DAMBULLA (SRI LANKA) – TEMPLES INSIDE CAVES
Dambulla is not like usual mount because it has caves with temples inside. Dambulla Cave Temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is one of the UNESCO World Heritage site in Sri Lanka. The site is located 148 km east of Colombo. This place is the biggest and the best-preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka. There are more than 80 caves in the surrounding area. Sri Lankan prehistoric man lived in this cave complex before arrival of Buddhism.
To reach Dambulla Cave visitors must climb hundreds of stairs up to the top of the mount. Arriving at the top, all visitors must remove footwear to enter the sacred area. Prepare your feet when you go to this place during the day because the stone floor are pretty hot.
There are 80 caves in this region but only 5 are opened to become a tourist attraction. There is a statue of Buddha in each cave. Overall there are 153 statues and mural paintings covering the ceiling and walls of this cave. King Valagambahu transform this cave into a temple in the 3rd century BC.
The first cave is Devaraja which means god king. The room is quite narrow, but there is a 14 meters statue of sleeping Buddha.
The second cave is the largest one, Cave of the Great Kings. Inside the cave there are 16 statues of standing Buddha and 40 sitting Buddha statues. In this cave, there also another sleeping Buddha statue. Interestingly, in the ceiling of the cave there are paintings depict the lives of Buddha and there is also a sacred spring inside the cave.
In the third cave there is alut Maha Vihara. In this cave there is also a mural paintings, 50 statues of Buddha and the statue of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha of the kingdom of Kandy (1747-1782). Two remaining caves relatively small, only about the size of a 5×5 in meters.
Read Also : Bagan (Myanmar) – City of Thousand Temples
View Larger: Map to Dambulla Cave
Pictures of Dambulla Cave
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