The world heritage site, Dambulla cave temple is a splendor to the Sri Lankan tourism. On the other hand, it is the largest persisting cave temple built on a 600 feet high rock in Sri Lanka. You will find nearly 80 documented caves in the area. It is evident that the caves were used as a prehistoric dwelling place before the arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka.
A 2700-year-old skeleton was found within the burial site at Ibbakatuwa area, (close to the temple) during the excavations. The cave temples are cut into a granite rock boulder and drip ledge. The temple is called Dambulu gala or Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya by the locals. The cave temple was built by the King Vattagamini abhaya or King Walagamba during his escape from the throne
The King had to abstain and survived from the south Indian invaders who onslaught Sri Lanka. However, King Walagmaba could regain and defeat the invaders and seized into the throne. Hence he was prompted to develop and reconstruct the cave temples. The Dambulla caves were also converted into a monastery complex. Afterward, KingVijayabahu 1 (1055-1110 AD) revamped the site and accommodated as a dwelling place for Bhikkhus. Although King Kirthi Sri Nishshankamalla (1887- 1196 AD) added several Buddha images to the cave temple. Many other kings like King Buvanekabahu (1372 -1408 AD), King Vickramabahu 3 (1360- 1374 AD) King Rajasingha 1 (1581- 1591 AD) renovated and maintained the Dambulla cave temple. Reaching the temple will be easy if you could take the Kandy- Anuradhapura A9 road.
It is just 68 km from Kandy to Dambulla and more 2km from Dambulla to the Rock cave temple. Significantly the temple is well preserved and bolstered by authorities providing buxom surpasses to be traveled. To the right from stone paved terrace leads to the Devaraja lena, where 45 feet reclining Buddha statue, a statue of God Vishnu and old paintings are preserved are suave.
Among them, 5 consists of beautiful wall paintings expanded over 2100 square meters and Buddha statues. Unanimously this is the most wonderful overhanging cave temple in Asia. In detail 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of reputed deities are places in the caves. Most of the wall paintings are related to the 2nd century BC of Anuradhapura era.