Located about 20 km from Habarana, this lively town should not be missed! You could easily take a bus ride between these two towns in under half an hour, for under Rs 50 per person. Next, to a bustling town, Dambulla consists of just a few historical and cultural sites. But those present are one of a kind.

Golden Rock Cave Temple

While Dambulla is surrounded by 80 caves, the biggest attraction in this town is the Raja Maha Viharaya or the Golden Rock Cave Temple. A total of five caves make this monastery and together they put every other cave temple in the country to shame. The Golden Rock Cave Temple is without a doubt Sri Lanka’s most impressive cave temple. Be sure to dress appropriately and buy a ticket before you start climbing the stairs that lead to up to the sanctuary.

Measuring about 52 meters, the largest cave holds 48 statues of Lord Buddha and is said to have sheltered King Valagamba as he tried to evade an invading army. The five temples together hold a total 157 Buddha statues. The sanctuary now holds value for its rich history, craftsmanship and religious significance.  Of particular interest are its murals that cover over 2100 m². Dambulla Rock Cave temple has been a World Heritage Site since 1991.

Rose pink mountains

If you’re a nature lover, head on over to the Jathika Namal Uyana, or Sri Lanka’s biggest Iron Wood forest, that is famous for its wildlife. The pink Rose Quartz Mountain Range is supposed to be the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia. It was declared a human sanctuary by King Dappula in 10th century AD but its geological significance dates back 500 million years ago. This range of in total 7 rose pink mountains lies 180-300 meters above sea level.

After completing the things you can do in the town itself, don’t forget that there are many other places close to the town that you can visit. Sites such as the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Pidurangala Rock temple and the Minneriya National Park are only a bus ride away! You can even choose to ride a hot air balloon if you want to witness these marvellous sites from a bird’s eye view.Be advised that the best time for this is early morning. 

Rich in biodiversity and culture, Dambulla is definitely worth visiting!