Dambulla Cave Temple
If you're considering a vacation to Sri Lanka, you won't want to miss the Dambulla Cave Temple. This ancient Buddhist shrine is situated in the country's centre and has been a focus of pilgrimage for more than 2,000 years. Dambulla Cave Temple is located at an altitude of 1118 feet from sea level rises an extensive rock from the fields of Dambulla of 600 feet high and over 2000 feet in length. It is the place of the Worlds most acclaimed Cave complex of majestic Buddha Images and Rock Paintings of bright colours and shapes constructed and painted in the Anuradhapura era (2nd Century BC )and stayed up until the Kandyan era of the 18th Century. Sinhalese people describe it as ' Dambulu Gala' ( Dambulla Rock), and the Temple is called the ' Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya' (Golden Rock Dambulla Temple).
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History of the Dambulla Cave Temple
The Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 1st century BC. According to legend, King Valagamba sought refuge in the caves during exile. Later, he built the temple complex as a gesture of gratitude to the monks who had sheltered him. Over the centuries, the temple has been expanded and improved upon by various kings and rulers.
Architecture and Layout of the Temple Complex
The Dambulla Cave Temple is composed of five separate caves that are interconnected. Each shelter contains several Buddha statues, paintings, and other religious iconography. The most impressive of these is the Great New Temple, which features a 15-meter-long reclining Buddha statue. In addition, the walls and ceilings of the caves are adorned with colourful frescoes that depict scenes from the life of the Buddha.
In addition to the caves, the temple complex includes several other buildings and structures. These include a museum, a gift shop, and a restaurant. The temple is situated on a hilltop, which provides visitors with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
What to Expect When You Visit
Visiting the Dambulla Cave Temple is a unique and awe-inspiring experience. As with any religious site, it's essential to dress modestly and respect the customs and traditions of the local people. Visitors must remove their shoes before entering the caves, so it's a good idea to wear shoes that are easy to take on and off.
The temple complex is open to visitors from early in the morning until late in the evening. It's recommended to arrive early in the day to avoid the crowds, especially during peak tourist season. The admission fee is very reasonable and includes access to all of the caves and buildings within the complex.
Getting to the Dambulla Cave Temple
The Dambulla Cave Temple is located in central Sri Lanka, approximately 148 kilometres from the capital city of Colombo. The easiest way to get there is by private car or taxi, although it's also possible to take public transportation. Buses and trains run regularly from Colombo and other major cities to Dambulla, just a short distance from the temple.
1 Is it safe to visit the Dambulla Cave Temple?
Yes, the temple is a safe and secure destination for tourists. However, as with any foreign country, taking the usual precautions and being aware of your surroundings is essential.
2 Can I take photographs inside the caves?
No, photography is not allowed inside the temple complex.
3 How long should I plan to spend at the temple?
Most visitors spend 3-4 hours at the temple, depending on how much time they want to spend exploring each cave and admiring the artwork.
4 Is there an entrance fee to the temple?
Yes, there is an entrance fee to the temple. However, the fee is very reasonable and includes access to all of the caves and buildings within the complex.
5 What should I wear when visiting the temple?
Visitors should dress modestly when visiting the temple, covering their shoulders and knees. It's also important to wear shoes that are easy to take on and off, as visitors must remove them before entering the caves.