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Dambulla, one of Sri Lanka's biggest wholesale markets, has been intricately decorated with spectacular interior that reflects Buddhism and Buddha itself. Long before the arrival in the town one can witness the charismatic interior which is exclusive to Dambulla. Having such pious and intricate interiors Dambulla affirms to be one of the prominent holy sites which should be missed while exploring Sri Lanka. Dambulla apart from the Buddhist inspired interiors is famed for the convoluted cave complex and the Dambulla Golden Temple.
The best thing which Dambulla takes pride in is the appreciably conserved cave complex that it comprises. While exploring these caves one surely notice how unbelievably the craftsmanship has been done. It’s not just the craftsmanship which makes it elegantly the best but also the serenity within and natural beauty at the backdrop that makes it the most beautiful place to visit in Sri Lanka. Further the place showcases amazingly artistic paintings and superb statues reflecting Buddha’s life and his teachings. The site comprises of a 160 meter tall rock, over the adjoining plains, from which around 80 caves are skillfully carved. Among those 80 caves there are five caves that are the most attractive and should not be missed at any cost. These five caves known as Viharayas are mentioned below:
Devaraja Viharaya: This is the prime cave of the entire complex and is eminently known as the Temple of the King of the Gods. The cave comprises a huge, 15 meters approximately, Buddha in recumbent position. With such long Buddha lying over, the cave has Ananda - Buddha’s most committed disciple, and further seated images of Buddha.
Maharaja Viharaya: This is the most fascinating caves among all and is primarily called as the Temple of the Great King. As the name suggest the cave comprises two large statues of the eminent Sri Lankan kings. One is the wooden tinted statue of Valagamba standing elegantly on the left and the other is deep within the womb of the cave the statue of Nissanka Malla. There is a Buddha statue as well which is spectacularly covered in a golden leaf which one can explore while going through the magnificent archway adorned with dragons. This statue stands elegantly having abhaya mudra which indicates protection. Further inside there is a fascinating vessel which accumulates the water that dribbles from the ceiling of the temple mysteriously.
Maha Alut Viharaya: This cave has a history behind its emergence. Presently acclaimed as the New Great Temple, Maha Alut, was used to be a storeroom in the 18th century. The cave, just like other caves, comprises a myriad of astoundingly beautiful statues of the Great Buddha.
Pachima Viharaya: This particular Cave is a cutest one among all being the smallest known Western Cave. The cave comprises a graceful Buddha statue having Dhyana mudra.
Devana Alut Viharaya: This newer cave just like the third one and is called as the Second New Temple primarily showcasing yet again a reclining Buddha and some Hindu deities.
Best Time to Visit Dambulla: Dambulla welcomes its visitors all through the year with its temperate climate however avoid monsoons to get a better insight of the place.
How to Reach Dambulla: The best way to travel to this place is by road as Dambulla has an extensive and impressive network of roads connected to major cities of the country. However, one can always choose air, water and train transport according to their comfort.