Temples in caves of the hill
We arrived to Dambulla, which is in Central province of Sri Lanka. Dambulla is a part of the Cultural Triangle declared by UNESCO, it lies on the main road from Sigiriya to Kandy, which is around 19 kilometers from Sigiriya. Dambula temple with its five sanctuaries, is the best-preserved cave-temple in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings covering about 2,100 m2 and there are more than 157 statues of Buddha.
First we climbed to 160 metres high hill. This hill has over 80 caves. Five of the caves have built temples. In front of the entrance stood a shoe's stall, where they were saving your shoes. In Buddhistic temples is forbidden to wear shoes. Parking place for your shoes costs 25 rupees for pair. When we got out of the temple we saw the men who capt our shoes, and he accurately memorized, which of the shoes belong to every one of us.
The Temple is combined from five caves with stone frontages, in which we can find statues of Buddha and pictures. Sanctuary is really nice, but I must say that Buddhistic sanctuary's can be a little bit boring because inside they don't have anything else with the exception of images of Buddha. Buddha images otherwise in different positions (standing, sitting, lying, meditating, teaching or he does something third and has over his head the flame of enlightening or he is without the flame). Our tourist guide told us an interesting story about sitting Buddha: a woman sat on Buddhas lap, to have a picture, so with that action she dishonoured the statue, and they had to paint sitting Buddha again.
Region of Dambulla was inhabited already in seventh century before Christ. The oldest preserved frescoes, are before Christ. Frescoes were subsequently restored in eleventh, twelve and eighteenth century in the year of our Lord.
In fourteenth banishment period of king Valagamba (first century before Christ) the caves were under protection of Buddhist monks. When the king came back, he built Buddhist temples for gratitude. The most preserved is the complex of five temples in Sri Lanka. In this complex are a lot of statues, and they have preserved almost all frescoes.
We should not forget two hotels, which were built not long ago in no colonial style with lots of respect for antique architecture. Those two are Cultures Club in Dambulla with beautiful wooden bungalows and Le Kandyan hotel, with wonderful position, it lies over the hills around Kandy, with panoramic pool, tea saloon and probably the most gorgeous reception in the world. All the hotels have got generally four stars. The best thing among all of this is that they are not expensive.