The city of Dambulla in Sri Lanka is just 5 hours from the bustling Colombo. Located in the Matale District, Central Province, Dambulla is famous because it houses the Dambulla Cave Temple – the largest, best-preserved, cave-temple complex in the country. Also known as Golden Rock Temple, this World Heritage Site comprises of a cave monastery and five sanctuaries.
It is believed that the area of Dambulla was inhabited from the 7th to 3rd century BC. The many statues, paintings and sculptures in the temple caves date back to the 1st century BC. The caves provided shelter to King Valagamba during his 14-year-long exile from the kingdom of Anuradapura and he received protection from the Buddhist monks meditating in these caves. Upon the King’s return to his kingdom, he had a glorious rock temple built in those caves of Dambulla, as a sign of gratitude to the monks.
Religion, traditions and cultural practices are a strong way of life among the people of Dambulla. Their lifestyle is greatly influenced by their religious customs. The people of various religions celebrate their own festivals of Ramadan, Christmas, etc. Other main festivals include Sinhala and Tamil New Year Festival, Duruthu Full Moon Poya, Patti Pongal and Esala Perahera (a Buddhist festival that takes place in Kandy). The food of Sri Lanka consists of rice along with curries of meat and vegetables that are cooked with fragrant spices and coconut.
Dambulla enjoys a tropical climate with a lot of rain. The best time to travel to Dambulla is between the months of January and May. Light rains still occur during this period so it is recommended to carry an umbrella every time you head out.
- January - May