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Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Cave Temple, with its five natural caverns, was a Buddhist monastery founded in the first century BC. The temple thereafter underwent various renovation and refurbishment programs with royal patronage until taking on its current interior features in the 18th century. It is the country’s largest and best-preserved cave temple complex.

The walls of all five caves are decorated with life tales of Buddha, and there are 157 statues of Buddha, monks, gods, and kings in all. The mural paintings occupy a total area of 2100 square meters. The cave temple represents the highest level of Sinhalese art and architecture.

These five caverns are located on a large rock 172 meters above sea level.

Additional information

Nearby Attractions

  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Pidurangala Historical Temple

Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Lion Rock, is a unique harmony between nature and human imagination. It’s a masterpiece of the ancient urban landscape with pools, architectural technology, exceptional hydraulic engineering and management, exquisite frescoes, graffiti, lion paws, a royal palace, moats, and ramparts of the fortification. This well-preserved ancient rock fortress is probably the most visited UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka.

Pidurangala is an ancient Buddhist monastery built on a natural rock that is situated close to Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Distance: 20 Km

  • Minneriya National Park

Because of its elephant population, Minneriya National Park is the second most visited national park in Sri Lanka. From May through September, Asia’s largest elephant gathering takes place in their natural habitat. Ideal to visit in May to September.

Distance: 33.5 Km

  • Namal Uyana Rose Quartz Mountain

Namal Uyana is a Buddhist Forest Monastery that was founded in the third century BC. The ruins of the ancient monastery can still be seen here.

The Rose Quartz Mountain is Asia’s largest Rose Quartz Mountain, surrounded by Ironwood (Mesua ferrea) forest. The seven-ridged mountain range rises from 180 to 300 meters above sea level. These rose quartz formations are around 550 million years old, and the region is Sri Lanka’s greatest plant fossil deposit.

The Ironwood Forest, which is several hundred years old, spans over 1000 hectares of land. The forest’s rather ordered structure shows that it was human cultivation.

Distance: 19 Km

  • Nalanda Gedige

The shrine, which was built roughly 1100 years ago, is an extraordinary combination of Hindu and Buddhist architecture.

Nalanda Gedige was abandoned and forgotten until it was discovered in 1893. Later in the 1980s, the shrine was threatened by flooding as a result of the construction of the Bowatenne Tank. As a result, the shrine was moved to the retaining wall of the tank, well above the water. Surprisingly, the shrine’s original location was right in the center of Sri Lanka.

Distance: 24 Km

  • Aukana Buddha Statue

The highest ancient Buddha statue in Sri Lanka is the 11.36m Aukana Buddha Statue. It rises tall amid all of Sri Lanka’s major masterpieces, both physically and metaphorically.

The statue’s tranquil look, clearly emphasizing the contour of the torso, and the delicately sculpted robe with crisp folds add a delicateness that could barely be fashioned out of a granite boulder. The artist of this magnificently matched work of art is still unknown.

Another distinguishing aspect is that the statue stands alone, with only a short strip of rock from the boulder that supports it.

Distance: 40 km

  • Ritigala Buddhist Monastery

Ritigala mountain range is a one-of-a-kind archaeological and ecological reserve. It contains a distinctive ecology rich in medicinal plants and rare fauna species.

The location with the 70 rock caves used to be a Buddhist monastic complex for hermit monks. The ruins cover an area of around 120 acres.

Distance: 39 Km

The most popular nearby attraction: Sigiriya Rock Fortress Rock Fortress (29 Km)






within 10 Km

Star Classified hotels- Yes

International Chain Hotels- No

Boutique Hotels- Yes

Resorts- Yes

Ayurvedic Hotels- Yes

Inns/Guest Houses- Yes

Hostels- Yes

Homestays- Yes

Eco Hotels- Yes

* You might still find preferred accommodation in nearby cities


Distance from

CMB Airport- 129km (travel time: 2hrs 50min)

Colombo City- 161km (travel time: 3hrs 30min)

Sigiriya Rock Fortress- 29km (travel time: 30min)

Anuradhapura Ancient City- 70km (travel time: 1hrs 30min)

Polonnaruwa Ancient City- 69km (travel time: 1hrs 30min)

Kandy City- 72km (travel time: 2hrs)

Galle Dutch Fort- 257km (travel time: 4hrs 40min)

* The time and distance are only given to give you an idea. There are stopovers between the two locations. The cities listed above are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.

Best time

Year round

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