Dambulla

Situated directly in the middle of Sri Lanka, a few hours' drive from either coast, Dambulla was the cultural and spiritual heart of a flourishing kingdom that pre-dated the height of the Roman Empire. Today, it is a hub for visiting some of Sri Lanka's most ancient ruins and superb national parks. Highlights in the area include the most well-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, the largest rose quarts mountain range in South Asia, a huge Ironwood forest, a host of rock temples and the modern Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, built in 2010.
Situated directly in the middle of Sri Lanka, a few hours' drive from either coast, Dambulla was the cultural and spiritual heart of a flourishing kingdom that pre-dated the height of the Roman Empire. Today, it is a hub for visiting some of Sri Lanka's most ancient ruins and superb national parks. Highlights in the area include the most well-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, the largest rose quarts mountain range in South Asia, a huge Ironwood forest, a host of rock temples and the modern Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, built in 2010.

EXPERIENCES

EXPERIENCES

Combined Trip Dambulla and Sigiriya

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.

Dambulla Cave Temple

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.

Namal Uyana Ironwood Forest

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.

Rose Quartz Mountains

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.

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Travelogues

Fascinating Places to Hike in Sri Lanka

Author
Tyler Roney

From crowded mountains with lighted paths that brighten the night to strange plants at the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, some very interesting hiking paths run through Sri Lanka.

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A Luxurious Comeback for Sri Lanka

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Remote Lands

The tiny island of Sri Lanka has endured a lot, both in the past and in recent memory. Torn apart by civil war and a devastating tsunami, this strong and determined little country has fought its way through the hard times and come out on the other side not only with its beauty and culture intact, but also with its eyes on bigger rewards.

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Asia with kids

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Traveling with the kids, whether they’re tiny tots or troublesome teens, can be fraught with hassle: there’s so much to consider, from getting the right vaccinations to packing all the essentials.

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Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle: Discover the Soul of a Nation

Author
Jay Tindall

Whether your trip to Sri Lanka includes the stunning beaches in the south, the lush highlands terraced with tea plantations or a wildlife safari in one of its national parks, it’s worth making the effort to venture into the country’s heart to explore the Cultural Triangle to get a deeper sense of history.

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Heritage Hunting in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle

Author
Victoria Hilley

In the heart of the country lies Sri Lanka’s famed Cultural Triangle, which includes the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the cave temples at Dambulla and the mighty rock fortress of Sigiriya.

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