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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
Aliya Resort & Spa
Aliya Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Audangawa, Kimbissa, Dambulla
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $181 per night

Located near the airport, this family-friendly resort is within 9 mi (15 km) of Pidurangala Rock, Ancient City of Sigiriya, and Sigiriya Museum. Ritigala Ruins ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (226 reviews)

"Lovely staff, fantastic pool with great views of Sigiriya rock, nice gym, and wonderful breakfast."…"

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2020

Aliya Resort & Spa
Heritance Kandalama
Heritance Kandalama
5 out of 5
Kandalama Lake front, Dambulla
The price is $152 per night

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

4.4/5Excellent! (455 reviews)

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

Reviewed on Mar 3, 2020

Heritance Kandalama
Sigiriya Jungles
Sigiriya Jungles
4.5 out of 5
Audangawa Road, Kimibissa, Matale District, Dambulla
The price is $70 per night

Situated in the historical district, this luxury hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Pidurangala Rock, Ancient City of Sigiriya, and Sigiriya Museum. Minneriya National ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (80 reviews)
Superb!

"This hotel was devine1 It is in a lovely quiet location, the service and food was superb. We would recommend unreservedly."…"

Reviewed on Feb 3, 2020

Sigiriya Jungles

Popular places to visit in Dambulla

Ancient City of Sigiriya
Image for Ancient City of Sigiriya

Ancient City of Sigiriya

4.5/5(34 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Ancient City of Sigiriya, a popular green space in Sigiriya. Amble around the area's gardens, or seek out its campsites.

Dambulla Cave Temple
Image for Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Cave Temple

4.5/5(28 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

5/5(4 reviews)

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

Pidurangala Rock
Image for Pidurangala Rock

Pidurangala Rock

5/5(13 reviews)

Learn about the local history of Sigiriya with a stop at Pidurangala Rock. Stroll along the lakeside in this relaxing area, or check out its top-notch restaurants.

Gal Pota
Image for Gal Pota

Gal Pota

Find out about the history of Polonnaruwa when you take a trip to Gal Pota. Stroll along the lakeside or seek out the biking trails.

Minneriya National Park
Image for Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park

4.5/5(10 reviews)

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

Top things to do in Dambulla

Private Day Trip Sigiriya Rock & Dambulla Caves
Image for Private Day Trip Sigiriya Rock & Dambulla Caves

Private Day Trip Sigiriya Rock & Dambulla Caves

$150
Per adult
5-Day Pasikuda Sightseeing & Beach
Image for 5-Day Pasikuda Sightseeing & Beach

5-Day Pasikuda Sightseeing & Beach

$1,220
Per adult
Kaudulla National Park Wildlife Safari
Image for Kaudulla National Park Wildlife Safari

Kaudulla National Park Wildlife Safari

$110
Per adult
All Inclusive Day Tour to Sigiriya & Golden Temple -Dambulla
Image for All Inclusive Day Tour to Sigiriya & Golden Temple -Dambulla

All Inclusive Day Tour to Sigiriya & Golden Temple -Dambulla

$265
Per adult
3-Day AllInclusive Mobile Camping in Wasgamuwa National Park
Image for 3-Day AllInclusive Mobile Camping in Wasgamuwa National Park

3-Day AllInclusive Mobile Camping in Wasgamuwa National Park

$2,575
Per adult
Afternoon Safari at Minneriya National Park
Image for Afternoon Safari at Minneriya National Park

Afternoon Safari at Minneriya National Park

$153
Per adult

Reviews of Dambulla

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
21
5 - Excellent 51.21951219512195%
4 - Good
16
4 - Good 39.02439024390244%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 7.317073170731708%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 2.4390243902439024%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 25, 2020

Well Dambulla certainly one night or two but the main attraction nearby is actually Sigirîya, a magnificent piece of art and UNESCO world heritage.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Dec 21, 2019

They drive very dangerously... take care

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Apr 22, 2019

Good City

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Jan 2, 2019

Loved the walks but not much else in the village

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 14, 2018

A must see area.

Cities near Dambulla

Sigiriya

Sigiriya

Dambulla

Kandalama