Lanka's history with Buddhism began in the 3rd century BCE. In the 3rd century Bindusara Maurya, who traveled as an ambassador to Sri Lanka, introduced Buddhism to the country's King at the time. The King was so interested in Buddhism that after his first few meetings with Bindusara, he helped make Buddhism a major part in the Sri Lankan history.
The city of Anuradhapura is the capital of Sri Lanka and it is one of it's most holy places. The region is considered holy due to the presence of the Thuparama stupa, the first stupa ever built in Sri Lanka. This stupa was built in 244 BCE. to house the collar-bone of the Buddha. The stupas construction marks the begining of Buddhis, in Sri Lanka and is thus a center for Buddhist pilgrimages.
The majority of the stupas in Sri Lanka are built in the traditional method of sun-baked earth bricks. Stupas were constructed in the shape of a bell or water droplet. The stupa also has a spire at the peak of the dome. This spire is the holding point of the relic that resides in the stupa.