Things to do in Dambulla

Tucked in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, the humble town of Dambulla is a treasure trove of historical monuments that are definitely worth a visit. Of all the places to visit in Dambulla, the amazing Dambulla cave temple complex must be first on your list. It is the largest and most beautiful one in the country, with spectacular sculpture & painting strewn all over.

Dambulla is also home to the largest rose quartz mountain in South Asia and the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. Equally worthy of time and attention are the majestic Sigiriya fort and the Minneriya national park located close by.

Dambulla Cave Temple - An Awe-Inspiring Site

Towering above the plains of Dambulla is this awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage site, the  Dambulla Cave Temple Complex. This ancient Buddhist pilgrimage is the largest and best preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The five major caves are dotted with 150 plus stunning Buddha statues (and a few depicting Sri Lankan kings, gods and goddesses) as well as huge cave paintings & murals making this is one of the must-visit Dambula tourist places. The intricate cave paintings, serene statues of Buddha and the sacred vibes makes these caves a beautiful spiritual sanctuary and one of the best temples in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya - A UNESCO World Heritage Site

One of the most important historical places in Sri Lanka and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sigiriya Lion Rock is a magnificent fortress and temple complex atop a high volcanic plateau. Locally also called the eighth wonder of the world, this stunning site features high on the list of places to visit in Dambulla and Sigiriya. The main entrance is shaped like a huge stone lion, whose feet survive till date. The palace complex, which also served as a monastery for many years, is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and unique water & boulder gardens. Sigiriyas western wall is adorned with beautiful frescoes.


Minneriya National Park - For An Excellent Day Trip

While you cover the major places to go in Dambulla, a day trip to this sprawling national park just about 50-minutes’ drive away from the town is worth adding to your itinerary. One of the best places to see wild elephants, the beautiful park is a nature lover’s delight. Jeep safaris through the dense forest are thrilling; the park opens up near the water tank where you can witness hundreds of elephants, especially during the dry season (April-October). Early morning safaris are great for bird viewings while late afternoon ones are best for elephant sightings. Wouldn’t you agree that his is one of the best tourist places in Dambulla!

Pophams Arboretum - A Fascinating Place

One of the most fascinating places to visit in Dambulla Sri Lanka, Pophams Arboretum is a paradise for nature lovers. This amazing man-made forest created by an English man will delight you with its variety of trees, birds, butterflies and dragonflies fluttering by in their natural habitat. Just strolling through the tranquil nature trails over winding paths and pretty streams with wooden bridges is an invigorating experience for the senses. There is accommodation available for those who would like to spend some time in the lap of nature. The night walk through wilderness is an experience to remember.

Buddhist Museum & Museum of Wall Paintings - A Majestic Piece Of Art

Even before you begin the steep ascent for reaching the Dambulla rock temple, you will be awed by the sight of a huge golden Buddha statue that marks the entrance to the Dambulla Museum. This majestic sculpture is considered to be Asia’s largest Buddha statue in the Dhyan Chakra mudra. To its right is a row of monk sculptures shown approaching the enlightened one with offerings. The path leads up to a terrace where you can spend some quiet moments in Buddha’s serene presence. You can take a quick walk through the museum, which is free of charge. There is also a small museum of wall art for those interested in Sri Lankan art.

Day Trip to Hiriwadunna Village

Join this 3 hour tour for lifetime opportunity to be emerged in the nature and culture of real Sri Lanka Village. Your Guide cum driver will pick up from centrally located Dambulla hotel & drive by a Safari jeep to hiriwadunna village, a beautiful rural area in Habarana city. Tour start with a Bullock cart ride near to the village pond & at there you will experience a boat ride to the next side of the rural village. After short walk within the paddy fields & vegetable cultivation you can reach village house. At the village house you can relax & taste a delicious Sri Lankan Lunch. Then take a Tuk Tuk ride to tour start location. After finish tour you will be taking back to your hotel by a safari jeep.

Hot Air Balooning Ride - Dambulla

There is “Magic in the Air” in the Cultural Triangle, what better way to see all that our beautiful countryside has to offer than with an early morning sunrise hot air balloon flight ! If you are lucky enough to visit the beautiful island of Sri Lanka then you should take the opportunity to see the wondrous sights from the air starting from Kandalama, Dambulla in the Cultural Triangle.

As you gently leave the bonds of earth, you will float effortlessly over jungles, lakes and waterways as day breaks with the awakening of wildlife and villagers waving as you fly over their homes and the colors of nature. Flying over the jungle you may see elephants roaming freely, variety of birds, wild life, water buffaloes standing in the paddy fields and monkeys swinging from the trees.

After an exhilarating flight over the jungle you will be welcomed on landing by friendly villagers who are happy to meet and greet you. Your Pilot will toast the flight with a glass of champagne after which our transport will take you back to your hotel.


Kalu Diya Pokuna - Soak In Nature

This is one of the best things to do around Dambulla, Sri Lanka and definitely worth it. When translated, it literally means pond with black water, and this is a natural black water pool. This involves hiking as well, but the sight you will be welcomed to, at the other end, makes the hike even more exciting. One of Sri Lanka’s other best-kept secrets, the tranquility, and peace that you will find in this place cannot be expressed, but only felt. Once there, you will also be witness to the magical Mother Nature, with birds and butterflies for company.