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Dambulla Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2 - 3 Days

Best Time: May - Sep Read More

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Dambulla Tourism

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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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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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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