Authentic Travel Experiences in Sri Lanka – Dambulla

The ‘pearl drop’ island, Sri Lanka packs into this tropical island just about the size of Ireland, a huge variety of sun-soaked beaches, a hinterland showing off the country’s rich heritage, breathtaking rail trips and cooler, hillside tea plantations and an expertise and refinement in producing the world’s favourite beverage in surroundings that stem from a bygone era and seem not to have changed much since.

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Dambulla is the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle and a “must see” stop over on a tour of the country, even if that is limited to the country’s beaches and major cities of Colombo, Kandy and Dambulla.  Amaya Lake is an authentic eco-resort on the edge of Dambulla, overlooking the vast expanse of Kandalama Lake – a haven of peace and tranquility, a place to escape and relax in your private villa with the pressures of your world left at the gate.  Close by, also overlooking the lake, is Amaya Lake’s sister – the ltunning, luxury Signature by Amaya.

You will have come to understand that Sri Lanka has a heritage as rich as much of Western Europe and it will not be a surprise to discover that the cave temples Dambulla is best known for stretch back over 2,000 years.  The beautiful Royal Rock Temple complex comprises 5 separate cave temple complexes containing over 150 amazing Buddha statues and paintings, making them some of the earliest Buddha images.

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It is believed that Dambulla has been a centre of Worship since the 1st century B.C. when King Valagamba set up a capital here after been defeated and driven out of Anuradhapura.  Later monarchs, including King Nissanka Malla has the cave interiors gilded, earning the name “Temple of the Golden Rock”.  Much more recent structures, including the Golden Temple, detract a little but once you get past the commercialisation, the caves are definitely not to be missed.

Reinforcing the value of stopping over in Dambulla, when standing near the cave temple complex you have a great view of the surrounding countryside including Sigiriya, just 20 kilometres away.  Sigiriya is probably the single most visited tourist destination in Sri Lanka and is certainly one of the most important historical monuments in Sri Lanka.  The rock at Sigiriya rises to 370 metres above sea level and 200 metres out of the surrounding countryside.

Joaquin at Sirigiya Rock - an ancient palace near Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Joaquin at Sirigiya Rock – an ancient palace near Dambulla, Sri Lanka

On top of the rock – a long but infinitely worthwhile climb for visitors – a monastery was built as early as the 3rd century B.C. This was subsequently turned into a royal residence by King Kasyapa, who saw the value of the impregnable position.  The buildings retunred to use as a Buddhist monastery before being finally abandoned in the 14 th century A.D.  It is not just the age of the ruins but the incredible ingenuity used here to create some of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world, using a complex hydraulic system of canals, locks, lakes, dams, bridges, fountains, as well as surface and underground water pumps.

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At Amaya Lake, relax in an atmosphere of laid-back sophistication and enjoy a superb inland eco-resort with large, lush grounds and the sound of nature all around you.  Here is your chance to be at one with the world that surounds you with the cares and pressures of the life you normally inhabit left far behind you.  Amaya Lake is not just a great base for exploring Dambulla and Sigiriya but is also a tropical inland resort full of unique never to be found elsewhere experiences which you will take home with you as vivid memories for a long tiem after your stay.

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