Ideal duration: 2 - 3 Days
Best Time: May - Sep Read More
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Nestled in Sri Lanka's Central Province, 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. It is the second-largest populated and urbanised centre in Matale District, home to South Asia's largest rose quartz mountain and the eminent Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.
Dambulla's most-visited attraction is the UNESCO-listed Dambulla Cave Temple, which displays over 150 priceless Buddha statues, intricate sacred cave paintings, and huge murals. It is Sri Lanka's best-preserved Buddhist shrine within ancient caves. Even before beginning the ascent to reach the temple, a giant Buddha statue built with gold awaits you at the entrance of the Dambulla Museum on the foothill. Also, admire prehistoric discoveries at Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs, dating back to the Iron Age. The local museum displays clay pots, urns, gemstones, and copper and gold jewelry found from ancient burial grounds.
Nature enthusiasts are drawn to Dambulla's picturesque hiking trails up the Arangala Mountain Peak and Jathika Namal Uyana Rose Quartz mountain, offering sweeping views, ponds, and Buddhist temple ruins. You can also go on wildlife safaris to Hurulu Forest Reserve or simply stroll the flower beds of Garden Woods and Popham's Arboretum. Also, Sigiriya, which is famous for the Sigiriya Rock, is only 30 minutes from Dambulla and is easy to visit on a day trip.
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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.