Dambulla caves

  Dambulla caves
  We started the day by eating an enormous breakfast at the Heritance Kandalama and set off for what was an ambitious daily program.  Although we had wanted to get an early start and try to avoid the hot and humid weather by making the steep climb to the Dambulla caves in the early hours of the morning we did not arrive there before 10:30.
  Now, either this is the most difficult climb in Sri Lanka or we were all still very tired from the long trip to Sri Lanka the previous day.  If it wasn't for the monkeys to keep us entertained on our way up, the climb would have been unbearable. 
Gigantic golden Buddha
A water lily in Dambulla
Nirvana Buddha
   The plateau where the five caves of Dambulla are located is mostly shaded and quite pleasant with good views of the surrounding area.  The caves are not big but the religious are inside them is magnificent.  There are two big reclining Buddhas with  one of them having been carved on the living rock.  Almost every piece of cave is painted and although unfortunately colors are not the original ones the images are striking.  The painted lotus flowers that appear on the top of this web site are from these caves.
  The whole visit took us about 90 minutes.  Photography without using flash is allowed in the caves and entrance for foreigners costs Rs 1100 per person.  Price includes entrance to the Golden Temple Buddhist Museum at the bottom of the steps but give it a miss.  The Dambulla Museum, located within walking distance from there is a better option despite the extra entrance fee.
  From Dambulla we made our way to our next stop, Pollonaruwa.  With a couple of stops, including one for lunch the trip through Habarana took us over three hours.