Welcome to Dambulla
Dambulla is a part of the Cultural Triangle declared by UNESCO is on the main road from Sigiriya to Kandy about 19Km from Sigiriya. There are over 80 caves in the surrounding and some of them have been used by the monks as meditation locations. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain the statues and the paintings. Since it’s founding in the 1 century BC by King Valagamba, many improvements and additions have been carried out to the sculptures and paintings over the years. Hindu statues are believed to be of the 12 century AD and the latest paintings are of the late 18-century. The temple is a perfect location to view evolution of the ancient Sri Lankan arts. Dambulla is a unique and important historical site because of the amalgamation of the material from many eras.
Close to Dambulla deep inside the jungle is perhaps the oldest garden in Sri Lanka is the Iron Wood Forest and the largest Rose Quartz Mountain Range in South Asia. The site had been declared as a human sanctuary by King Dappula in 10 century AD as shown in an inscription at the entrance to Namal Uyana. Trees believed to have been planted by those who sought sanctuary here and subsequently turned in to a vast plantation of Iron wood forest.
Apart from the biodiversity of the site as it contains many other plants, it is also geologically important because of the Rose Quartz mountain range in the garden, which is believed to be over 500 million years old. White, rose and violet colour quartz deposits can be seen here.
Dambulla is a big town, located in the Matale District, Central Province of Sri Lanka, located 148 km north-east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy, the Golden Rock Temple a few Kilometers south of the market town of Dambulla, is its most famous and spectacular and the temple is in a cave under a range of granite hillocks which rise 160 meters above the surrounding plains.
Major attractions of the area contain the largest and best conserved Cave Temple Complex of Sri Lanka, and the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.
Statues and paintings in these caves date back to the 1st century BC. But the paintings and statues were repaired and repainted in 11th, 12th, and 18th century AD. The caves in the city provided refuge to King Valagamba in his 14 yearlong exile from the Anuradhapura kingdom.
Dambulla Rock Temple
The temples, which give this place celebrity, are parts of a vast cavern in the west side of the rock, at the height of about three hundred and fifty feet above the plain. Whet het the cavern in which these temples are formed, is altogether natural, or only partly natural, or only partly natural and partly artificial, it is now not easy to determine. The probability is, that it is principally natural, and that man has had very little to do in excavating it. The tradition has it that some of the caves were excavated by king Vattagamani Abhaya in the first century B. C. It can be surmised that this king and his successors, in benefaction to this place had to enlarge and smoothen the caves, and cut the drip-ledge (katarama) along the rock to protect the caves from rain water