Dambulla is one of the top tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, most famous for its Golden Temple and Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium. Situated approximately 150 km north east of Colombo, this lovely town lies in the Matale District in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.
The most visited attraction at Dambulla is the Golden Temple, also known as the Dambulla Cave Temple. Inscribed as one of Sri Lanka's UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1991, the rock temples are the largest, best preserved and among the most ancient in the island. The cave temple was established in 3rd century BC and is a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists ever since then; it is still occupied to this day. The rock of Dambulla in which the temples are situated are massive, towering 160 meters over the surrounding plains. There is much to see here with 150 Buddhist statues and mural paintings spread over five sanctuaries.
The first cave - Devaraja Viharava (temple of the King of Gods) principle feature is a 14 metre long Buddha statue carved out of solid rock. The second cave, Maharaja Vihara (temple of the Great King), is by far the largest and most impressive - it is painted in brilliant colours all over, and contains several standing and seated statues of Buddha. The third cave, Maha Alut Vihara (Great New Monastery), consists of paintings on ceilings and walls as well as Buddha statues. With all the gorgeous inscriptions and frescoes lining the walls and ceilings, this temple is a highly anticipated destination for locals and tourists alike.
Another reason why Dambulla is famous is its International Cricket Stadium overlooking Dambulla Rock. Constructed in just 167 days with a seating capacity of 16,800, its first cricket match was held between England and Sri Lanka in 2001.