Dambulla Cave

Dambulla Cave

The Golden Temple of Dambulla is a World Heritage site and for good reason, the cave temple is naturally formed but enlarged by king Vattagamani Abhaya in the first century B.C. He lived there for 12 years as he fought to get back his kingdom from invading armies. When he regained his throne he dedicated the caves as a religious site.

 

Successive kings embellished the caves and added to the temple with paintings and and Buddha statues. The frescoes represent Buddha or various personages of the Buddhist Order. The frescoes cannot be dated to an exact date because of overpainting but because of the over painting, frescoes ranging over centuries have been preserved.

 

The rock is stunning in itself as it raises more than 100 meters from the plains of the surrounding countryside. To access it there are 800 steps but it is fully worth the climb as the art is striking and the vista of the area is stunning.