Guide to Dambulla Cave Temple


Guide to Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla cave temple is located near the city of Dambulla, on a granite rock which rises abruptly from the ground. The climbing of the granite rock is starting from the eastern side of the rock. The first few meters of the climbing goes through the slightly slippery stone surface and several steps in between. At the end of the initial climbing, there is a platform, where one can have a nice view over the beautiful surrounding. There are numbers of street vendors here, who are selling souvenirs, artifact, post cards, T-shirts, shirts, flowers and fruits for visitors.

The rest of the climbing to the temple is much easier than the first part due to the well formed steps. The steps are broad and wide even though they may be bit high. There are about 250 steps in the second part of climbing and takes about twenty minutes to reach the end of the steps. The entrance of the temple is located after the second part of the climbing and one can have a magnificent view over the surrounding vegetation from the main door. There are number of rice field and tanks around the Dambulla rock. Dambulla is located in the dry zone of Sri Lanka and the area is grown with dry zone ever green vegetation. Beautiful isolated hills also can be seen from the summit of the rock. One can see the Sigiriya rock from the distance, if the weather is clear. One reaches the inscription of King Nissankamalla from Polonnaruwa at about half way up on the climbing after the platform.

Second part of the climbing end in another huge platform and entrance to the Dambulla cave temple follows.  The magnitude size doors of the temple stay opened during the visiting hours. Just after entering the temple premises, one can see the Bo tree and the caves are located in the left side.


First cave is known as Devaraja-lena and housed the biggest reclining Buddha statues of the temple and which is 14 meters long. Reclining Buddha statue is hewn to the granite rock. There are several more statues in the first cave such as Vishu Staue figure, statue of Ananada thera etc.


Being the biggest cave in the premises it houses 66 Buddha statues in various forms. Maharaja-lena considered being the most beautiful cave in this world heritage site. Buddha statues in the second cave are belongs to the different periods and different rulers. Most of the statue had been adorned with gold during the 12th century.  Other than the Buddha statues one can find several god-figures in the second cave along with beautiful paintings covering large part of the cave ceiling.


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