The city of Dambulla happens to lay claim to an illustrious history, which saw its peak during the 3rd to 7th century BC. when it became one of the most important and largest monasteries on the island.
It also happens to be quite famous for the Dambulla Cave Complex also known as the “Golden Cave Temple”; which was built by a grateful king as a sign of gratitude to the monks who gave him refuge when he was exiled. This functional and well-preserved edifice is among one of the most visited attractions on the island. And contains a wide range of fascinating artifacts, sculptures and Buddha statues, all featuring influences from various important periods throughout history.
Dambulla can be reached from Colombo, the capital, in approximately four hours and is often the base from which tourists explore nearby heritage sites such as the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. After you take a good look around the temple which would take around two hours, do consider a visit the
‘’Jathika Namal Uyana’’ where the largest population of endemic ironwood trees grow. Along with the largest pink quartz mountain range in Asia. ( do wear appropriate footwear if you do wish to climb it).
If you do plan on heading to Dambulla, plan your trip during the months of January to early May when the weather is pleasant, rather than towards the latter part of the year as the weather can get quite warm. Remember staying hydrated is key!