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Dambulla Golden Cave Temple

Dambulla, Ancient Central, Sri Lanka.
Location : Dambulla
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Overview
The Dambulla cave temple, also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka.
The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include two statues of Hindu gods, the god Vishnu and the god Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square meters. Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and the Buddha’s first sermon.
Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2,700 years old in this area, at Ibbankatuwa near the Dambulla cave complexes. The Dambulla cave monastery is still functional and remains the best-preserved ancient edifice in Sri Lanka.

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