92 miles from Colombo. Dambulla is famous for the five cave Temples on a rock. The first 03 caves are better, older and larger than the other two. Some caves dates to 1st C.B.C. All the 5 cave walls and ceilings are covered with Buddhist murals and there are more than 130 Buddha statues, statues of Gods and Kings are also found here.
History of Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla-also known as Jambukola, was a Meditating Center where Buddhist Bhikkhus were living in caves, as far back as the 3rd C.B.C. There are 35 caves used by such Bhikkhus at Dambulla, some of them contain inscriptions under the drip-ledge of the caves.
In the 2nd C.B.C. (103 B.C.) King Vatta Gamini Abhaya (Valagam Bahu) sought refuge here and would have stayed for a long time in these caves out of 14 years of exile.
After he regained the throne at Anuradhapura in 89 B.C. he converted 03 caves to shrine rooms and had donated them to Buddhist Bhikkhus as attested by the 1st C.B.C. Brahmi inscription under the drip-ledge of cave number 2.