Check Dambulla on the Sri Lanka map

Dambulla cave temple It is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding. 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 srilankan 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 m². Depictions in the walls of the caves include Buddha's temptation by demon Mara and Buddha's first sermon.
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...

Recommended review time for sightseeing: 1 h

Sightseeings nearby
Tourist reviews about Dambulla

Dhananjay... [TA], , Mumbai (Bombay), India

We were on our honeymoon to Sri Lanka. I was really very skeptical about visiting temples on our honeymoon. But as we had too much time to kill, we visited this temple which was very close to our Hotel Kandalama.

The temple is serene. I loved the entire premise. The huge Buddha statue, museum, and temple all the way uphill.

It will be good if you can pack small sack with you. Sit down during your climb/walk, njoy the breeze, beautiful view and have couple of bites. And then continue your journey uphill at the temple.

Once you actually enter in the temple, the peace calm, ad tranquility you witness is truly divine.

I actually sat down inside the temple, and absorbed all spiritual offerings. :)

In short, it a great place to visit for couple of hours.

Golden statues
Daniela C [TA], , Malta, Europe

There are some steep steps to climb before you arrive on top. Had several small breaks. Important to take water with you. However its worth it going on top and inside the cave. There are a lot of golden statues inside the temple. You have to remove shoes before entering the caves. You can also see a good view from up there.

For the hard core Buddhists
Allirat [TA], , Copenhagen

If you like statues of Buddha you will love this place. Hundreds of them in all different sizes and colours, Some standing, some sitting also reclining and meditating as well as blessing and teaching. It's a bit of a climb to the top of a hill where the caves are but not too bad. well worth it. remember to buy your ticket before you atart the climb. Very tranquil place with lots of good views of the surrounding countryside, lots of birds and of course monkies. On the way up you will pass the golden statue of Buddha which is giant. I really enjoyed the place but i think it's for those who are into buddhism or buddhist artwork.

Beautiful scenery, peaceful mountaintop temple
SteveKedd... [TA], , London, Canada

Ignore the guides (aka con artists) at the entrance to this temple. You definitely don't need them. Cover your knees and shoulders and there will be no problems (capris are fine, even for girls). You'll have to buy tickets at the office across from the mountain's base entrance. Don't forget because it would be really unfortunate to reach the top of the mountain without one. It's a beautiful climb, most of which is a staircase, with about ten thousand peddlers harassing you along the way, trying to sell you ugly magnets and other overpriced trinkets. Don't buy anything from them, either. Things are cheaper and in greater variety in legitimate gift shops. At the top of the mountain before entering the temple, shoes must be removed. We put ours in our backpack to avoid being extorted for money by the shoe-check people. Inside, it is a quiet, beautiful place and you are allowed to take pictures of everything - just not of people with their backs to a statue. Oh, yes, and monkeys everywhere. At one point, I was climbing stairs alongside them, as if they were fellow tourists. Interesting experience.

A must see in Sri Lanka
mark13590... [TA], , Suva, Fiji

There is a climb as always in Sri Lanka, to get there. but once you do, it is all worth it. The Buddha statues in the rock caves are unbelievable feat of ancient architecture. Paintings every where is simply breathtaking.

Count the Buddhas!
Werner N [TA], , Mumbai (Bombay), India

Are there hundreds or thousands of Buddha? Even if you count the paintings you can not count them all. Amazing and a must during your visit in Sri Lanka.

Amazing caves paintings
Madro27 [TA], , London, United Kingdom

After the many steps to the top, the temple is quite amazing. Being so close to the paintings inside the cool caves are oddly spiritual, especially when you pass a few people praying on the ground. Worth a visit, just take water!

Beautiful Caves
HanimA A [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Stunning cave complex with a lot of history, better read up before you set out. Be prepared for a bit of a climb up to the rock. Don't carry any snacks or fruits in your hands, unless you want them to be snatched up by the monkeys. A tick in teh box if you're in the area.

Loved this
webgenius... [TA], , Bangalore, India

We visited Dambulla Cave Temple while going from Sigiriya to Kandy. There is a large Buddha statue in front of the museum. Initially I thought it was made out of gold, but later got to know from my driver that it is made from some other metal. The path to the golden cave temple has lot of steps. My wife was totally tired while going to the top. But the climb to the top is totally worth it.

There are so many statues of Buddha inside the cave. There are guides available. However I wouldn't recommend using a guide since one can easily learn about the place and and its history easily online, and besides 3G internet is pretty cheap in Sri Lanka.

Don't miss this place when in Sri Lanka. Prepare for a tough climb.

The price is a bit high for this attraction. I sincerely feel that it can be reduced.

Worth a visit
1_Puteshe... [TA], , Moscow, Russia

It is a good and inetresting place to visit. Has its spirit even despite the big number o ftoutists.

very relaxing place and full of history
Simon Q [TA], , Crawley, United Kingdom

Beautiful temple with full history, very charming temple with little bit climb to add extra value to day. shouldn’t missed out if you are in area of this temple

Lovely place, definitely a "must see" in Sri Lanka
NeetaRamn... [TA], , Bangalore, India

This is a series of caves with statues of Buddha, apart from Kings and some Hindu Gods as well. We visited the caves just after the rains, with excellent weather, and had lovely views from the top.

The caves must have been very difficult to build, and the Buddha statues are huge.

We did not visit the museum.

As with all other monuments in Sri lanka, this too lacked signage / information boards. And our guide gave very basic information. Wish there were audio guided tours.

Hard Climb in the Heat - Cool & Peaceful inside
LouiseJB2... [TA], , Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Very hot and humid climb to the entrance which needed a few stops for breathe for the oldest member of our party.

Monkeys greeted us on the way, allowing for another stop for photos etc.

Dont forget to cover up to go inside - knees and shoulders!

Beautiful setting, serene and cool and well worth a visit.
Lovely photographic opportunities.

We watched the monkeys slipping in and out of the rubbish bins too which was fun!

Toilet facilities at the bottom of the climb - drop toilets - take baby wipes / paper tissues!

Ancient and impressive
acorna [TA], , Vilnius

This is a place very worth to visit both for these with religious interests and for anybody interested in history and culture. Beware though – this is definitely not a Disneyland or a labeled exposition, it is an active worship place, therefore you will need either some apriori knowledge or a guide to tell you what is what and what’s all about. We were lucky in this having a good guide who managed to catch attention even in these having no knowledge of Buddhism in general or Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The temples itself, the sculptures and frescoes are very impressive and very worth seeing.
As in many Sri Lankan places, it will be hot, some steep climbing present and you will need to take off your shoes. It is advisable to have water with you, socks or at least wet tissues to clean your feet afterwards (it is quite dirty).

Beautiful cave temples
Diana2013... [TA], , Naaldwijk, The Netherlands

This is one of the highlights of my Sri Lankan trip. Those cave temples are beautyful. Inside you will find a number of different Boeddha's and they are all beautiful. You can also enjoy the silences and the beautiful view from the temple.

Jesper F [TA], ,

The temple is really worth a visit. The architecture is impressive - the site has a beautiful view over the surroundings and the temple caves very impressive.

Temple with something different but stiff climb in the heat
Familyinr... [TA], , Southampton, United Kingdom

Overall the temple complex was interesting with a guide and the Buddhas were spectacularly presented considering their age! We weren't expecting the climb or the reward and it certainly isn't 'just another temple'. If it's hot then I would recommend socks as the walk across the stones from the shoe depository is akin to walking on hot coals and take water and umbrella or hat for shade.

Still one of the greatest things iv seen
Dave3199 [TA], , Perth, Australia

travelled all through sri lanka for a month and this way by far the most magical place we visited. took my breath away.

Get a guide!
Jennifer1... [TA], , Dublin, Ireland

Like most places in Sri Lanka, if you don't have a guide organised by a tour group there are usually people outside who will give you a tour for about 3e. Interesting place. There is a lot of steps up to it though so wear comfortable shoes.

A highlight of our tour
Wiltshire... [TA], , England

For me this was a far more interesting place to visit than Sigiriya. Peaceful, inspiring, amazing, how these Buddhas were carved out is beyond me, and the paintings are magnificent. A must visit if in this part of the world.

sarahrowe... [TA], , Cheltenham, United Kingdom

Well worth the climb up to see. Remember you will need to cover up when you get to the top and remove your shoes.

The most impressive in Sri Lanka
Polina G [TA], , St. Petersburg, Russia

Dambulla cave temple was the most impressive attraction in Sri Lanka. I took an a/c bus from Kandy bus station and it goes right to the entrance. ( no need to take a taxi or tuk tuk) . The price for entrance ticket is reasonable. Climbing to the caves is a little bit hard , but it worth all efforts. There are also many drivers who offers a round way to Sigiria.

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