Dambulla Temple( Dambulla Raja Maha Viharaya)
Dambulla Temple is located in the Matale District of the Central Province. 148 km northeast of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. Dambulla is one of the most famous historical sites in Sri Lanka. Dambulla Temple is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Also, the most extended cave complex in Asia today is at Dambulla Temple (Dambulla Rajamaha Viharaya).
Apart from the few caves we know of around Dambulla Temple, there are many more caves. Many of the caves we know of have statues and paintings of the Buddha.
Among them, you can see many statues and paintings related to the life story of the Buddha. In terms of numbers, there are more than 150 Buddha statues. There are also statues of our kings and gods. But the Dambulla Temple is very famous for its paintings today.
As we know, the Dambulla Temple is a beautiful area with a cave complex. That is why we can say that this area has a very long history. The Ibbankatuwa area is also close to the Dambulla cave complex.
So remember, some time ago, a cemetery with human skeletons about 2700 years old was discovered in Ibbankatuwa.
Accordingly, Dambulla means BC. It is a place of historical significance dating back to the 7th century. Next, we looked for who built this natural group of caves into a cave temple. The answer is not new. If there is a cave temple somewhere in Sri Lanka, it is the name of King Walagamba. That name is familiar to Dambulla as well. King Wattagamini, or Walagamba, was born in AD. It is said that this group of caves built a Rajamaha Vihara in the 1st century. It is also noted that our King Walagamba escaped South India’s invasions thanks to the Dambulla cave complex. That is why it is said that this king built a cave temple as a token of gratitude.
Somehow over time, the Dambulla cave complex came a long way until it became a Rajamaha Vihara.
Dambulla Cave Complex is known as the most extended cave complex in Asia. Archaeological excavations have now confirmed that prehistoric humans lived here. Simultaneously, some ancient Brahmi inscriptions were found in the Dambulla Rajamaha Vihara some time ago. It is said that monks later used the Dambulla cave complex. Also, several ancient stone Buddha statues have been found in this cave. We cannot describe the significance of the old paintings in the caves of Dambulla in these words. The Dambulla Cave Temple Complex was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO World Heritage Organization in 1991.
The best time to climb the Dambulla rock is in the morning. At that time, the surroundings were also tranquil. The sun is not too big. You can go up the Dambulla rock without any effort. The temple trees on either side of the stairs make the environment even more beautiful. You can also see the work of monkeys and parrots on the Dambulla rock. Let’s say he climbs a rock somewhere. Now in front of us is the Dambulla Cave Complex. I don’t think there is a cave complex anywhere else in Sri Lanka located in such a wonderful natural setting.
There are five caves. The ditches at the top of the rock to keep the five caves dry are still visible today. They do work. Unthinkable work. Hard work for people to do. That’s how we feel when we see them. Surprisingly, he did just that in the absence of technology. Somehow later, new features were added to this unique cave complex in Dambulla. But that did not cause any damage to the cave complex.
Devaraja Cave In Dambulla Temple
The most famous and first cave in the Dambulla Cave Complex is the Devaraja Cave. In ancient times, this cave was also called the “Cave of the Divine King.” But that name doesn’t say much now. At the entrance to this cave, there is a great deal of information about establishing the Dambulla monastery written using Brahmi script belonging to the first century. There is also a fabulous Buddha statue made of stone that is unbelievable to the eyes.
There is a beautiful painting of Ananda Thero, the Dhamma’s Treasurer, and a portrait of Lord Vishnu. So perhaps This cave was called the “Cave of the Divine King” because of the portrayal of Lord Vishnu.
The caves of the great kings In Dambulla Temple
The next of the five caves in the Dambulla Cave Complex is the Maha Raja Cave. This cave is the largest of the five caves.
Then there is a slave of Buddha statues standing in this cave. There are also forty seated Buddha statues. At the same time, in the cave, you can see Lord Saman and Lord Vishnu’s statues. From there, there are two statues of King Nissankamalla as well as Walagamba. It is for this reason that this cave is called the Great Royal Cave. Also, in the cave, you can see a statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva. Another small dagaba was built inside the cave.
There is also a copper pot filled with water droplets falling from the top inside this beautiful cave. From there, you will not be able to see many paintings inside this cave.
Great New Temple Cave In Dambulla Temple
The third cave is the cave called Maha Aluth Viharaya. Many paintings are belonging to the Kandy era in this beautiful cave. Also, inside this cave, you can see about fifty Buddha statues. There is also a statue of a king. Of the five caves, except for three, the other two are small. Also, the cave is not very famous. That is why people who visit the Dambulla Cave Complex sometimes do not go to those two caves.