The remarkable cave temple with innumerable statues and disproportionate paintings of several regal periods and archaic antique markets are tourist attractions around this UNESCO city. The king Walagambahu reigned from 103 BC- 89 &87 BC, lost his crown and hid himself in these caves for 15 years. As a gratitude he developed this temple into Buddha’s cave temple upto the 12th century; they were developed in paintings, murals, engravings and drip ledges.

Dambulla Golden temple lets a 30m seated Buddha stand, but stern look is the visage.

Cave 1 is dedicated to the Lord of gods marking temples’ findings in a Brahmini inscription.

Cave 2 is dedicated to the Great King and displays murals, the defeat of Mara, daughters of Mara and delivering the first Buddhist Oracle at Isipathana. The ceiling of this rock cave marks a slender streamline of water flowing up the rock and is believed to be never running dry from which a pot is filled by drips of water and used for sacramental service.

Cave 3 This New Great Temple marks original Kandyan era murals and paintings which are idealized and picturesque landscapes with square ponds, cobras, trees, elephants etc.

Cave 4 This is the second New Temple. There is a reclining Buddha of 10m in length flanked by the God Katharagama with peacock- the local deity.

Cave 5 This Western Temple personifies identical figures of the Buddha, an ornate Dragon Arch, floral designs and many more traceries. All in all Dambulla cave temple is a place of worship by ardent devotees and a tourist attraction for millions of foreigners. The largest troupes of monkeys freely moving nearby were focused on for the best BBC animal documentary as “Temple Troup”.

 

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