Dambulla Temple is a cave temple complex in Sri Lanka located in the Matale District in the Central Province of the country. It is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka at an altitude of 1118 ft above sea level, a huge rock rise from the surrounding plains of Dambulla 600 ft high and over 2000 ft in length, providing a panoramic view. does. The surrounding flatlands, including the rock fort Sigiriya, 19 km away. Hundreds swoop in at dusk cave entrance.
It is home to the most admired cave temple complex of grand Buddha statues and richly colored rock paintings, built and painted from about the 2nd century BC and continued till the Kandian era of the 18th century AD. UNESCO labeled this huge cave temple complex as World Heritage in 1991 named Golden Temple of Dambulla. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues along with idols of some gods and goddesses including three statues of the kings of Sri Lanka.
The murals cover an area of 2,100 square metres. The ceilings inside the caves are painted with intricate patterns of religious images following the contours of the rock. There are images of Lord Buddha and Bodhisattvas as well as various deities.
Dambulla Cave Monastery is still functional and is the best preserved ancient haveli in Sri Lanka. The complex dates from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, when it was already established as one of the largest and most important monasteries.
Things to do at Dambulla
- Golden cave temple Dambulla – UNESCO World Heritage
- Ancient rock fortress Sigigiriya – UNESCO World Heritage
- Climb to Pidurangala
- Aukana Buddha Statue
- Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve
- Day excursion to Anuradhapura Sacred city – UNESCO World Heritage
- Day excursion to Polonnaruwa ancient City – UNESCO World Heritage
- Village tour in Habarana with local lunch
- Minneriya & Kaudulla National Park
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Frequently Asked Questions About Dambulla Cave Temple
Q. How long does it take to see Dambulla Caves?
A – Most trips take 1-2 hours. You might think that visiting the 5 cave temples would take a while, but in reality, they are small rock overhangs. If you’re in good shape, you can be blazing up and down a hill in an hour.
Q. Is Dambulla worth seeing?
A – Nestled in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, the humble city of Dambulla is a treasure trove of historical monuments that are definitely worth visiting. Dambulla is also home to the largest rose quartz mountain in South Asia and the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.
Q. How many steps are there in Dambulla Cave?
A – There are 364 steps in Dambulla Cave.
Q. Who built the Dambulla cave temple?
A – When King Valagamba returned to the throne in the Anuradpura kingdom in the 1st century BC, he built a magnificent rock temple at Dambulla in gratitude to the monks at Dambulla.
Q. How old are the Dambulla Caves?
A – The 150-metre-high rock base caves, built during the Anuradhapura (1st century BC to 993 AD) and Polonnaruwa periods (1073 to 1250), are by far the most impressive of the many cave temples found in Sri Lanka.
Q. Why is Dambulla famous?
A – Located in the Matale District of the Central Provinces, Dambulla is famous because it houses the Dambulla Cave Temple – the largest, best-preserved, cave-temple complex in the country. Also known as the Golden Rock Temple, this World Heritage Site consists of a cave monastery and five sanctuaries.
Q. How many days do you need in Dambulla?
A – There is plenty of time to do Dambulla and Sigiriya in one day, but with young children it will be a long and tiring one. For starters you will need to allow over 2 hours each way to drive from Kandy to Dambulla.
Q. How do I get from Colombo to Dambulla?
A – One of the best ways to get to Dambulla is to take a train from Colombo Fort station to Habarana and from there take a cab to Dambulla. The train line (Colombo – Trincomalee) will take around 1 hour 11 minutes to reach Habarana and will cost you anything between LKR 80-270.