Dambulla Cave Temple
En-route visit Dambulla cave temple with beautifully carved statues of Lord Buddha and Hindu Gods is believed to date back to the 12th century. On your way visit a spice Garden in Matale.
There are five caves (shrine rooms) in Dambulla temple. All of these caves are full of statues of Buddha and various personages of the Buddhist Order or History. There are 150 Buddha images in these caves. Cave No. 5 (the last in order) has no historical value as it was done in the second decade of this century. All of the other caves contain statues and paintings representing various epochs of Sinhalese sculpture and paintings. The early paintings of Dambulla are believed by some to belong to the 8th century A. C. But this cannot be proved at all because of over painting.
The early paintings of Dambulla are believed by some to belong to the 8th century A. C. But this cannot be proved at all because of over painting. Nevertheless this place is a mine of decorative designs, the patterns of which resemble those of Sigiriya. Dambulla is a part of the Cultural Triangle declared by UNESCO.
The visitor to the Temple of Dambulla through the gateway first comes across Cave No. l, called Dev-Raja-viharaya (temple of the King of Gods). It is believed that this Cave is so called, because the god Sakka (King of Gods) gave the finishing touches to the principal image of this cave. This image, depicting the parinibbana (the last moment) of the Buddha in the typical style is about forty seven feet in length. It is carved almost in the round from the natural rock to which it still remains joined all along from behind, and is well preserved.
Cave No. 2 is called Maha Raja Viltaraya (the temple of the Great King) According to the common belief its founder was king Vattagamani Abhaya, who personally assisted in its formation.
The cave is painted all over in brilliant colors, and every part is in good repair. It is one hundred and seventy-two feet in length, seventy-five in breadth, and twenty-one feet in height near the. Front wall. The height from this place gradually decreases in an arc towards the floor on the interior side.
This cave contains fifty-there images. The majority of the statues are of Buddha in different attitudes. Many of them are larger, but none much smaller than life.
The visitor who enters by the door at the northern corner of this cave first comes across a figure of the standing Buddha under a neatly executed Makata Torana, both sculptured out of natural rock. This is the principal images of the shrine room. This image is in Abhaya Mudra. The figure is beautiful sculptured will sturdy features and massive limbs. No attempt has been made by the artist to portray physical details in true proportion.
The flowing folds of the Robe are shown by grooves. The right shoulder and arm are bare. The folds are gathered at the left shoulder. The head is covered with a series of lump planted regularly with a crest surmounting all of them. Eyes of the images are carver out with lids shown open. The lips are thick. So is the nose. There is a stiffness of the limbs, and a wooden rigidity of the body. The image is standing on a stone lotus pedestal circular in shape. This lotus is neither well carved nor elaborate.
Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site near Dambulla cave temple complexes is the latest archaeological site of significant historical importance found in Dambulla, which is located within 3 kilometers of the cave temples providing evidence on presence of indigenous civilizations long before the arrival of Indian influence on the Island nation.
The city also boasts to have the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia and the iron wood forest or Namal Uyana.
The Jathika Namal Uyana in Sri Lanka is the largest ironwood forest and pink quartz mountain in Asia. The Ironwood Tree is endemic to Sri Lanka and the replanted forest is over 260 acres in extent. According to archeological researcher’s findings, the pink quartz in this historical place has a history of more than 550 millions of years. Naamal Uyana is an extremely rare forest replanted with Iron wood trees in the 8th Century AD commenced during the starting from King Devanampiyathissa and ending with king Dappula IV.
Namal Uyana had been a sanctuary for Buddhist monks during King Devanampiyatissa’s reign in the 8th century. Later it had been used as a prison camp where the punishment was to plant Na trees. King Dappula period it declared it as a human sanctuary. This unique natural place has been brought forward to the attention of the world almost 15 years before, by a Buddhist monk, Venerable Wanawasi Rahula Thero.
Namal Uyana situated in Dry Zone area in Sri Lanka. In Na tree forest or Namal uyana protects the hot sunlight give its shade to all the small medicinal plants living in its shades and makes the feeling to those who visits Namal Uyana that you are in a cool area, like the coolest place in Sri Lanka. Botanically, NA tree is called “Mesua Ferara” and in English it is called the Iron Wood Tree. The whole part of Na is also use as herbal meditation in Sri Lanka. This significant tree is a native to Sri Lanka, India, Malayasia, Buruma, Thailand, and Papua Neviginnia. This was named as the national tree of Sri Lanka. Buddhist and other religious have a great religious value for Na.
According to the biologists the importance of the Namal Uyana is that it has 102 species of tropical plants of which 82 are herbal plants within 260 acres garden and the forest bordering it. 18 bird species and a number of mammals including elephant, leopard, monkey and deer also dwell in the park and its proximity.
The Rose Quartz mountain range in Namal uyana is the largest Rose Quartz mountain range in Asia. Though Namal Uyana, recently declared a National Heritage site, under the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) has become popular among Sri Lankans in recent years. The row of 7 mountains is situated over & above 180 to 300 meters above the sea level. According to archeological research findings, the pink quartz is having a history of more than 550 millions of years. At an overall view the top portion appears like misty clouded and with its pink color mixed with the white mist, it will give you a stunning look which differentiates this mountain from others.
And if you go deeper to explore the diversities this range of mountains are having it will be an amazing experience.