The Dambulla cave temple has an unique atmosphere. Its stone sanctuaries are among the oldest, largest, and best preserved on the island. They are also in the best state of preservation.
These sanctuaries are located at Dambulu-function (Dambulla Rock), which is enormous and almost protected. Around 600 feet separates it from the plain on the other side. Its majority of the surface is black and naked, with very little wood covering it.
History of Dambulla Cave Temple
The caves of the Dambulla Cave Temple were formerly inhabited by Buddhist hermits, same as the Mihintale caves. The location’s ancient antiquity is supported by the existence of pre-Christian Brahmi inscriptions right below the drip-ledge of the primary cave.
The condition of the letters in the comparatively large number of brief engravings in the Brahmi structure at Dambulla, especially those from the first century B.C.
Essentially under this lord’s leadership, the Dambulla Cave Sanctuary became a well-known location and the residence of Buddhist priests. Vattagamani Abhaya is one of the rare ancient Sri Lankan kings whose reputation and name survive without reference to written documents. The inhabitants of the nation attribute him to many of the drip-ledged caves that were formerly inhabited by Buddhist monks.
Things to do in Dambulla Cave Temple
There are five caverns (altar rooms) in Dambulla cave sanctuary. These caverns circular segment loaded with sculptures of Buddha and different personages of the Buddhist Request or History. These caves contain 150 Buddha statues. Cave No. As it was carried out in the second decade of this century, number 5—the last in the order—has no historical significance.
Statues and paintings from various Sinhalese art periods can be found in each of the other caves. Some people think that the early paintings in the Dambulla cave temple date back to the 8th century A.D.
Overpainting, on the other hand, makes this impossible to prove at all. Despite this, there are a lot of decorative designs here that look like those in Sigiriya. A thorough study of Dambulla’s paintings provides a lot of information for students of Buddhism’s history.
After the Polonnaruve kingdom fell at the end of the 12th century, it is generally agreed that the classical school of Sinhalese painting ended. There are no surviving instances of this style after the thirteenth hundred years. Again, we have examples of the work of an indigenous painting school from the 17th and 18th centuries.
It does not appear that the artistic traditions that produced the masterpieces of Sigiriya and Polonnaruva gave rise to this new school.
There may have been older paintings in this location, but they may have been lost or covered up by subsequent painting. It is possible to infer that the designs of the decorative patterns represent ancient concepts and may even be considered a continuation of Sigiriya’s design tradition.
However, as the Dambullu Tudapata alluded to above plainly uncovers cave No. 1, 2 and 4 of Dambulla cave sanctuary were painted by the Kandyan specialists of the seventeenth hundred years by the request for ruler Senarat (1604-1635 A.C). In the rule of Kirti Sri Rajasinha, the artistic creations of Dambulla cave sanctuary were redesigned and over painted once more. Artistic creations in Cavern No. 4 clearly depict the emerging Sinhalese painting school that flourished in the Kandyan provinces following the 17th century.
The Caves of Dambulla Rock Temple
The guest to the Dambulla cave sanctuary through the entryway first goes over Cavern No. l, also known as the “temple of the King of Gods,”
It is believed that the name of this cave comes from the fact that the principal image of this cave was completed by the god Sakka, also known as the King of Gods. The Buddha’s parinibbana, or final moment, typically measures approximately 47 feet in length. It is well-preserved and nearly circularly carved from natural rock, which it was joined to from behind all along.
The next cave in the Dambulla cave temple is by far the largest and most impressive of the caves that visitors can explore.
Bright colors are used to paint every surface of the cave. It is 172 feet long, 75 feet in broadness, and 21 feet in level. From this location, the height gradually descends in an arc toward the interior floor. This cavern contains 53 pictures. The majority of the statues depict Buddha in various states of mind.
A masonry wall separates this cave, which is referred to as Maha Alut Viharaya (The Great New Temple), from Cave No. 2. This is said to have been utilized as a store room before the eighteenth 100 years.
The cavern is around 19 feet in length, 81 feet wide, and is racking stone whose level is around 36 feet. The massive surface of rock of this cavern is additionally painted of the most extravagant tones. There are fifty Buddha statues in this cave.
The Western Temple, or Paschima Viharaya, is the name given to this cave. It measures about 27 feet wide by 54 feet long. furthermore, its racking rooftop, which plunges quickly inwards, is around 27 feet high.
There are ten Buddha statues in this cave. Under a torana, the principal image is the same size as the other statues. This is an exceptionally lovely figure of the Buddha situated in the dhyana mudra (stance of contemplation) slashed of the normal stone that shapes the actual cavern.
The majority of these figures are as large as life-size or larger, and they are beautifully painted and executed. In the middle of the cave is a neat stupa known as the Soma stupa.