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Tourist destination: Dambulla cave temple in Sri Lanka
"Dambulla cave temple is a World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka that is about 150 kilometres east of Colombo and 70 kilometres north of the holy city of Kandy which we have already visited. The cave temple that we are currently visiting is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka," informed my kin folk currently visiting the country as tourists for two weeks.

I have told that the rock that houses many caves is as high as 160 m over the surrounding plains, however, the main attractions are five caves, which contain the Buddhist statues and paintings mainly related to Buddha's life. The cave temple works an active ritual centre of Buddhism.

Cave Temple Budhisom

Sending a picture of the Buddha there, my wife wrote that there over 150 Buddha statues along with that of a few of Hindu gods such as Vishnu and Ganesha.

The cave walls that have been restored and are now being preserved have a large number of murals covering an area of over 2,000 square metres. The mural depictions on the walls of the caves include important events in the life of the Buddha such as the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha's first sermon at Sarnath in India.

Lord Budha

It is held that this prehistoric Sri Lankan cave is about 2700 years old habitation which got converted into the Buddhist cave temple later with the spread of Buddhism in the country. According the available information the cave temple complex dates back to the first century BCE.

It was during the 18th century that the caves were restored and painted by the Kingdom of Kandy but the major restoration work was done in the first half of the twentieth century when the architecture of the cave temple was embellished with arched colonnades and gabled entrances. Also, the ceilings of the main caves painted with intricate patterns of religious images following the contours of the rock.

Cave Temple

Currently, the temple complex has a museum, however, other tourist facilities are located away from it to minimise damage to surrounding archaeological features. Two caves are being preserved by retaining the 18th century features. The surroundings of the cave temple are lush green and present a breathtaking scenic beauty.

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