dambulla rock temple sri lanka
By McKay Savage from London, UK (Sri Lanka – 055 – Dambulla Buddha caves) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
For those visiting the island nation of Sri Lanka, there is much to see and do. From exploring the jungles teeming with wildlife to embarking on a river cruise in Sri Lanka with Yathra by Jetwing and visiting the many historical and religious sites; you will be spoilt for choice. In regard to the latter, there is much to delight you as the country has a rich history spanning as far back as 2500 years. One of the remnants of this glorious past is the ancient Dambulla Cave Temple complex.

Also known as the Golden Dambulla Temple, it was once used as a sanctuary by the great King Valagamba who hid here while preparing a war to siege his country back from foreign invaders. After gaining victory from the war, the king converted the caves into a Buddhist temple complex to show his gratitude. Today these caves and the temple they contain within its rock walls, have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thousands of locals and foreign tourists visit it annually to witness all its many wonder.

Considered to be the best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, the Dambulla Cave Temple features a rock that towers 160 meters over the surrounding plains. Inside this rock are more than 80 documented caves, however only five of these such as the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great Kings and Great New Monastery; contain the major attractions. Inside these caves is an impressive collection of murals and statues of the Gautama Buddha, gods and goddesses as well as kings and queens. The most notable of these is a 15 meters long statue of the Buddha.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.