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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 5 Best Places to Visit in Dambulla - Experience authentic Sri Lanka in the low-key cultural city
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Best Places to Visit in Dambulla - Experience authentic Sri Lanka in the low-key cultural city

The centre of the Sri Lankan cultural triangle and home to a host of historical and cultural sites, Dambulla gives you a glimpse into the Indian Ocean island nation's glorious past. Venture out into the atmospheric scene and authentic Sri Lanka in the charming, low-key cultural city.


Golden Temple of Dambulla - Behold the majestic golden Buddha

Facing the Kandy - Jaffna highway, the Golden Temple of Dambulla strikes the eye of everyone entering the city, thanks to the giant imposing golden Buddha. The majestic Buddha statue is plated with real gold and is reportedly the largest in the world set in the position of the "Wheel of Law". Treat your eyes to the mind-blowing sight and climb your way up to the base of the Buddha for a closer look at the glimmering statue and panoramic views of the surrounding.


Dambulla Royal Cave Temple - Feast your eyes on the striking works of art

Walk up the flight of stairs beneath the giant golden Buddha to make your way to the ornate caves of the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple. Dating back 22 centuries, the historic Buddhist temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in the island nation. Feel a world away as you wander through the temple's five caves nestled beneath a huge drooping rock, feasting your eyes on the slew of striking wall paintings and sculptures.


Sigiriya Rock Fortress - An adventurous treat for the adventurous soul

A half-hour 26-kilometre drive away from Dambulla is another UNESCO World Heritage site and a world-renowned tourist attraction, the wondrous Sigiriya Rock Fortress, popularly known around the world as the Lion Rock. Soaring to 180 metres, the imposing rock fortress never fails to leave its droves of tourists in awe with its mind-blowing splendour. The trek up the rock involves a good 1,000 or so steps that are sure to engage you in one incredible workout, but it will be totally worth it once you get to indulge in breathtaking panoramic views at the top.


Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre - A glimpse into the local way of life

Take a break from all the history and culture and make your way to the Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre for a change in scenery. It is a wholesale market of fruits and vegetables in the heart of the city that runs continuously 24/7, where farmers haul their harvest to the economic centre, which is then distributed throughout the island nation. Meander through the atmospheric scene and get a glimpse into the authentic local way of life. Vacationing tourists could also find a few Dambulla hotels in the vicinity, such as Amaya Lake.


Minneriya National Park - Get up close and personal with your favourite wildlife

Set off on a trip out of the city of Dambulla to the Minneriya National Park for an exciting wildlife experience. The sprawling 90-square kilometre nature reserve is one of the most visited out of the 22 national parks in Sri Lanka. It is home to a wide variety of tropical fauna. Hop on a wicked safari jeep and venture into the wilderness to spot your favourite wild animals.