Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya or Dambulla Golden Temple is a significant destination for Buddhist pilgrims throughout Sri Lanka. Famous for centuries long cave temples, Sri Lanka has many of them. One of the most prominent and preserved temples among them is undoubtedly the Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya. The complex structure of the temples consists many caves. There happen to be more than 80 caves around the place. Among these Caves, five vital caves are holding the important sculptures and pictures of the temple. Most of these paintings relate to Lord Buddha and his life. Also, there is over 153 Buddha statues, four statues of other gods and goddesses and the statues of the former kings in the Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya.
Listed in the UNESCO world heritage site Dambulla Golden temple, these temples also has history to tell. During the Indian invasion of Sri Lanka, the kings had to take asylum in these caves from Anuradhapura. In about a time of twelve years, King Wagamba organized and trained his army. He chased away the invaders and regained his throne and control of Anuradhapura. King Wagamba then turned all these caves into Buddhist cave temples as we see today.
The paintings in the temples are worth giving your time. Some aging back to the 2nd century, these paintings reflect the artistic capacity of early Sri Lankan artists. Also, the murals in the place are some 2100 square meters in area and are delightful. One can also enjoy a beautiful landscape of the Dambulla city from here. The pagoda of Dambulla golden temple lately added grace to this magnificent temple.