The World Heritage Site Dambulla comes down to us from the 3rd century B.C. It carries the largest cave monastery in Sri Lanka with Buddhist mural paintings and as many as 157 statues of various sizes. This has long been a site where pilgrims worship the Lord Buddha and has been continuously occupied until the present.
The rock itself consists of five caves the first one carrying a recumbent image of Lord Buddha in meditation, the statue itself being 47-foot long and inspiring. Other caves carry statues of gods and Buddhas marvellously carved in gold and preserved to this day by ancient kings and 20 th century rulers. There are mural paintings extending to an area of 2,100 square metres. The rock ceilings are painted in brilliant colours and there are intricately detailed images of holy figures. It is an easy climb to Dambulla rock and reaching the top, apart from the ancient statues and paintings in the caves, one can enjoy the vast landscape where the country’s mountain region begins with long stretches of luscious green paddy fields lying at the bottom. Dambulla stands at cross roads to eastern and western dry zones and is the entry point to the hill country from the west