Dambulla Cave Complex

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Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Dambulla Cave Complex Reviews

ulis ulis
341 reviews
Dambulla Cave Temple Feb 17, 2017
The most interesting sites in Dambulla are the Cave Temples. Go to the bus terminal in Kandy and take a bus to Dambulla the main entrance to the Cave Temples is about 3 km before the Dambulla bus terminal, the ticket office is in the enormous Golden Temple, 1500 Rupies fee, then a long staircase up the hill. Bus about 2.5 hours and 100 Rupies, aircon bus about 2 hours and 330 Rupies.

For returning, buses to Kandy stop in front of the Dambulla bus terminal but are most likely already full, better go in the terminal and take a bus to Matale (5 km before Aluvihara is a nice rock monastery), get off at the beginning of the town, you see first a big and very colourful Hindu Temple on the left soon after a bus stand on the right with buses from there to Kandy.

Buses are usually very full if you want a seat it is best to go to the terminal where the bus is starting
Dambulla Caves
Dambulla Caves
Dambulla Caves
Dambulla Caves
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gingerbatik gingerba…
537 reviews
Cave Temples Dambulla Jun 01, 2013
This is another beautiful rock temple in Sri Lanka which is worth a visit but the admission fee is quite expensive, cost Rs1500 for foreigner as I stand out in the crow of local people and can’t claim to be local.

This rock temple located up the hill from Dambulla road but easy access from city centre and the Buddha statue can be seen from a far. There are plenty of monkeys outside the gate and also on the stairs way toward the caves. As long you walk away from the monkeys, it is quite safe.

The caves history itself is a place of worship dated from the first century BC when King Valagamba (Vattajamini Ahhaya), driven out of Anuradhapura took refuge here.

There are five separate caves contain about 150 Buddha images, and most of the pantings in the temples dated from the 19th century. Plenty of big Buddha statues and loyal disciple inside the caves and beautiful view over the surrounding countryside from up the caves. When I was there, I can see Sigiriya from up the caves.
view from outside
Buddha statue
sign board
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
tj1777 tj1777
379 reviews
Rock temple of Dambulla Sep 12, 2011
The rock temple is situated on the top of a hill in the outskirts of Dambulla. The caves are a bit south of the main bus station in Dambulla - so it is a bit of a walk if you go from there. The walk is still manageable if the day isn’t too hot - otherwise you can take a tuktuk or just jump on one of the frequent buses going from the central bus station south to Matale or Kandy.

When you get to the temple you will have to get a separate entrance ticket - unfortunately this destination isn’t included in the cultural triangle ticket. The ticket price is 1.200 rupee which is on the expensive compared to most other entrance fees in Sri Lanka - the temple is impressive so the steep entrance fee is worth it.

The first thing you should do when you have paid the entrance fee is to walk by the museum building with the giant Buddha on top and head up the hill. The hill is about 100-200 high so it does require a reasonable fitness level - but not more than most people venturing to Sri Lanka will probably have anyways.

When you get to the top of the hill you will see a group of buildings looking like a modern Buddhist monastery - but don’t let this fool you - when you go to the buildings and have a look inside you will quickly realize this is not a modern monastery but a ancient monastery built in the caves of the rock. There are five caves in total of which the second and third is the biggest and most impressive - but don’t skip the three others which are all pretty nice.

Inside the caves you will find lots of Buddha sculptures ranging in size from fairly small to 15 meters long for the bigger lying Buddha’s. The walls and roof of the caves are all painted.

When you get down from the monastery you can consider going into the museum - it got displays of different Buddha sculptures donated by other Buddhist countries. The entry fee to the museum is included in your ticket - so you might as well go. But the museum is pretty doll compared to the caves so if you are running short on time just skip the museum - you won’t lose much by doing so.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
alyssa_ob says:
This place sounds really interesting! Good information about visiting the site, too.
Posted on: Dec 26, 2011
Fear_No_Beer Fear_No_…
6 reviews
Religious Art at its Finest Sep 29, 2011
If interested in ancient holy places there are two great places in Sri Lanka that can be visited in the same day. The wondrous cave complex at Dambulla is only 20km from the rock fortress of Sigiriya. You can do the fortress in the morning and having lunched in Dambulla, can move onto the caves in the afternoon. The caves are within walking distance of the town if you want the exercise. Sri Lanka has the advantage of being relatively small in terms of distance and therefore you can combine the beach elements of the south with the historical aspects easily, even if time is limited. (You can take a bus from Negombo and change at Kurunegala for the bus to Dambulla)

I arrived here at Dambulla feeling drained from a harsh European winter. As I became aware of the antiquity and beauty of these caves, my mood altered dramatically for the better. Its amazing how self indulgence dissolves when confronted with the enormity of thousands of years of devotion. A great sense of peace can be experienced in the soflty lit stillness of the interior. The 5 caves have been in use as Buddhist shrines for over two thousand years. I do not think any cave complex in Asia rivals Dambulla in beauty. The colours are vivid and intricate and the gilded statues arrayed in serene ranks. There are hindu motifs in the artwork as well as Buddhist, which reflect the dual heritage of Sri Lanka. The recent history of Sri Lanka is painful to read and its hard to reconcile with the profound peaceful wisdom of the culture which produced these caves. Of the 5 caves the second cave “The Cave of the Great Kings” is the largest and in my view the most impressive. It is over 50m long and though the height tapers down it must be 7-9m at its highest point. There is natural spring water coming from the ceiling of the cave.

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