Dambulla Cave Temple, Habarana

#2 of 29 in Things to do in Habarana
Religious Site · Landmark
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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  • I really enjoyed seeing the Dambulla Cave temple while touring Sri Lanka. It is a very hot and steep walk up in the sun, make sure to take water and some socks as once you reach the top you will have....  more »
  • From the car park, there is a 10-minute walk upstairs, it is steep but mostly in the shade. The caves are next to each other and the total time you need for this place is about 1 hour. The cave...  more »
  • If your traveling through Sri Lanka, visiting the cave temples should be on your list of things to see! The Golden Temple is located in the center of the country, an easy day trip from Kandy. It's the largest and best-preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka and has beautiful carvings and fresco of the Lord Buddha all around. It's an easy walk to the top and once inside you will find yourself amazed by the history and beauty.
  • Oh my goodness this is a definite must to see whilst in Sri Lanka. It was a bit of a shock once we got there that we had to climb up about 600 steps to get to the caves but it was certainly worth it as the temples had been carved out of the rock. Once at the top the views are stunning and if you like Buddha's there are plenty to entertain you inside the caves.

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