Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, Dambulla

#9 of 24 in Things to do in Dambulla
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated east of Colombo and north of Kandy.
Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include Vishnu and the Ganesha. The murals cover an area of. Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha's first sermon.
Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2700 years old in this area, at Ibbankatuwa near the Dambulla cave complexes.
This temple complex dates back to the first century BCE. It has five caves under a vast overhanging rock, carved with a drip line to keep the interiors dry. In 1938 the architecture was embellished with arched colonnades and gabled entrances. Inside the caves, the ceilings are painted with intricate patterns of religious images following the contours of the rock. There are images of the Lord Buddha and bodhisattvas, as well as various gods and goddesses.
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34 reviews
  • Very beautiful place. There is a beautiful ancient Buddhist temple top of the Mountain. I’ve seen lot of Buddhist statues builded by ancient Sri lankans. there are lot of monkeys around here. Very...  more »
  • If u drive from Colombo it take 3 hrs 45 min to reach dambulla town.it s in 5 minutes away from Dambulla city , u hv to come through Colombo Trincomalee road . Best time to visit s early morning...  more »
  • beautiful place. amazing art and carvings. wear socks to avoid burning feet as shoes are not allowed. must visit. there are 2 ways to go up, one from the ticket counter which has a longer and harder walk and another from the front entrance where the huge golden Buddha is that is a bit shorter climb. highly recommend
  • Beautiful, peaceful, historic place. BUY YOUR TICKET AT THE BOTTOM! You cannot buy your ticket at the top/entrance to the caves. Even if 3 official-looking people assure you otherwise.

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