Dambulla Cave Temple
Come to Dambulla and you can’t mistake the 2000 year old history it holds. The Royal Rock Temple Complex situated about 160m above groundnand adjacent caves in the South of Dambulla remains unparalleled as symbols of ancient devotion and master craftsmanship. The five caves surrounding the main temple contain within them some of the world’s greatest ancient depictions of faith and the human journey toward enlightenment. Dating back to over 2000 years ago when the work first commenced, other kings who ruled this area added to the craft and art within the complex making it as much of the nation’s historical journey as its spiritual one. The caves are also cooling as against the scorching heat you may encounter outside.
The heat however is merely one of the elements that take over your senses on coming back outside the caves. The panorama of the lush Sri Lankan land ahead of you, reaching as far as the great Sigirya rock are bound to embrace your eyes and help you momentarily forget the heat of day.
The story of how this came to be is one fit not merely for the history books but also for legends and fairytales; it is said that King Valagamba was dethroned and banished from his kingdom of Anuradhapura and so fled to the refuge and sanctuary of these caves where he found both the strength and inner peace it required to regain his glory once again. On his return to the throne, he had the caves converted into the beginnings of what has become an epic journey of triumph and spirit today.
Climb up the steep stairwell to the caves and for a moment imagine what it would have been like for kings and priests who made this very same journey many thousands of moons before you.