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Dambulla
Country Sri Lanka
State Central - Srilanka
City Dambulla
Type of Location Monument, Caves
About the Location  

Dambulla is located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is situated some148 km to the north-east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. In the year 1991 this city was declared as a heritage site by the UNESCO. Dambulla is known for its diverse landscapes and has nearly 80 caves in and around the place. The major attractions include several paintings and other historical artifacts. Dambulla was originally founded by king Valagamba in the 1sy century BC. Dambulla is a cradle of ancient civilization and serves as a major historical site.

Dambulla is well connected by various modes of transportation. If you travel by bus you will take some four hours to reach your desired location. The state corporation and the local bus syndicates operate busses to Dambulla in Srilanka.

   
How to Reach  

By Air

The national airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines helps you to get to Dambulla. This will bring you to Bandaranaike International Airport. The airport is at Katunayaka and is 35 kilometers away from Colombo. Once you've reached Katunayaka, you can travel to Dambulla by bus or a hired car.

By Boat

Sri Lanka boasts of having three deep-water ports. They are located at Galle, Colombo and Trincomalee. Kankesanturai is another harbor in Sri Lanka. Once you reach any of these locations, you can travel to Dambulla either by bus service or a hired car.

By Road

You wouldn't find traveling to Dambulla cumbersome. If traveling by bus from Colombo, the journey would last for 4 hours. You can also use the bus service which operates from Central Bus Stand. This is in close proximity to the train station. Hiring cars is another option.

   
Key places to visit  
Cave Complex, Second Cave, Rose Quartz Mountai, Iron Wood Forest
Places to Visit  

Cave Complex

It is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka which has highlighted Dambulla on the world tourist map. Besides the unbelievable craftsmanship, the temple has so much serenity, calmness and peace. The rock of the cave complex towers 160m over the surrounding plains. The complex holds more than 80 documented caves. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, containing paintings and statues related to Lord Buddha and his life. The cave complex has 153 statues of Buddha, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of deities. The largest cave is about 52m from east to west, 23m from its entrance to back and 7m tall at the highest point. It is believed that before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes as there are burial sites with human skeletons old in this area about 2700 years.  The cave temples are stunning examples of Buddhist art. The caves are virtually a chronological history of ancient Sri Lankan art, beginning with the first cave (1st or 2nd century BC) to successive caves (the 15th or 16th century). The paintings and statuary are among the most beautiful in the world of this type. The Dambulla cave monastery is still functional and remains the best-preserved ancient edifice in Sri Lanka.

Second Cave

Second and the largest cave, called Maharaja Lena or 'Cave of the Great Kings', houses largest statues of King Vattagamani and King Nissanka Mala. Among dozens of sitting, standing and lying Buddha’s and Bodhisattvas there are also some Hindu gods, of whom Vishnu can always be identified by his blue color. These are the finest Buddhist murals in Sri Lanka. Walls of the rock are painted with the glorious historical events of Sri Lanka. The statue of the Buddha hewn out of the rock on the left side of the room is flanked by wooden figures of the Bodhisattvas, Maitreya to the left &  Avalokiteshvara or Natha to the right. A mini dagoba is also there.

Rose Quartz Mountai

The Rose Quartz Mountain is a mountain range, believed to be approximately 500 million years old. White rose and violet color quartz deposits can be seen here. A trek to this highest Mountain Range in South Asia offers the satisfaction of a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside for miles around. Although the mountain is made of rose quartz it is not easy to recognize it as such.

Iron Wood Forest

The Iron Wood Forest was said to be a sanctuary for humans, supposed to be created by the10th Century AD ruler, King Dappula. Also known as the Jathika Namal Uyana, the Ironwood Forest offers a fascinating trek through a deep jungle comprising of the Sri Lankan national tree, the Naa. The forest is of significant ecological importance and is the focus of studies by ecologists and students of nature.

   
Right Time to Visit  

November - February

Temperature  

March - May -> 31(°C) - Summer
December - February -> 23(°C) - Spring

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