Located in the central province of the country of Sri-Lanka, Dambulla is often visited as an excursion from Sigiriya as it is located at a distance of mere nineteen kilometres and can be easily reached in half an hours time. It is an important part of Cultural Triangle of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy.
What to See
One of the most sacred temples of Sri Lanka is the Dambulla Rock Cave temple. Also, referred as ‘The Golden Rock Temple of Dambulla’, this temple is considered to be the largest and well-maintained cave temple of Sri Lanka.
This cave temple is more than twenty centuries old and is located at more than eleven hundred feet above sea level. This temple was first built by King VattagaminiAbhaya during his reign. As the time passed and new Kings ruled this region, several modifications were made in the temple. There are more than eighty caves dated back to the third century B.C. The most important features are the statues, paintings and murals of Buddha, legendary kings of Sri Lanka, Hindu god and goddesses. Most of them are of Buddha. These statues and paintings are spread over 5 different caves. There are so many illustrations on the wall of the caves. There are world famous Buddha and rock paintings dating back from second century B.C. to eighteenth century. On a political note, it was this temple complex where the monks had began the militant nationalist movement against the British in the year 1848.
Evidence proves that before Buddhism arrived in Sri Lanka, this cave complexes was occupied by the prehistoric local people of this country. Human skeletons of more than two thousand years old were found near these caves.
Best Time to visit
Due to the sightseeing site of Dambulla caves involving a large number of stairs, it is advised to avoid the monsoon months of June to October to visit this destination. Best months to visit Dambulla would ofcourse be during clear sky and November to February would be a good time.