Like Sigiriya, Dambulla is a vast isolated rock mass and it was here King Valagam Bahu took refuge in the 1c.B.C. He later turned the caves into a rock temple. Sits rock ceiling is one large sweep of colourful paintings which depict Buddhist mythology and tales of the Buddha’s previous births. Some of them are over 2000 years old. Within the cave temple is the collection of the largest number of Buddha statues in one place. There is also a recumbent Buddha carved out of the living rock, some 14m long.
19 km. South of Dambulla, it is the earliest all stone building 8c. found in Sri Lanka. Believed to be a Mahayanist shrine owing to rare tantric carvings of sensuous nature nature. However it is an amalgamation of Hindu and Buddhist architecture.
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