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DambullaSri Lanka

In the geographical heart of Sri Lanka is a bustling town with a captivating collection of millennia-old temples in rock caves.

From a boisterous food market to majestic Buddhist temples and an international cricket stadium, Dambulla is an interesting place to visit when touring Sri Lanka. Dambulla sits at the northern tip of the Central Province surrounded by hills, lakes and valleys. Visit this sacred pilgrimage site, internationally famous for Sri Lanka’s most impressive complex of ancient cave temples.

The town itself stretches along a hectic commercial street lined with guesthouses, hotels, restaurants and shops. Select from a variety of fruits and vegetables at Dambulla Market. Wander between the stalls to witness the chaotic activity and watch as wholesalers cart large quantities of produce to and from delivery trucks.

Continue south to the cave and temple complex. At the entrance stands the Golden Temple, a modern building with traditional styling crowned by a shiny 98-foot-tall (30-meter) Buddha statue. Browse the art collection at the adjacent Dambulla Museum. This ranges from cave art to 18th-century murals.

A hillside trail leads from behind the Golden Temple to the Dambulla Cave Temple, a group of five rock-cut temples that date back over 22 centuries. Spot more than 150 statues, including a reclining Buddha, depictions of Hindu gods and images of Sri Lankan kings. Admire well-preserved frescoes, covering an area of 23,000 square feet (2,100 square meters). Enjoy views over the surrounding countryside and spot the rock fortress of Sigiriya.

Catch a rickshaw to attractions a short drive from the town center. See plants, shrubs and trees native to Sri Lanka’s dry zone at Popham’s Arboretum. Hike amid an ironwood forest and in the shadow of rose quartz mountains at Jathika Namal Uyana. Watch a cricket match at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

Dambulla is about 110 miles (180 kilometers) northeast of Colombo and accessible via public buses. It forms part of the Cultural Triangle, a region of ancient towns, monuments and ruins strung out between Anuradhapura, Kandy and Polonnaruwa. Use the easygoing hilltop town of Kandy as a base for daytrips to Dambulla.

Top hotels in Dambulla

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Heritance Kandalama
Heritance Kandalama
5 out of 5
Kandalama Lake front, Dambulla
Rs28,014
per night
1 May-2 May

Situated on a lake, this luxury hotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of Popham's Arboretum, Dambulla Cave Temple and Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. Ancient ...

4.4/5Excellent! (442 reviews)

"Unique architecture in a wonderful green area. Food, service and accomodation outstanding"…"

Reviewed on 3 Mar 2020

Heritance Kandalama
Hotel Sigiriya
Hotel Sigiriya
4 out of 5
Hotel Road, Dambulla

Situated in the historical district, this spa resort is within 3 miles (5 km) of Ancient City of Sigiriya, Sigiriya Museum and Pidurangala Rock. Dambulla Cave ...

4.3/5Excellent! (437 reviews)

"Beautiful location and very kind staff , very close to Sigiriya rock"…"

Reviewed on 29 Feb 2020

Hotel Sigiriya
Aliya Resort & Spa
Aliya Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Audangawa, Kimbissa, Dambulla
Rs6,704
per night
2 Apr-3 Apr

Located near the airport, this family-friendly resort is within 9 mi (15 km) of Sigiriya Museum, Ancient City of Sigiriya and Minneriya National Park. Dambulla ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (221 reviews)

"When you first walk up the steps to reception, the view just blows you away. Wonderful outlook onto Sigirya Rock with the infinity pool in the foreground. Our chalet room was large, cool and comfortable. The grounds were lovely, as was the pool and the spa. The food was mainly buffet and excellent. ..."…"

Reviewed on 11 Mar 2020

Aliya Resort & Spa

Popular things to do in Dambulla

Ancient City of Sigiriya
Image for Ancient City of Sigiriya

Ancient City of Sigiriya

5/5(24 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Ancient City of Sigiriya, a popular green space in Dambulla. Stroll along the lakeside or visit the temples in the area.

Dambulla Cave Temple
Image for Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Cave Temple

4.5/5(16 reviews)

Spectacular Buddha statues and colorful murals beautify this ancient complex of rock-cut temples set high above the plains of Dambulla.

Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium
Image for Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

Catch an event at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium during your trip to Dambulla.While in this relaxing area, you can savour the top-notch restaurants.

Pidurangala Rock
Image for Pidurangala Rock

Pidurangala Rock

5/5(8 reviews)

Learn about the local history of Sigiriya when you spend time at Pidurangala Rock. Stroll along the lakeside in this relaxing area or visit its top-notch restaurants.

Kaudulla National Park
Image for Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park

5/5(9 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Kaudulla National Park, a lovely green space in Medirigiriya.

Minneriya National Park
Image for Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park

5/5(7 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Minneriya National Park, a lovely green space in Hingurakgoda. While in this relaxing area, you can savour the top-notch restaurants.

Reviews of Dambulla

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
13
5 - Excellent 50%
4 - Good
10
4 - Good 38.46153846153846%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 11.538461538461538%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

28 Apr 2019

Town not great but hotel was close to main attractions so very convenient

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

11 Mar 2019

Close to Sigria and Temple

3/5 - Okay

Vicky

16 Feb 2019

Didnt visit the town itself. What we saw from the car looked interesting but busy, noisy and dirty.