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Dambuya, City of Temples - Glance at Sri Lanka's Heart

Duration: Half Day

dambuya, city of temples - glance at sri lanka's heart

The beautiful island of Sri Lanka is renowned for its spectacular natural beauty, impressive archeological discoveries and rich cultural diversity, which make it one of the most interesting countries in the world to explore. This fascinating excursion will introduce you to the historic city of Dambulla, famous for its ancient Cave Temple of Dambulla. The Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium and the famous Rose Quartz Mountains are just some of the additional tour highlights.

The city of Dambulla is situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, approximately 148km northeast of Colombo and 72km north of Kandy. The area is believed to have been inhabited from as early as the 7th to the 3rd century BC, but statues and paintings in the caves nearby date back to the 1st century BC.

The ancient Cave Temple of Dambulla, also known as the Golden Rock Temple, is the largest and best-preserved cave temple in Sri Lanka, and one of the most impressive in Asia. Situated atop a huge granite outcrop, which towers 160m over the surrounding plains, this spectacular archeological site was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991 as part of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle.

The historic cave system dates back 2000 years when King Valagambahu allegedly took refuge here during attacks from South Indian invaders. He lived here with the monks and hermits until he gained the strength to drive the invaders away. After reclaiming his kingdom, the King declared the caves a sacred area and built the first cave temple here, dedicated to the people who helped him. Since then, five caves have been converted into shrine rooms by various kings over the centuries.

The beautiful gilded walls are intricately decorated with murals relating to Lord Buddha and his life, as well as other gods and goddesses, and around 150 statues of Lord Buddha fill the caves. The steep climb to the top will reward you with spectacular views of the surrounding plains, tanks (reservoirs) and the awe-inspiring Sigiriya Rock Fortress in the distance.

Nearby, we also visit the prehistoric burial site of Ibbankatuwa, one of the latest archeological discoveries in Dambulla. Human skeletons and findings dating back 2700 years have been excavated here, providing evidence of indigenous civilisations in this area long before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

We move onwards to the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, which is another of Dambulla’s major attractions – particularly as it was built in a stunning location overlooking the Dambulla Tank and Dambulla Rock in just 167 days! Situated in Sri Lanka’s dry zone, cricket matches are hosted here throughout the year.

Last but not least, Dambulla boasts the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia. It is believed to be over 500 million years old and covers an area of around 500 acres. From the summit visitors can gain fantastic views of the surrounding jungle and Namal Uyana, the largest Naa tree forest in the country.

This memorable tour is a wonderful way to gain a glimpse of some of the island’s most spectacular natural and archeological treasures during your holiday in Sri Lanka.

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