Day 3 – Caves @ Dambulla
Day 3 started with breakfast, idiyappam, dal, bananas, chicken curry, tea, watermelon and tea. This was served to us by our hosts and cost us 1200LKR (which we initially thought was free, the 2nd B in AirbnB)
Post waiting at the bus stop for half an hour , we finally got one and reached the dambulla caves junction which was hardly 10 mins away from sanda guest house.
#Dambulla Caves Historical Importance#
Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses.Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2700 years old in this area
The entrance to dambulla caves has a huge pagoda along with The Golden Buddha statue and Dambulla golden temple.
A flight of stairs next to the golden temple leads up to the dambula caves; however do not proceed without taking tickets (They are checked at the entrance top of the hill and you don’t want to trek all the way down). The ticket station is actually atleast 1/2 km from this point. Take a gate on the left and proceed down the hill to reach a point where there is another flight of stairs leading up. Climb and 50 steps later, a ticket counter is available. International tourists were charged 1500 LKR per person. Continue taking this flight of stairs and a good half an hour later (with breaks), you are at the top.
There are total 5 main temple caves which one needs to visit. The history of the each of these best left to a wikipedia but all the caves have a plethora of statues and murals worth admiring.
We met a big group of vietnamese Buddhists monks as well; on a visit to all holy buddhist sites around the world.
The trek down took us 20 mins and we were quite hungry by the time we reached the bottom. There weren’t too many eateries around, so we just entered one the small bakeries on the street. For 500LKR, three of us ate some of the stuffed baked items (stuffed potato patties, puffs etc). On a full stomach, it was time to plan our journey to sigiriya rock. Reached Sanda guest house, paid the 1400 LKR for breakfast and pushed off to sigiriya rock via bus. The bus can be caught from dambulla main bus stop; the journey took us about an hour.
We checked into our airbnb stay which was located 1 km from the bus stop, decent enough for what we paid.
Soon enough we realized that there was no money left for dinner. Hah. Precisely calculated the amount of needed for dinner at the “Sigree Cafe” for Sandwitch, Omelette and Fries which came to 1800 LKR which we had thankfully. The problem was the nearest ATM was located quite far away and we weren’t sure that the location was valid enough; it wasn’t worth it walking in the darkness. So back to the room it was; walked in complete darkness listening to ‘Sultans of Swing’, ‘November rain’. We planned out the next day after reaching the room by 11 p.m. Shaheed wasn’t too excited about the next day given that this would be the trek of his life.:)