Climbing barefoot towards this holy place up a slope and several stairways, is the amazing cave temple, created under an overhanging rock nearly 100m above the plain. The panoramic view of the surroundings on the way up is truly breathtaking.
Consisting of five shrines this is a popular historic site in Sri Lanka. The temple is believed to have been developed in the 1st century B.C by King Valagambahu who sought refuge here whilst fleeing from Anuradhapura. After he regained his throne, he converted the interior rock caves into magnificent temples. Over time many Kings have renovated and conserved this spectacular site, King Nissankamalla being the highest contributor. He gilded the lying, sitting and standing Buddha’s and held a great puja costing 700,000 gold pieces and renamed the temple “The Golden Rock Cave”.
The cave temple consists of 2000 year old murals depicting the life of the Buddha, 157 statues of Buddha in different shapes and sizes and 15m reclining Buddha. The colorful frescoes splashed against the walls and ceilings have gained recognition for being the largest antique painted surface in the world. The uniqueness and antiquity of Dambulla cave temple has attracted world recognition and awe.