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Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple

icon-location-red Popular Temple In Kandy

5.00/5 - (1 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Kandy - Jaffna Hwy, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

LKR 1,500

Find it on google maps

5.00/5 - (1 Votes)
expert
Krishan
Local tour guide
"When visiting the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, make sure to bring a light sweater or jacket as the caves tend to be cooler than the outside temperature. In Kandy's Golden Temple, arrive early in the morning to witness the serene beauty of the temple grounds before the crowds arrive."

What is Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple in Kandy?

Nestled within the central part of Sri Lanka, you'll find a truly remarkable sanctuary, the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple. Also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, it's a well-preserved cave temple complex that stands majestically upon a colossal rocky outcrop towering 160 meters over the surrounding plains. For anyone visiting, it's both a spiritual journey and a trip into the artistic past of our land. Imagine intricately painted ceilings and walls, some of which date back over 2,000 years, depicting the life and enlightenment of the Lord Buddha. The temple complex boasts a total of five caves, each filled with a wealth of statues and paintings of Buddha, his disciples, and various gods and goddesses.

History of Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple

The origins of the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple are nothing short of fascinating. It's said that the site was first inhabited by prehistoric Sri Lankans who took refuge in the cave complex. The temple, as we know it, began its journey in the 1st century BC under King Valagamba. After being ousted from Anuradhapura, the king sought refuge in these caves. Once he regained his throne, out of gratitude, he transformed these caverns into magnificent rock temples. Over centuries, subsequent kings added to and embellished these cave temples, and they have been maintained by Buddhist monks from then until present day.

One lesser-known fact? Each cave tells a different side of the tale, signposted by the distinct styles of murals and statues that were influenced by the art and culture of various eras and monarchs. It's a testament to the country's long-running appreciation of the visual arts.

When planning your tours in kandy don't forget to visit Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple!

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Why are Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple Important?

The significance of the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple cannot be overstated. It's a pivotal religious site, deeply entrenched within the heart and soul of Sri Lankan Buddhism. But its importance extends beyond religion—it's also an invaluable piece of our island's cultural and artistic heritage. Did you know that this temple has been continually functional for over 22 centuries? That makes it the most well-preserved cave temple complex in all of Sri Lanka.

Historically, it has contributed immensely to the spiritual and cultural life here. The site has survived plenty of political turmoil over the centuries, but its continuous use as a place of worship has made it a symbol of resilience and faith. Also, being a UNESCO World Heritage site, it attracts not only those seeking spirituality but also scholars and art aficionados intrigued by the confluence of history, culture, and religion.

Things to do & see at Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple

Visiting the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple is not just about sightseeing; it's an immersive cultural experience. Start with the climb up to the temple — it's a bit of a trek, but the panoramic view of the surrounding landscape is absolutely worth it. And as you ascend, keep an eye out for playful monkeys that might want to say hello!

Once at the caves, take your time to wander through each one. They're adorned with statues of Buddha carved into the rock; some are in a state of repose, others stand majestically, or sit serenely in meditation. The walls are a canvas showcasing vibrant frescoes depicting the Buddha's journey to enlightenment and scenes from his life. Have you noticed the way the natural contours of the rock are integrated into the artwork? It's a marvel of artistic ingenuity.

Folklore here whispers about hidden passageways linking the temples and the royal palaces from centuries past; these are yet to be fully discovered or explored. And if you're keen on particulars, you could marvel at the sheer diversity in artistic styles—a result of different artisans working on them across various centuries.

Before leaving, I often recommend spending a quiet moment in the cool, tranquil atmosphere of the caves. Allow yourself to absorb the serenity and the profound history that encircles you—it's a feeling that words can barely encapsulate. Remember, the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple isn't just a site to be ticked off a list; it's a sanctuary where art, history, and spirituality have coexisted harmoniously for millennia.

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With its awe-inspiring architecture, historical significance, and spiritual ambiance, it is undoubtedly a must-visit attraction in Sri Lanka.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, and where is it located?

The Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the town of Dambulla, Sri Lanka. It is renowned for its complex of cave temples.

How many caves are there in the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple complex?

The Dambulla Royal Cave Temple complex consists of five main caves, each containing a vast collection of Buddha statues and exquisite frescoes.

What is the historical significance of the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple?

The temple complex dates back to the 1st century BCE and has been a place of worship for over 2,000 years. It served as a refuge for King Valagamba during his exile and later became a revered religious site.

What can visitors expect to see inside the caves?

Inside the caves, visitors can marvel at hundreds of intricate statues of the Buddha in various poses, along with colorful paintings and detailed carvings. The temple's interior is a visual representation of Buddhist art and culture.

Are there any specific rules or dress code for visiting the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple?

Yes, visitors are expected to dress modestly when visiting Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. It's customary to cover your shoulders and knees. Additionally, shoes and hats should be removed before entering the cave temples as a sign of respect.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Kandy - Jaffna Hwy, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

LKR 1,500

Find it on google maps