Dambulla Cave Temple is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. This paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of srilankan kings and 4 statues of god and goddess. The latter 4 include two statues of Hindu gods, Vishnu and Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 m². Depictions in the walls of the caves include Buddha’s temptation by demon Mara and Buddha’s first sermon.
By today there are about five caves where there are Buddha statues and paintings which are related to the great Lord Buddha and his life. You will see number of Buddha statues there- numerically 153 Buddha Statues, 3 statues of former Kings of Ceylon and 4 statues of Gods &Goddesses. Among the amazing paintings, you will witness “Temptation by the Demon – Mara” and the Great Lord Buddha’s first sermon – “DhammachakkakpawattanaSutta”. The most attractive part of the Dambulla Cave Temple is the set of Rock Caves which now has been converted to Shrine Rooms. These shrines make excellent experience of the visitors one that will stay in the mind forever. These caves belong to the Anuradhapura era (1st Century BC – 993 AD) and Polonnaruwa era(1073 – 1250 AD).It is much worth to state something about the view it makes while you ascend to the top of the rock you will be having a panoramic view of the plain land around including the rock fortress Sigiriya. In this cave temple there exists some major caves such as
Cave of the Divine King (Devaraja Lena)
This Cave consists of a Buddha Statue of 14m and a Brahmi inscription of 1st century BC.
Cave of the Great King (Maharaaja Lena)
This is the largest cave in the Dambulla Cave Temple. In this cave, there are 16 standing Buddha statues and 40 seated statues. Inaddition to those, there are statues of the most worshipped Gods among the Buddhist community-God Saman and Vishnu. Also statues of two great Kings who had rendered a yeomen service for the cave temple, are present in this large cave. Another very attractive item present in this cave is the Buddha statue with the wooden statues of the two Bodhisattvas – Maithreya&Avalokiteshvara. There is a Dagoba inside this cave also. Other thing you should not miss is the spring which is dripping its water through a crack in the ceiling. It is widely believed that this water is having the power of healing. Other than that, this cave is rich of paintings which illustrate the various events of the Great Lord Buddha starting from the dream seen by the queen Mahamaya- mother of Siddhartha who enlightened to be the Lord Buddha. The important events of Ceylon are illustrated in the rest of the paintings. These kinds of creations are something you should not miss in your visit and you should make sure that you have covered all these places so that you will be having many things even after you go home to recall.
Great New Monastery
This is different from other caves as this features paintings of the Kandy style which were put on the ceilings during the period of the famous king Keerthi Sri Rajasingha. This cave has 50 Buddha Statues and a Statue of the King.
Fourth and Fifth Caves
These two caves are small in size and not that much ancient and in quality. There is a Shrine room for God Vishnu between the two caves