The Dambulla Caves of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle
I think it’s a fairly common fantasy of travellers to spend a week at a sunny destination such as exotic and mysterious Sri Lanka and think you could see yourself living there. It’s quite another to actually know when you arrive that you’ll be a resident for two years, possibly four.
When we were informed that Sri Lanka would be our next posting, I must admit, I knew very little about it, apart from the tsunami disaster of 2004. We landed in 2009, when the 25 year civil war between the Sinhalese and Tamil inhabitants was just coming to an end. This transition, together with it being a bruised and battered third world country, sparked much apprehension in what would lie ahead for my family.
Sri Lanka was an amazing and intriguing place to share with family, and to raise our children in. There is so much to teach children about its history and culture.
In these series I will share with you some of the amazing places to see and stay in this country that we recently called home.
Dambulla Caves-Golden Rock Temple
This cave temple complex is simply incredible. Perched approximately 600 feet above the surrounding land, it is one of the oldest Buddhist shrines in Sri Lanka. Dambulla Caves was named a heritage site by Unesco in 1991, it is believed that the caves at this site may have begun to be carved out of the rock as far back at the 1st century BC, and have been inhabited by Buddhist monks for nearly 22 centuries. Studies in the area have uncovered prehistoric human remains as well. Frescoes and over 100 statutes can be viewed inside the caves.
Things to Do near Dambulla Caves
This site takes approximately one half day to explore. It is quite a long (and uphill) walk to the Caves and after traveling, young children will not likely handle much more than this. If however, you find you’d like to squeeze in another stop, you can carry on to Sigiriya Rock.
Where to Stay near Dambulla Caves – Vil Uyana
As we visited this area twice, we had the opportunity to stay in two different hotels. Vil Uyana is another remarkable resort where their goal was to simply meld into the environment. With several bungalows built on rice paddy fields, you really do feel as if nature is being respected here. It offers luxury and tranquility.
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