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  • Teissa Oxford

Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Visit Dambulla Cave Temple. The cave closes from 10:30 AM – 10:45 AM for religious activities. You will need walking shoes as there is steep climb to reach the cave temples. Please wear light colored clothing (preferably white attire) and make sure your knees and shoulders are covered, a sign of respect. You will be asked to leave your shoes at the entrance before entering the temple. In total, the hike will take approximately 2 hours.

Dambulla is a vast isolated rock mass 500 feet high and a mile around the base. Here you will find the famous Rock Temple dating to the First Century B.C. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura. When he regained the throne he built the most magnificent of Rock Temples to be found in the Island.

In the first Cave is a recumbent image of the Buddha 47ft long cut out of the Rock. There are images of deities associated with Buddhism all around. The frescoes on the walls and the ceiling are the oldest here but they are over painted in the Kandy period.

In the Second Cave, the finest and the largest of all, there are 150 life-size statues of the Buddha in various postures with few statues of Gods and Kings. The ceiling is also covered with frescoes, which depict great events in the life of the Buddha and landmarks in the history of the Sinhalese people.

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