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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 10 Best Places to Visit in Dambulla - A journey towards spirituality and nature
Joanna James Joanna James
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10 Best Places to Visit in Dambulla - A journey towards spirituality and nature

Dambulla is a large town, located in the central province of Sri Lanka. Dambulla is around 148km away from the main city of Colombo and around 45km away from Kandy.



The town is famous for its historically significant 'Dambulla Cave Temple', which is the largest one on the island. An outwardly ordinary town, the town is a bustling economic centre for locally produced Agri products and is home to the famous 'Rangiri' Dambulla international stadium where cricket fans would instantly recall its name.
Check out these 10 places in and around Dambulla.


Dambulla Cave Temple

The historical Dambulla cave temple complex is a UNESCO world heritage site and you will not doubt it as to how it made it to the list when you visit it. The complex sits majestically on the plains of Dambulla and houses around 150 Buddha statues. A few depicting local Kings, Gods and Goddesses as well. These are placed within five major caves that additionally holds large cave paintings and Murals. The site is open to visitors from 7 am to 7 pm with the last tickets issues at around 5 pm. Remember that this is religiously significant places and visitors are advised to dress modestly.


Popham's Arboretum

Nature lover's entering Dambulla will be thrilled at the idea of visiting the Popham's Arboretum. This forest was created by an Englishman and houses a variety of trees, birds and insects roaming their natural habitat. Take a stroll amidst its tranquillity or just opt to spend the night and spot in a Slender Loris as you take a nocturnal stroll through the wilderness.


Minneriya National Park

Dambulla just happens to be the central location of many prominent places and a day trip to the well-known Minneriya national park will definitely be an enthralling experience. Make sure to book yourselves into a Dambulla hotel a day prior to your visit as there are more than just one pitstop to be made. The park is known to be frequented by the majestic Sri Lankan Elephants who gather around the reservoir during the dry season between April-October. Take a jeep safari and we recommend you get their early as possible to spend in time to catch up on flora and fauna inherited by this sanctuary.



No trip to the Island is complete without a climb to the Sigiriya rock fortress. Another UNESCO world heritage site, Lion's rock is a fortress and known to have been a temple complex set atop a high volcanic plateau. The main entrance is shaped like a large lion of which the large paws are the only remains that stands to date. As you climb higher you get to witness the beautiful frescoes and reach into the flat plateau where King 'Kashyapa' was said to have had his palace. The rock is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and water and boulder gardens.



Pidurangala is nothing but a bit of a thrilling adventure for those with a mood for a hike. A 30-minute hike begins with an ancient Buddhist temple which leads the way to a set of steep steps and boulders that ends with nothing but a 360 panoramic view of the breath-taking landscape below the rock with a clear view of the neighbouring Sigiriya with its majestic splendour. Make sure to dress appropriately as you need to go through the temple to reach the top. All the climbing for the day would definitely be worth it if you book in yourself to an overnight stay at a hotel such as Habarana Village by Cinnamon for a relaxing end to a perfect day.


Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs

Though little is known about this ancient burial ground belonging to the megalithic period of the island, a visit to this place is sure to give you an idea of the times and life of prehistoric people's lives in Sri Lanka. The place houses a small museum with findings taken from the burial sites such as clay pots, urns, copper and gold jewellery.


Buddhist Museum & Museum of Wall Paintings

Before you proceed to the famous Dambulla Rock temple, you will notice a huge golden statue of Lord Buddha which marks the entrance to a local museum. The statue is known to be the largest of its kind in the stance of 'Dhyan Chakra Mudra' in Asia.


Kalu Diya Pokuna

More adventure and hikes coming up for nature lovers as the doors of serenity opens to another natural site. This hiking experience is no doubt a rewarding experience with its engrossing views, a small pond with ancient ruins of a temple and little cave that were used for meditation by Buddhist monks. The name 'Kalu Diya Pokuna' means 'Pond with Black Water' refers to the pond aside the ruins and the hike takes about an hour.


Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre

Have you ever set foot at local wholesale market for fresh harvests? Then the Dambulla economic centre is one place to go. This is one bustling farmer market at the heart of the town. The economic centre is a fun place to be where you get to witness the farmers negotiating their prices for their produce. The fruits and vegetables are nothing but colour therapy for the naked eye.


Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium

The Rangiri Dambulla international stadium is spread over 60 acres and holds a seating capacity of around 30,000 spectators. Cricket fanatics can catch in a live game at this world-class stadium set amidst the natural setting of rural Sri Lanka.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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