Lying at the heart of the Cultural Triangle is the little town of DAMBULLA is famous for its remarkable cave monasteries: five magical, dimly lit grottoes crammed with magnificent statues and decorated with some of the finest murals in the country, offering a picture-perfect snapshot of historical artistry at its finest.
Dambulla Cave Temple is located in the central district of Sri Lanka. It has been named a world heritage site by the UNESCO. The Cave Temple is located on a large overhanging rock with 5 major caves however, there are nearly 80 documented caves in the area. The major caves are filled with paintings and statues which depict the life of Buddha. The cave also has painting and statues of Hindu deities and ancient kings of Sri Lanka. The history of this cave temple dates back to the 1st century BC. History also says that it was a hiding place of King Valagamba who was ousted from Anuradhapura kingdom by South Indian invaders.
This rock is situated almost opposite to the Sigiriya Rock. The rock was used as place of meditation by monks during the period of Kashyapa. This climbable rock is a destination best for hikers and nature enthusiasts. After climbing the stairs you will find a reclining Buddha statue made from bricks and some meditation rooms that were used by the monks. The rock also contains a pond with small reptiles such as lizards, snakes and chameleons invading the space. If you are ready for the hike, you could get a eyes full of the Sigiriya Rock.
“Na” is an endemic tree to Sri Lanka. It was named the National Tree of Sri Lanka in the year 1986 and has been used as a herb by ayurveda medics hence holds a significant place in the Sri Lankan society. Jathika Namal Uyana is the largest artificial “Na” tree forest in Asia region. The forest was said to have been created by the King Devanampiyatissa during the 8th century, the plantation efforts were continued by his successors which now extends to a 260 acre forest. The place is a sanctuary for birds and other mammals such as elephants, monkeys, deers and leopards, it also contains the Asia’s largest Pink Quartz Mountain which has a history of nearly 550 million years.
Sigiriya is one of the iconic sites in Sri Lanka. The 600 ft black rock gets its fame for the ancient urban planning methodologies adopted by the Kings of Sri Lanka. It was named as a UNESCO world heritage site in the year 1982 for its architecture and urban planning. Sigiriya is one of the most visited places in Sri Lanka by tourists and locals alike. It was the royal residence of King Kashyapa; the place had forts, gardens, ponds and paintings of beautiful women similar to that of Ajanta caves in India. The most fascinating feature of Sigiriya is the mirror wall, it is said that the King could see his own reflection in the wall. Sigiriya is located at around 10 km from Dambulla. The place is a “no-miss” if you are visiting the central parts of the island.