Dambulla Cave Temple

dambulla

The Rock Temple (Rangiri Dambulla Rajamaha Viharaya)and The Golden Temple(Rangiri Dambulla Uyanwatta Rajamaha Viharaya) are interconnected temples with single administration. The history of Rock Temple goes back to the first century B.C., commenced by the King Vattagamini Abhaya and thereafter kings, Maha Parakramabahu, Nissankamalala, Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe and five cave temples, particularly named, Devaraja Viharaya, Maharaja Viharaya, Maha Alut Viharaya. Paschima Viharaya and Devena Alut Viaharaya respectively.
Within these five caves is housed a collection of 157 valuable images of the Buddha and Bodhisatta etc. Inside the caves the rock surfaces, ceiling and side walls are covered with paintings executed with indigenous traditional colour schemes to an extent of about 22,000 square feet. The inscription in the premises records that the temple had been named “Rangiri Dambulla” when the images were painted in gold by King Nissankamalala of the Polonnaruwa regime. The temple with its historical, archeological and artistic significances had in the year 1991, been declared one of the world heritages sites by the UNESCO.

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