DambullaSri Lanka

Image for Dambulla Cave Temple

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
Heritance Kandalama
Heritance Kandalama
5 out of 5
Kandalama Lake front, Dambulla
£127
per night
Feb 19 - Feb 20

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

4.4/5Excellent! (430 reviews)

"This place is meant to be an architectural wonder - and if you like miles of black marble, reinforced concrete and metal pillars it is. But it’s not my bag. However the setting is lovely, the staff are wonderful attentive kind and fun - and the food is AMAZING."…"

Reviewed on 12 Feb 2020

Heritance Kandalama
Hotel Sigiriya
Hotel Sigiriya
4 out of 5
Hotel Road, Dambulla
£56
per night
Feb 19 - Feb 20

Situated in the historical district, this spa resort is within 3 miles (5 km) of Ancient City of Sigiriya, Sigiriya Museum and Pidurangala Rock. Dambulla Cave ...

4.3/5Excellent! (426 reviews)

"Excellent service at the front desk especially from Shani. Initially disappointed that there was no separate veg menu but the executive chef Bernard and his team went above and beyond to cater for our dietary requirements."…"

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2020

Hotel Sigiriya
EKHO Sigiriya
EKHO Sigiriya
3.5 out of 5
Matale District, Dambulla
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
£32
per night
Mar 5 - Mar 6

Situated in Dambulla, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sigiriya Museum and Ancient City of Sigiriya. Pidurangala Rock is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) away.

4.4/5Wonderful! (75 reviews)

"Very close to both rocks. Attentive staff and super friendly and helpful"…"

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2020

EKHO Sigiriya

Popular things to do in Dambulla

Ancient City of Sigiriya
Image for Ancient City of Sigiriya

Ancient City of Sigiriya

5/5(24 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Ancient City of Sigiriya, a popular green space in Dambulla. Stroll along the lakeside or visit the temples in the area.

Dambulla Cave Temple
Image for Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Cave Temple

4.5/5(16 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

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

Pidurangala Rock
Image for Pidurangala Rock

Pidurangala Rock

5/5(7 reviews)

Learn about the local history of Sigiriya when you spend time at Pidurangala Rock. Stroll along the lakeside in this relaxing area or visit its top-notch restaurants.

Kaudulla National Park
Image for Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park

5/5(8 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Kaudulla National Park, a lovely green space in Medirigiriya.

Minneriya National Park
Image for Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park

5/5(7 reviews)

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

Top activities in Dambulla

Overnight Hike to Knuckles Riverston
Image for Overnight Hike to Knuckles Riverston

Overnight Hike to Knuckles Riverston

£115

Doing an overnight hike is the most effective way to experience the nature wonders of lovely knuckles mountain range through the Riverston area which is the most beautiful hilltop in the range. The place boasts spectacular view of the highlands around it.

Half Day Private Jeep Safari at Minneriya National Park
Image for Half Day Private Jeep Safari at Minneriya National Park

Half Day Private Jeep Safari at Minneriya National Park

£46

Minneriya National park is one of the only place in the world to witness the largest Asian elephant Gathering known to exist in the planet. Watch as these huge animals drink, play and snack on the green, lush grasses that have been exposed by the receding water.

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

£93

Take a step back in time with visits to 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this comprehensive tour. Find out why Sigiriya is known as Lion Rock and what mystical wonders hide in a cave at the Golden Temple of Dambulla.

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

Private Day Trip Sigiriya Rock & Dambulla Caves

£58

Journey into the center of Sri Lanka and uncover ancient creations that will leave you awestruck. Explore two of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO-listed highlights on a privately guided day trip to Dambulla and the Sigiriya Rock.

Private Day Tour to Anuradhapura
Image for Private Day Tour to Anuradhapura

Private Day Tour to Anuradhapura

£73

Tour to the first kingdom of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura which is famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization. The city houses the oldest historically documented tree on earth, grown from a branch of the very tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment 2500 years ago.

Sigiriya to Kandy Taxi
Image for Sigiriya to Kandy Taxi

Sigiriya to Kandy Taxi

£38

You will pick up from Sigiriya & drop off to Kandy • Air conditioned car • English Speaking driver • Vehicle insurance You will transfer by Toyota vitz car. If you need any extra transportation which is not mentioned above please contact us on +94770322666.

Reviews of Dambulla

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
12
5 - Excellent 48%
4 - Good
10
4 - Good 40%
3 - Okay
3
3 - Okay 12%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Apr 28, 2019

Town not great but hotel was close to main attractions so very convenient

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 11, 2019

Close to Sigria and Temple

3/5 - Okay

Vicky

Feb 16, 2019

Didnt visit the town itself. What we saw from the car looked interesting but busy, noisy and dirty.