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Dambulla Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2 - 3 Days

Best Time: January to May Read More

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"Where Ancient Spirituality Meets Timeless Artistry"

Dambulla Tourism

Dambulla, situated in central Sri Lanka, is a historic town renowned for its ancient cave temples and rich cultural heritage. It is approximately 148 kilometers northeast of Colombo and is easily accessible by road or rail. The centerpiece of Dambulla is the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Dambulla Cave Temple, also referred to as the Golden Temple of Dambulla. This complex consists of five caves carved into the rock face of a massive granite outcrop, each adorned with exquisite Buddhist murals and over 150 stunning statues of Buddha in various poses. It is Sri Lanka's best-preserved Buddhist shrine within ancient caves.

In addition to its religious significance, Dambulla is surrounded by lush greenery and picturesque landscapes, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. It is located close to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Sri Lanka's most iconic landmarks. Visitors to Dambulla often combine a visit to the cave temples with an excursion to Sigiriya, where they can climb the ancient rock fortress and marvel at its remarkable frescoes and panoramic views.

Nature enthusiasts are drawn to Dambulla's picturesque hiking trails up the Arangala Mountain Peak and Jathika Namal Uyana Rose Quartz mountain, which offer sweeping views, ponds, and Buddhist temple ruins. Overall, Dambulla is a treasure trove of historical Buddhist and megalithic monuments, mountains with thick tropical forests and lakes, naturally formed sky-high rocks, and centuries-old temples.

Must Know Before You Travel to Dambulla

  • Accessibility: There are two ways to get to Dambulla Cave Temple - on foot from the main town or through the main A6 route from Colombo to the west. When coming from the west, you are directly dropped at the bottom of the cave temple, from where it is a short climb.
  • Getting Around: Despite being small, Dambulla cannot be covered entirely on foot. You can hire a tuk-tuk to visit the attractions
  • Dress Code: Cover your shoulders and knees, especially when visiting Dambulla Cave Temple
  • There are a lot of monkeys around the cave temple. So hide your food and other belongings properly.

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Food in Dambulla

Because the city is a major vegetable producer in the country, the local delicacies are mostly vegetarian. While non-veg cuisine is also available, vegetarian dishes are what the locals prefer. Some of the best restaurants in the city are the Mango Mango restaurant and the Sakura restaurant. In addition, various cafes serve fresh coffees, such as the Bentota Bakehouse and the Café Keachchan.

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Dambulla Photos

A series of identically carved Buddhas inside one of the cave temples of Dambulla
Dambulla is a treasure trove of historical Buddhist and megalithic monuments
The reclining Buddha statue inside Dambulla Cave Temple

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FAQs on Dambulla

What is the best time to visit Dambulla?

The best time to visit the city would be from January to May. Though the city has a consistent climate that is in the range of 30 degree Celsius to 34 degree Celsius, it is recommended to travel in those months because of the heavy rains that make it difficult for one to go inside the caves and the temple, and also experience the jungle safari and white water rafting. During January to May though there are chances of rainfall, light rainfall or drizzling may occur, so it is advisable that the visitors always carry an umbrella with themselves.
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What are the places near Dambulla?

The top places near to Dambulla are Sigiriya which is 15 km from Dambulla, Kandy which is located 64 km from Dambulla, Anuradhapura which is located 55 km from Dambulla, Colombo which is located 136 km from Dambulla, Nuwara eliya which is located 103 km from Dambulla

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