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

Really interesting. Buy your ticket before getting to the top.
Gio-Jacop... [TA], , Pavia, Italy

---> Buy your ticket before getting to the top (I know that may be strange but we met someone who has had to go down to buy the ticket)

Worth the walk up the hill
Julie I [TA], , West Beach, Australia

Significant buddhist site. Beautiful reclining buddhas and very peaceful. It would be good to visit early in the day. It's a hot walk up the hill.

Interesting Temple!!!
Bachir M [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

i liked to walk and the stairs to reach the temple, very interesting to walk especially when the monkeys pass by all the time,,, don't be scare don't won't harm

Steps to enlightenment!
gillbehar... [TA], , Milton Keynes

One of the main attractions of our weeks tour, our first day out and what a climb, our guide Mahendra made short work of it, we are fairly fit but did struggle with steps. And steep inclines. No footwear at the top and floor was hot and stoney, socks would have been very useful. My legs ached two days after! Not for those who are not used to physical exercise. Watch the locals in bare feet go all the way up, even elderly - amazing.

Go up to get to the history, don't bother with the bottom
the_mcgui... [TA], , Marlborough. UK

There is a huge gold Buddha at ground level which claims to be biggest in the world, but it seems it is only the second biggest in Sri Lanka. As it was built in 2001 I would suggest forgetting the modern frontage and climb to the historical caves.

I would guess there are about 300 steps but they are in flights and wide enough so you can catch your breath without inconveniencing others. At the top are 5 caves with statuary and murals aged between 900 and 200 years old.

Very impressive and try to get a summary say from a guidebook. Well worth the puffing to get up and a very interesting insight into Buddhism.

Very interesting historical site
GrumpsDC [TA], , Cheltenham, United Kingdom

We called in here on our way from Sigiriya to Kandy. Although perhaps not as special as other places we have visited on our amazing tour, it was still worth the short climb and coping with the normal hassles mentioned by other reviewers given the historical significance of this site.
It was particularly interesting to compare the workmanship in the last 2 more 'modern' caves with the older ones - they knew so much back then!

Don't miss if in Dambulla but not worth a detour
Josi S [TA], , London, United Kingdom

Interesting history around the caves of the Golden Temple. There's quite a long walk up to get to see the caves (though nothing compared with Sigiriya) but it's worth it as there is a special feeling around the site,if you ignore the hawkers, monkeys, etc.

Worth a visit
Carole843... [TA], , Bath, England

The caves are very impressive with statues and paintings so well preserved. It was very interesting. The view from the top is quite stunning of the surrounding countryside.
The steps to the top were quite exhausting!

Worth the visit
Elle_0123... [TA], , London, United Kingdom

If you are in Sri Lanka and Dambulla then you simply have to visit this place! After all it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Worth a visit
Stifke [TA], , Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Been there in the afternoon when the sun wasn't that strong anymore. Beautifull views all the way to Sirigiya Rock. Stairs are doable and the caves are ok. Someting I never saw before. Paid 1500 rupee pp and 25 pp for "guarding shoes" at the temple on top.

Tarnya M [TA], , Derby, United Kingdom

The caves are interesting and pretty cool to look around but I would recommend you just visit for an hour or two instead of making a day out of it as its pretty repetitive.

Pretty Cool
Jacobidit... [TA], , Derby, United Kingdom

We enjoyed looking around these temples, but I wouldn't recommend spending lots of time there because it becomes a little repetitive.

Worth the climb
William_D... [TA], , Belgium

The view from the top must be great, but the rain and clouds made it quite impossible to see a thing. The temples are certainly worth the visit, 5 different caves, but the content looked very similar to me (you've seen one, you've seen them all...). The climb to the top is not too hard, but slippery when wet, so be carefull. The museum at the entrance is not worth a visit. Very basic, most of the displays only in Singhalese, very little in english.
William, Senta & little Ella

Amazing world Heritage site
Helena P [TA], , Stockholm, Sweden

Both adults and children will enjoy the cave Temples. The climb up the hill takes a while, I am happy it was a grey/rainy day otherwise it would have been exhausting in the heat. Beautiful surroundings, nice view and monkeys makes the climb worthwile in itself. The caves are marvellous, absolutely beautiful. It's a wonder and don't miss it.

Amazing Buddhist heritage...
Akshina L [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Dambulla Cave temple is a religious Buddhist heritage which tells us about the proud history of Buddhism.There are Buddhist paintings and statues inside the cave and they are more than 2500 years old.The temple is very quiet and a calm place as it is a very common thing in every temple. You can worship Buddha or stay and relax your mind for a moment...I was so proud as a Buddhist to visit this heritage site.Everyone who visits Sri Lanka should come and visit this Buddhist Heritage site...

Good heritage site
kumar1914 [TA], , Bengaluru (Bangalore), India

Beware of guides. Also ask how much they charge up front. The other surprising bit was that resturants charge different rates at buffets for the locals and us! Ask your driver to ask how much upfront again.

Amazing heritage
Gabriel B [TA], , Vina del Mar, Chile

The place is amazing, it's a great climb with a great view, the temples inside are amazing, more than 2.500 years old. Definitely worth it if you come to Sri Lanka.

Beautiful temple from few hundred years back
PramodKSr... [TA], , Bangalore, India

This temple houses numerous cave paintings and a number of Buddhist figurines. The temple is not visible until you reach the top of the stairs. There is a huge Golden colored Buddha on the exterior which can be seen from the road. Expect to pay LKR 1500 per head for entry.

Great for photos...
Jenni M [TA], , New York City, New York

The Golden Temple was lovely -- romantic on the exterior and mysterious and sacred on the inside. The climb up to the top is nice too. I went in mid-September where the crowds weren't so hectic and the weather was nice. I like to pride myself on how I edited my first trip to Sri. With so many relics to see, it can be difficult to choose where to go and what to take in. The Golden Temple was one of the few I selected and for that, maybe that's why I can appreciate room after room of beautifully preserved murals and Buddha's. Even if you aren't a history or religion buff, you should go. Great for photos....

indian302... [TA], , bangalore

You have to climb a lot to up. We went to base with large golden Buddha. Toilet can be more clean as they charge for that.

most impressive sight in Dambulla
theloniou... [TA], , Seongnam

While most of the impressive sights are in areas few hours from Dambulla, since Dambulla is a good base to visit the other sights, make time to check out the caves...

Ancient Caves and Budhas
Steven B [TA], , Hayling Island, United Kingdom

It is quite a trek to reach the caves. Not for the terribly unfit, but worth the effort.

Can't remember if there were 6 or 8 caves in all, but they were well displayed and maintained. Could have done with an audio tour or written hoardings. Fortunately our guide/driver filled us in.

LITHO1943 [TA], , Altweerterheide

Well kept as all temples.Many monkey's around. Very many tourists. Nice walk up and down the stairs.

Holidays in Sri Lanka
OliviaAbu... [TA], , Abu Dhabi

For us this was, once more, something beautiful and amazing! The Temple is simply wonderful! We filled up our batteries and went to the top to see the Cave Temple above and we were admiring all the surround landscape. Our first and real contact about Buddhism was here in Sri Lanka and we really could feel the essence of this religion!

The gateway to the rock temple
AlexLanx [TA], , Brighton, United Kingdom

We didn't explore this temple much as we were there to climb to the cave temple above. The giant golden Buddha at the bottom is very impressive though. There is a Bhuddist museum here too but there is not that much to see inside. TIP: you have to buy your ticket for the Cave Temple here at the bottom. The ticket office is tucked away with no obvious signs. Make sure you buy your ticket before climbing as it is a long way to come back down and you cannot buy them at the top!!!!!!!

Just a fantastic experience!
Cossyseni... [TA], , Cheltenham, United Kingdom

We visited this wonderful Buddhist Temple and the associated Dambulla Caves just after breakfast to avoid the crowds and the heat - knowing we had a climb! The experience was awe inspiring. Without doubt the Caves must rank as a 'must see' both in terms of the statues, paintings and hilltop views.

One of the Best Cave Temples
Ruwan_Rat... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

This is a lovely place with so much to see. The Cave temple is one of the best places in Sri Lanka. Visited more than 30 times but love to see again.

Nice walk
Claire B [TA], , Perth, Western Australia, Australia

It's a nice walk, if u don't like climbing stairs u will hate it. Good work out, if your not interested in temples and history it's a waste of time.

Astonishing and impressive
08091969 [TA], , Mannheim, Germany

Dambulla Golden Temple is a must see if you are visiting Sri Lanka.
Fair rates and an incredible atmosphere, like in the most Sri Lankan temples, as they are witnesses of a long lasting trust in the teachings of Buddha. In every fresco, every statue or even stone you can feel that those how have created these places have been inspired by something more important than personal ownership, wealth or so. Theses places were made to honour, peace, tolerance and spirit.

One of the few places in Dambulla to see
Jiri S [TA], ,

Very nice and huge temple. lots of statues and painting. We have visited quite a few temples in Sri Lanka and this one was definitely one of the nice ones.

Worth seeing if in the area
Erin T [TA], , London, United Kingdom

Seeing this does not take long at all. Worth seeing if you are passing through, but not worth coming out of your way for it.

Worth the trek up the hill.
Vimbai H [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

So the cave temples are at the top of the hill and it will take about 15 minutes to get to the entrance.

The level of the detail in the paintings in each cave is incredible. They have a small Hindu shrine within the complex.

The history of the temple is very interesting, and the views from the top of the hill. Be careful of the monkeys, they will grab anything they can from you.

Well Worth Visiting the Golden Temple
John T [TA], , Market Harborough, United Kingdom

The Golden Temple is well worth a visit. Boasting the largest statue of Buddha in the World, the sheer size is awe inspiring. The Buddhist Museum is included in the ticket price, then the walk up the hill to the Cave Temples. Again the history you access here is breath taking. Well worth a visit, but be warning, it's a bit of a climb to the top!

Даниил О [TA], ,

Have you ever tried walking in the twilight of a cave and have dozens of Buddha statues looking at you? You should try - an unforgettable experience.

Eye opener..
mave77 [TA], , mave77

Its a fair bit of drive from Kandy..but well worth the time spent...if with kids...make sure you travel a little earlier...since there arent much places to eat around..

The way the caves have been maintained..the cleanliness.and the history behind it...is really an eye opener.

Please do visit. Its a fair hike..on steps..so not advisable for older people and people with disabilities.

Also do not visit in shorts...or..sleeveless tops..you might have to rent a dhoti..and a top..or buy it.

A worthy stop of an impressive ancient past.
SaharaHar... [TA], , Singapore City, null, Singapore

If you are travelling between sigirya and kandy, you must stop at these caves that host huge buddha statues against beautiful backdrops crafted and preserved centures ago. Going to the top is not far as compared to sigirya and takes you a slow 20 minute climb. Make sure you get your tickets before you go up! Have some tips ready for the shoekeeper because you can only walk barefooted in this temple.

Nothing special
zeina s [TA], , Beirut, Lebanon

It's gonna take you like 20 minutes to get to the top, you'll find the first cave very interesting but then you'll notice that all the caves are the same only the size get smaller so nothing really special about it.

Amazing Buddhist Art
TrishFD [TA], , Canberra, Australia

Unbelievable art in a number of cave chambers, rich in history and religious significance - a real feast for the eyes and like nothing I'd ever seen before. A beautiful and peaceful place to visit.

A nice visit while in Dambulla area
Ryan B [TA], , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

This is a decent activity to do while in Dambulla. Beware as there is a litte climb to get up to the caves but its pretty neat once you get up there. Lots of monkey hanging around.

Worth visiting
Mugssh [TA], , Mumbai (Bombay), India

Located in the Golden Temple premises, one route goes up to the Dambulla Cave Temple and the other one to the Golden Buddha statue. Its a steep climb (not as steep as Sigiriya) but will take 15-20 mins for sure. The green view from the top is nice and the 5 cave temples are v. interesting. There are 1-2 guides around but if you have enough reading/research material you may not need their service. However, if you havent read enough, its best to take their service or else the importance and meaning of the caves wont be completely understood. Its good to see that the caves are still in good condition and we are able to see a glimpse of art work which is thousands of years old.

Special place
BigTusker [TA], , Lydney, United Kingdom

We really enjoyed our visit, our guide was invaluable to helping us appreciate this truly wonderful place

His advice to go early was sound, we arrived about 9am, not too hot and no crowds and we felt very privileged to enjoy this special place almost to ourselves

If you are doing the Cultural Triangle - you have to go to Dambulla!

Amazing history
jayda_oz [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

We had a good guide take us through the cave temple. Worth it to learn about the history of each area. Many stairs to climb but worth it. The history attached to the cave temple is mind boggling. Highly recommended.

Beautiful frescoes
SallyBomb... [TA], , Mumbai (Bombay), India

Fantastic paintings, but they are in need of conservation. Great that there is not too much lighting inside the caves as these would deteriorate the paintings further.

What an experience
399Karen [TA], , Whitley Bay, United Kingdom

Visited all caves bit of a climb but worth it. Loads of people about all bringing offerings. In the caves it was quiet and peaceful and cool.Is well worth a visit

Must see!
TomBaul [TA], , London, United Kingdom

For me, this was a highlight of my time in Sri Lanka. I loved the tranquility at the top of the hill, a long with so much history. The fee is 1500 rupees, which is a bit high but well worth it. The trek up to the top is fine, 300 steps, there are water vendors halfway up. Remember to buy tickets from the bottom as they check tickets right at the top of the stairs but only sell them at the bottom!
The caves are fantastic, but it is one of these places where you need a guide. We got chatting to one and agreed on 400rupees. He gave us a really good tour for the best part of an hour. Showing us all the caves and giving thorough explanations of their history, talking about the kings as well as Buddhism in general. It was really engaging and he was capable of answering our questions with logical answers which was a treat! It is very peaceful at the top and well worth spending a but of time looking out at the view. We went during the heat of the day which worked out well for us as by the time we were leaving herds of tourists were entering the caves just snapping photos. Get a guide and learn about the place and it is truly interesting!

Great energy
jumpingto... [TA], , Vienna, Austria

What a lovely temple!
After climbing the stairs to the temple what awaits is special.
The temples that've been cut into the rocks are truly impressive. The atmosphere inside is lovely and calming and you feel you could spend hours inside.

Well worth a visit
Terry H [TA], , Pontefract, United Kingdom

Right I loved it for two reasons, 1st the history culture colours paintings and the cave temples, 2nd for all of the monkeys that were making me laugh :) well worth a visit , the place is steeped in history , one word of warning if your not one for climbing stairs then be warned.. ps try to go when it is cooler :)

Step back in time
supsleo [TA], , Bangalore, India

The hike up to the caves & putting up with monkeys is all worth it when you reach the caves.. The site is fairly small, and covering the 5 caves doesn't take long. The caves are beautiful. One could spend half-a-day admiring the painted murals on the ceiling and basking in the spiritual aura of the caves (if only the monkeys didn't come in to steal the lotus flowers!).

A magical place.
breakyche... [TA], , Southampton, United Kingdom

Once you had climbed the 300 or so steps on a very hot day it was unbelievable.Has to be seen to be believed the sheer size and numbers of statues carved out of solid granite would be near impossible todaylet alone hundreds of years ago.

worth a visit
shielanag... [TA], , Portsmouth, United Kingdom

amazing place in an amazing location, I would suggest going early to avoid lots of people. It is a bit of a trek up to the caves but well worth it!

Rock Temple - Dambulla
EdiMandM [TA], , Barcelona, Spain

Buddha painting and statues all around this cave. From the outside looks like a temple but from the inside it's a Cave. Please be aware of the thousands of stairs before reaching the Temple.

Rock & Golden Temple - Dambulla - Sri Lanka
Ferdie_Li... [TA], , Cape Town Central, South Africa

What a magnificent experience. The entire area just feels so calm and the right place to be.
The paintings and the Buddha statues in the caves are breathtaking, a must for any traveller to Sri Lanka.
Kind regards
Ferdie Liebenberg

Very nice, worth the hike!
bschiphor... [TA], ,

We went there on our tourist trip through Sri Lanka and this was one of the more impressive things we saw. The drawings om inside the caves where unreal and all the statues as impressive.
It's a bit of a climb but well worth it! Bring some water. Make sure to also wander around the bottom entree as there are some hidden gems!

Well worth the climb!
LesPicker [TA], , Havre de Grace, Maryland

Be forewarned that the climb to the cave temples may be challenging for those who are overweight, out of shape, or seniors. That being said, the temples are a historic, artistically lovely, and photographically rich treasure. The 46-foot long reclining Buddha carved from a single piece of stone is amazing.

How long did it take...
SeiichiWa... [TA], , Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

I can't imagine how long it took to built this stone temple.
It is a holy place. So don't be noisy.

debshal [TA], , Sheffield, United Kingdom

Absolutely loved it , probably the best cave temple in sri laka that we saw , the paintings are stunning as is the location , bit of a swet on climbing uyp the steps but well worth it

Culture and kitch
Diederik... [TA], , Leuven, Belgium

The temples themselves are quite woth a visit. However, the kitch figures needed to be avoided, if you dont like random kitchy stuff...

Dumbulla temple
Graham M [TA], ,

Many steps to climb but the recumbent Buddha is really special. Ladies must have arms covered. There are many statues to view and rooms to view. It does get very hot and you must take water as you could be wandering around for a couple of hours.

Very interesting. Good guide
gidrub [TA], , Netanya, Israel

The caves are unique. the guide was very good. Nice view on the area. Do not miss if you are in Dambulla. The golden Buddha is also very impressive.

A "Must Do" in Sri Lanka
Sue R [TA], , Las Vegas, Nevada

Exploring the Dambulla Cave Temple is a "must do" whilst in Sri Lanka. A few tips before doing so:

1) Ask your guide to take you to the locals entrance (gate) so the climb is less lengthy and much easier.
2) Don't buy flowers or food before heading up to the caves b/c the wild monkeys most likely will grab them right out of your hands.
3) Dress appropriately for the Buddhist temple: long slacks (covering the knees) and long-sleeved shirts/tops. As you must remove your shoes or sandals before entering the temple grounds, suggest bringing a pair of socks as the surfaces can be hot, sharp, and uneven.


nyctravel... [TA], , NYC

Never seen anything like this. Worth the visit entirely. Not crowded and glad we followed the guide book's advice to begin with Cave 5 (the last one as you walk towards the back) and then work back. They are like nothing else I've seen.

Remarkable Temple
Benaga V [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

What makes this temple stand out is the fact that it is still intact, unlike many temple ruins we visited in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. That's also the reason why we liked this temple the most. Despite its plain look from the outside, It actually has many rooms full of fascinating Buddha statues, with walls and ceilings full of interesting fresco.

Be prepared to climb up few stairs to reach the temple and find slightly cheekier monkey (compared to the one we saw in other places). So don't bring plastic bag around!

Visited on Aug 2014

it's a must
nowakadve... [TA], , Sopot, Poland

I've been there a few times already an will be again!
very historical site, original and spectacular view from the top

My favourite place we visited in Sri Lanka
rainbow20... [TA], , Thame, England, United Kingdom

I loved visiting the caves. From climbing up the slopes bare footed to watching the monkeys, to studying the beautiful caves. It was a tranquil and beautiful experience. I would definitely recommend going. Although take some change, as typically for Sri Lanka you need to pay for everything - including them watching your shoes.

Fascinating and worth a visit
Francesca... [TA], , London, United Kingdom

This is one of the oldest cave temples in Sri Lanka, it's absolutely stunning and well worth the hike up the steep hillside to see it.

We went with our children aged 14 and 12, they found it fascinating too. Definitely worth going early before it's too hot for your climb. Despite the fact you climb stairs to get up there it is still very hot work!!

Be prepared to walk about a quarter mile
Plumeria... [TA], , California

The caves were fantastic, but a word of warning: there are many steps leading to the caves. Plan on taking water with you as it is a hot climb. There was a water seller along the way as well as the requisite souvenir sellers.
As the caves are a temple, you'll want to dress appropriately. Women need to have their shoulders covered pants or skirts must be below one's knees.

Good place to relax
GraceJ1 [TA], ,

This one of my dream place to see even thought im a catholic, för me its so different ,very interesting , Their are 5 caves temple it was amazing its was thousand years ago when its was built if im right ! When you go up you Will see the beutiful scenery . Its so fun beacuse when you go up thiers a few Monkeys on the steps until you reach the cave i highly recommend this ås a unique part of Srilanka.

Beautiful Buddha statues
DPMMumbai [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Beautiful place and caves. While climbing take the sloping way instead of the steps, it is easier to climb. Many sleeping Buddhas, cave paintings and lots of baby monkeys were there in the temple . Don't forget to take water. Very nice place to sit and relax.

A favourite
nidabloom [TA], , Melbourne

A very pleasant place and one I am glad to have visited.

Was very tired on the climb up, and the monkeys on the way put me off, but it was well worth it. It is quiet, serene, almost haunting. Impressive.

Best to read about it beforehand so you have an idea of what you are looking at.

Nice temple
S T [TA], , Menlo Park, California

Private site with lots of monkeys. Beware of holding flowers that someone might try to sell you on the way to the temple. The monkeys jumped at me and grabbed the flowers out of my hand to eat them. They are not afraid of people. Be careful of how you dress, or you might be refused entrance. Sometimes knee length skirts are not long enough, if they fly up in the wind.

Blew me away
MattB90 [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

Did not expect this to be so great. After seeing temple after temple across the country the cave temples were a sight to behold. Artwork and statues in amazing condition. Too many monkeys though - be careful with food.

Nice when you are in the neighbourhood.
floorenni... [TA], , Amersfoort

Steep walk up before you reach the cave temple. Nice to see, but no need to make a long tour to get there. Dress politely!

don't miss it
roamingjo... [TA], , wiltshire

we much preferred this to Polonawara so don't miss these beautiful serene caves from your itinerary if you can help it.

its a fair climb up steps so try and avoid the heat of the day if you can by getting there early

there are traders there selling water on the way up just in case you forget yours

SE_AD_49 [TA], , Vancouver, Canada

A very distinctive temple shaped out of the rock to form 5 caves each with various postures of Buddha.

Loved it
Andersons... [TA], , Kinver, West Midlands, UK

So what's the big deal about a load of caves? First these are old, proper old. They are fascinating and well worth the relatively short climb to the entrance. We took advice and started with the one furthest from the entrance and worked our way back. These are a holy site so behave appropriately and bring some water as inevitably you will be thirsty. Soak in the atmosphere, admire the views and you wont be disappointed.

Very interesting
Noonoo76 [TA], , Bournemouth

We had a lovely little man take us round. He was very knowledgeable and passionate. The problem with being a tourist is you will always get people wanting to sell you something. Don't feeling guilty just say no thank you and move on.

Beautiful paintings in the caves
Zsuzsa N [TA], , Bratislava, Slovakia

Beautiful and must see caves - the paintings, the statues, the calm feeling inside of the caves are so relaxed and call for a meditation. About 1,5-2 hours for climbing on stairs, recognize the view (Sigiriya is visible), to visit caves and the museum.

Nice, but quite the climb.
Traveling... [TA], , Las Cruces, New Mexico

This place is really cool but it is quite a climb to reach it. If your short on time, it could be skipped.

A must see in Dambulla
mahesh991... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

This an ancient Buddhist temple and a world heritage site. This was built by king Walagamaba in during 2nd century BC. Fore more information please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dambulla_cave_temple

Worth the climb!
Richard G [TA], ,

A 200metre climb via steps or road brings you to the caves passing groups of monkeys and sleeping dogs. The paintings on the ceilings and walls depict Buddha and stories from his life. The colours are fairly muted with age. We had a guide who gave us detailed information at each point on our visit so made it very interesting. I'm not sure I would have picked much of the information up without him as there was no information at the different points. Not sure if guide books were available but didn't see anybody with one.

Our favorite attraction in Sri Lanka
SoloCryst... [TA], , Houston

Our guide book said to start at the far end and work your way back. We did, but I don't think it mattered. The best one is in the middle cave. All over Sr Lanka they don't like you to take picture with you in the picture with Buddha, so be careful about that. We were so worried about the climb up Sigiriya rock being tough, but this place was tough too, maybe because it was unexpected. There are a lot of stairs.

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.

pretty amazing
ExeterHil... [TA], , Exeter

Yes really worth the hike. A good guide book will do though rather than hiring a guide. Make sure your feet are hard!

Favorite site in Sri Lanka
Madhu R [TA], , New York City, New York

This was an amazing experience. The outside is a giant gold Buddha (modern), and then you climb up a lot of stairs (totally worth it) to ancient caves that were ornately painted (floor to ceiling) with gorgeous Buddhist art. Make sure you wear long pants or skirts that extend below the knee or you may not be let in. Otherwise, you can rent a wrap around cloth (donate a buck) at the place where you leave your shoes.

Interesting and beautiful but not a quiet place
Kristina... [TA], , Zurich, Switzerland

We were there in the afternoon after a morning visit to Pidurangala. After climbing half way we realized that the tickets are sold at the bottom, so we had some more excercise :-). We took our shoes in a bag, as I do not like to pay for nothing (and this is for me "storing the shoes").
The caves are interesting and I got some information from my guide book, as no leaflet was attached to the tickets (as usual in SL). Probably, as some people mentioned in reviews, it would be nice to have some knowledgeable guide with us to get more from this visit, but you have to have a really good guide - I heard several of the "guides" telling just obvious things, a budda here and a budda there....
Guides are another story, despite the fact that this is a religious place, and its beauty invites to contemplate in peace, some of the guides are explaining their stories laudly (and mostly these are the ones that have nothing to say) - this is really disturbing, and takes away some charm of this place.
Later on on our trip, we visited Mulkirigala rock temple close to Tangalle. It is quite similar (on a bit smaller scale), very impressive but so much more quiet and you pay only 300.

Great temple
Tof L [TA], ,

This is a magnificent boudhist temple. The giant Buddha give you an idea of the enormous temple. A place to go in Dambulla.

Extraordinary but quite a climb
Mary M [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

The temple is definitely worth the climb, but it's not an easy climb. You need to take your time, and water. People of all ages make it up there, so it is certainly do-able. The exterior of the museum built in recent years at the base of it all is certainly no indication of the rest of the site. It looks more like a casino than a sacred place.

Beautiful caves
Tsntai [TA], ,

The temple is made inside the rocks and that is amazing. If you can, just leave ur shoes in the car as you have to take them of anyway. Remember respectfull clothing.

Very interesting
HongKong1... [TA], , Hong Kong, China

The climb was hard, but all worthwhile, bring a walking stick with you, it helps a lot.

Photography is allowed with the Caves.

Better to have a guide for this place
tianyi z [TA], , Beijing, China

You need to buy ticket before climbing the hill. There are several caves on top of the small hill. I think the caves and statues may be interesting, IF you have a guide, as there is no other explanatory means there.

interesting and well kept
dianagray [TA], , East Sussex

There are a lot of steps and slopes to climb up to them (I hadn't realised but even if you a bit old and wheezy like me you CAN do it!) Pretty amazing how they did this so long ago. There are many statues inside.The entrances are quite small so it's a bit of a squash when busy. Nice views from the top. As it's a holy place, remember to bring socks if you like as you have to remove your shoes before going onto the site

Do not waste your time and money
Alyssa F [TA], , Sheffield, United Kingdom

We visited the cave & museum expecting splendour but were extremely disappointed. The charge for tourists is 1500 rupees each. There are no leaflets to explain what anything means, no information about Buddhism. We spent about 2/3 minutes in each cave and 5/10 minutes in the museum, as without any information we were just looking at things with no idea what their significance was. We were also unimpressed by how commercial everything was and how many salesmen were around trying to make money out of what is supposed to be a place of spirituality. If you know a lot about Buddhism or follow this teaching then I understand why you may want to visit but otherwise, don't bother.

Kate B [TA], , Isle of Wight, United Kingdom

Cave paintings interesting but expensive. Rest of temple a bit tacky and not much information about anything. Good view from the top, though.

Well worth the trip
Gaily333 [TA], , Naramata, Canada

Very interesting place, use a guide when your there. Go late afternoon and catch the sunset on your way down.

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