Dambulla cave temple

The Golden Temple of Dambulla is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the central part of the country. Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The stunning rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Climb up the gentle slope of the Dambulla Rock, offering a panoramic view of the surrounding flat lands up until the Sigirya fortress 19km away. Under an impressive overhanging rock you find five big caves, which host a beautiful temple complex dating back to the first century BC. 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. The largest cave measures about 52m from east to west, and 23m from the entrance to the back and is 7m tall at its highest point. Hindu deities are also represented here, as are the kings Valagamba and Nissankamalla, and Ananda – the Buddha’s most devoted disciple.

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