Located in Dambulla Sri Lanka, the Dambulla Golden Temple or the Dambulla cave temple is the largest cave temple complex found in Sri Lanka. It is also the best preserved cave temple that contains cave paintings and statues praising Buddha. The complex is made up of five caves and contains the major attractions of the place.
The cave temple is estimated to have been around since the first century BC. The cave is situated under a huge overhanging rock that stands about 160 meters high and towers over its surrounding plains. A drip line is carved on the rock to allow water to pass through to make the inside of the cave dry. This is also the reason why the cave complex is well preserved as there is very minimal erosion due to water.
The Dambulla Golden Temple has five major caves that serve as its main attractions. The three largest caves are named Devaraja Lena or Cave of the Divine King, Maharaja Lena or Cave of the Great Kings, and Maha Alut Vihara or Great New Monastery. The other two caves are smaller in size and are not as impressive as the other three. They were also made at a later period than the other three. The largest cave is the second cave or the Cave of Great Kings containing about 56 different statues of Buddha.
The interior of the Dambulla Golden Temple consists of art and patterns painted on the walls and ceiling. One of the caves has about 1,500 different paintings of Buddha painted on the ceiling. Each cave consists of different statues of Buddha, kings, and gods. In total, there are 153 Buddha statues, statues of four gods, and statues of three Sri Lankan kings. Buddha’s statues are of different sizes and depict different attitudes. The largest Statue is measured to about 15 meters or approximately 50 feet.