Although Sri Lanka is a tiny Island, yet every city and village become conspicuous due to some exceptional feature(s) and in this regards one cannot pass by Dambulla that is located passing northwards form the central province capital Kandy, prominently situated within the cultural triangle. Ancient cities within the archaeological expedition are better known for historical evidence of bygone rulers and their reign. However, the city under discussion has more to do with the cave monasteries and Buddhist activities surrounding them.
Centuries ago before the foreign dominance namely Portuguese, Dutch and the British the kings’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as it were was to preserve the Buddhist culture, practice and the temples. This includes providing assistance to the aesthetic aspects such as the sculpture, architecture and murals or paintings. Caves were safe havens for the contemplating monks and also for rulers and devotees.
Hence, the cave temple as it is known today at Dambulla, gained prominence for certain unique features such as the murals on the rocky walls and the stone-tops without any other artificial construction. Different postures of the Buddha captivate the eyes and minds of the visitors especially the ‘sleeping’ position. The incumbent priest would fascinate you with the historical importance of the temple.
But the more prominent feature is the natural water spout above the cave that lets water drip into the temple which is collect by a stone urn sort of container. It is there for years and not man-made! On the exterior of the cave temple are rocky slopes where visitors perch for enviable photo shots of selves and also the scenic panorama of the city.
Dambulla is synonymous with the World Famed Sigiriya Rock Citadel or better known as the Lion Rock which is a few kilometers away from the city. The fortress has a legend that will intrigue a first timer and also as one climbs to the top there is more to be enthralled. The climb is an experience by itself.
Dambulla is unavoidable in the itineraries of tourism that spans across the north-western, central and even the Eastern terrains. It is in the midst of important cities such that the journey routes take a transit here before going on further to other destinations. The city now is also a thriving vegetable trading center and from here distribution is done to other major cities. This indicates that the climate is moderate whether warm or cold as it aids a year around vegetable production.