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Dambulla and the Golden Rock Temple, Sri Lanka

The city of Dambulla is situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, situated 148 km north-east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. Dambulla is famous for the largest and best preserved cave temple complex of Sri Lanka. It is also home to the Rangiri Dambulla International (Cricket) Stadium, and the nearby area contains the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia, and the Iron wood forest, or Namal Uyana.

Dambulla cave temple is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. This paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of god and goddess. The latter 4 include two statues of Hindu gods, Vishnu and Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 mē. Depictions in the walls of the caves include Buddha's temptation by demon Mara and Buddha's first sermon.

Buddhist Museum at Dambulla's Golden Rock Temple  Misty Sunrise on Amaya Lake,  Dambulla Sri Lanka by Sam's Exotic Travel Photos  Bell Tower, Dambulla's Golden Rock Temple

Time line of the Caves:

  •  7th to 3rd century BC:    Early inhabitants
  •  1st century BC:               Paintings and statues
  •  5th century AD:               The stupa was built
  •  12th century AD:             Addition of the statues of Hindu gods
  •  18th century AD:             Most of what we see today
  •  19th century AD:            An additional cave and some repainting
  •  20th century AD:            UNESCO restoration and lighting.


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Please note that all photographs and text appearing on this site are the exclusive intellectual property of Sam Stearman. No images are within the Public Domain, and no image use is permitted without the written prior authorization of the copyright owner.  If you see any pictures you would like to buy, all the thousands of pictures on this site are available in high resolution digital format, suitable for framing, use in magazines or advertising.  Email me if you would like to know more.