Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ancient City of Dambulla

Ancient City of Dambulla, North Sri Lanka - From Kandy, I hired Jagath to drive me to Dambula, one of the half-a-dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka. From the start, I was always mesmerized with it. It is a rocky outcrop that was transformed into a series of cave temples. It also reminded me of Myanmar's Mount Popa!

A visit in Dambulla involves a good deal of hiking up marbly and granite stairs through bushy lanes filled with pesky monkeys. To add to the sacrifice, there is the harsh beating sun to fry not just your skin but your brains as well.

After paying a hefty 1,100 rupees, I leisurely trodded the challenging trail up the rocky hill. Once there, there were 5 caves all filled with buddhas, including a reclining buddha in each cave. There were paintings - frescoes, if you will, surrounding this buddhist sanctuary. And the view from the outside is nothing to scoff at too. From that hill, you see the breathtaking view of Dambulla below - bushes and trees, ponds, spires from remore stupas, lush vegetation! If only I had the luxury of time, I would have stayed to just enjoy the scenery.

But I had places to go!

Dambulla is 72 kilometers north of Kandy, 40 minutes from Sigiriya, and 3 - 4 hours from Colombo, but its beauty seems hundreds of miles away from the scorching capital. There's no wonder why it is a heritage site.

Dambulla's Cave Temple. This photo only courtesy of www.eriksadventures.com.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

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