Dambulla and Sigiriya are two areas that are often combined into a one day trip. It’s possible to combine various experiences from Dambulla and Sigiriya in the same day, just mix and match whatever suits your interests.
Explore the Dambulla cave temple, the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Built into a rock towering hundreds of feet over the surrounding plain, five caves contain ancient frescoes and sculptures of the Buddha and his life, including several massive reclining Buddhas, as well as works depicting Sri Lankan kings and various Hindu deities.
Visit Namal Uyana, the largest Ironwood forest in Sri Lanka. Ironwood trees are the national trees of Sri Lanka and in this area the beautiful rainforest trees, endemic to Sri Lanka, cover an area of over 260 acres. Namal Uyana has a history going back to the 8th Century AD when the trees were replanted in the area and is also a well-known local sanctuary for practicing Buddhist monks, the original inhibitors of this area since its origination at the time of King Devanampiyathissa. The forest was also once the location of a prison camp, where prisoners were forced to plant trees as a form of punishment. Biologists have also registered over 102 species of tropical herbs and plants within the forest and surrounding gardens, as well as 18 species of birds and numerous other animals including elephants, leopards, monkeys and deer.
Visit South Asia’s largest rose quartz mountain range located close to Dambulla and Sigiriya. The national heritage site is protected by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation and constitutes a row of seven peaks, nearly 500 feet above sea level. Archeologists have found that the pink quartz composed from silicon di-oxide found inside the mountains dates back over 550 million years. It is believed the Mogul Emperor Shah Jehan imported the rose colored stone for decorating the Taj Mahal.