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The brick shrine with vaulted roof, as seen at Thuparama, Lankatilaka and Tivanka Pilimage, is also considered unique to Sri Lanka.
The Thuparama is almost intact today and gives an idea of the manner in which the vaulted roof was created.
Some such slabs measured 15 feet (5 m) by 13 feet (4 m).
The sides have been cut with precision where the joints between the slab and the stone moulding of the platforms are hardly perceptible.
The architecture of ancient Sri Lanka displays a rich diversity, varying in form and architectural style from the Anuradhapura Kingdom (377 BC–1017) through the Kingdom of Kandy (1469–1815).
Sri Lankan (Sinhalese architecture also displays many ancient North Indian as well as East Asian influences).
The four vahalkadas face the cardinal points, ornamented with figures of animals, flowers, swans and dwarfs.
Polonnaruwa, Medirigiriya and Tiriyaya vatadages still have their circles of slender, graceful pillars.The text shows much originality and there is nothing similar in the existing Indian treatises, which deal only with Hindu temples.The earliest evidence of rudimentary cave temples are found in Mihintale, a unique feature in these caves was the use of a drip ledge carved along the top edge of the rock ceiling which stopped rain water running into the cave.The vatadage roof was of a sophisticated design unique to ancient Sri Lanka, it is a three-tiered conical roof, spanning a height of 12–15 m, without a centre post, and supported by pillars of diminishing height.The weight was taken by a ring beam supported on the inner row of stone columns, the radiating rafters met in a cartwheel-like design.