Dambulla cave temple is also known as the golden temple of Dambulla. It is a UNESCO world heritage site in Sri Lanka. This site is situated 148 kilometres from Colombo. Dambulla cave temple is the largest and well-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. There are more than 80 caves have documented in the surrounding area. Five caves are more attracted among tourists, which contain statues and paintings. In very early days Buddhist hermits were occupied in these caves. When King Valagamba (also known as Vattagamani Abhaya) driven out of Anuradhapura, took refuge here. When he regained his throne, he had the interior of the caves carved into amazing rock temples. Further paintings were made by later kings. The early paintings of these caves are believed by some to belong to the 8th century A. C. Because of overpainting, can’t be proved this at all. Total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses can be found here. From the caves there are clear views over the surrounding countryside, Sigiriya is can be visible some 20km distant.
Cave No:1(Deva raja viharaya)
The visitors to the temple of Dambulla through the gateway first comes across Cave No. l. The image depicting the parinibbana (the last moment) of the Buddha in the typical style. It is about 47 feet in length. It is carved almost in the round from the natural rock to which it remains joined all along from behind. Another five images of which the standing one at the southern end of the cave. At the northern corner of the cave, opposite the face of the principal image, there is a statue of Vishnu.
The next cave is the largest and the most impressive one in this place. This cave is called maha raja viharaya (the temple of the Great King) because its founder was king Vattagamani Abhaya, who personally assisted in its formation. The cave is painted all over in brilliant colours and there are fifty-there images. The majority of the statues are of Buddha in different attitudes. At the right of the entrance is a stupa, about 18 feet high. Towards the eastern end of the cave, there is a perpetual dripping of water that filters through the roof from hollows on the top of the rock. The drops of water are caught in a vessel placed in a small square.
Cave No:3 (Maha Alut Viharaya)
This was mode a shrine room by Kirti Sri Rajasinha, who reformed the Buddhist Church in the eighteenth century. Most of the new paintings and renovations of the Temple are attributed to this last great benefactor of Dambulla. The cave is about 90 feet long, 81 wide, and is shelving rock whose height is about 36 feet. These frescoes depict various and numerous events of Buddhists. Some representing the life of the enlightened one and score the history of Buddhism. This cave contains fifty figures of the Buddha.
Cave No:4 (Paschima Viharaya)
This cave contains ten figures of the Buddha. There is a very beautiful figurer of the Buddha seated in the dhyana mudra(posture of meditation) hewn of the natural rock that forms the cave itself. The image is in a fine state of preservation and painted in brilliant colours. There is a neat stupa called soma chethiya at the middle of the cave. The roof and sides of the rock and the front walls are painted of the brightest colours, and decorated with a number of figures, chiefly of Buddha.
Cave No:5 (Devana Alut Viharaya)
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