Dambulla - A great base for exploring the north

Dambulla Travel Blog

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Climbing up to the caves

We got a bus from Kandy up to Dambulla. I think that it took a couple of hours. I can't remember much about the trip.

It took us a while to find somewhere cheap to stay in Dambulla. In the end we found a couple of cheap guesthouses on the south side of town. One was trying to charge quite a lot for a really grotty room with lots of damp and mould on the wall, so we went to the other one. We managed to get some money off because we were staying for three nights. The only downside was that we weren't near the bus station, which meant that we needed to negotiate with tuktuk drivers to get there and back.

Dambulla itself contains a site with elaborately painted Buddhist cave temples, in front of the entrance to which is an enormous gold Buddha.

The huge gold Buddha
Dambulla is also a great base for visiting the historic sites of Sigiriya and Pollonaruwa, both of which we were able to visit as day trips from Dambulla using public buses.

The cave temples are well worth a visit, and I've inlcuded some photos here to show how magnificent they are. They're towards the south side of town, so we were able to walk there from our guesthouse.

We had a funny experience in Dambulla where we accidentally hitch-hiked back to our guesthouse. We were trying to catch one of the many buses heading down the road out of town, which would go past our guesthouse, but for some reason they all refused to take us. They were prepared to take us longer distances but not just a mile down the road. So, we started walking back to the guesthouse, and every time a bus came past we'd try to flag it down. Eventually one stopped, but what had looked like a bus from the front turned out to be a truck! The drivers were very friendly, though, and gave us a lift to where we wanted to go, even stopping to ask the way!

We found a great place to eat, next to our guesthouse. It was a new hotel which was opening, and they had just opened the restaurant the night we arrived in town. It was the only place near our guesthouse, and the food was excellent, so we ate there all three nights! See the attached review of the Anon Rest.

 

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Climbing up to the caves
Climbing up to the caves
The huge gold Buddha
The huge gold Buddha
Monkeys on the climb to the caves
Monkeys on the climb to the caves
Statues in one of the caves
Statues in one of the caves
Cave interior
Cave interior
Painted ceiling
Painted ceiling
Statues in one of the caves
Statues in one of the caves
Dinner at Anon Rest
Dinner at Anon Rest
Dambulla Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Excellent Local Food
This place is a hotel, with an excellent restaurant. I can't comment on the rooms, because we didn't stay there, so this review is about the food. … read entire review
Dambulla
photo by: Lotus28