Dambulla Royal Cave Temple
Dambulla Royal Cave Temple
4.5
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Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
Kandy - Jaffna Highway, Dambulla 21100 Sri Lanka
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  • Bea
    Sydney, Australia1,770 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful and so serene
    Five different caves, the oldest being over 2000 years old. Beautiful fresco paintings are so impressive, there is a small Hindu temple on site as well. A few stairs to climb so will not be suitable for people with mobility issues. All the caves are beautiful in their own way, with constant restoration. As this is a temple site be sure to wear appropriate clothing or bring something to cover legs and shoulders. The monkeys are everywhere too and very cheeky!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 17 August 2023
  • Peter M
    Melbourne, Australia1,301 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dambulla Royal Rock Cave
    This a World Heritage Site from 1991 and is the largest and best preserved preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. It towers 520 feet over the surrounding plains. It has five caves ,built on a base of 488 feet high rock, with statues and paintings. It goes back to the first century BC. King Valagamba of Anuradhapura sheltered in the cave for 15 years and built a temple in thankful worship. It goes back to 100BC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 31 August 2023
  • Murali Krishna
    Chennai (Madras), India48 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing feel
    Visited the place in Aug 2018. The place is rich with heritage. Its a cultural masterpiece. Don't be in a hurry to visit this place - you'll need time to enjoy every moment of it. Please respect the place and maintain silence. It's understandable to have fun while vacationing, but is more important to respect local traditions while visiting the place. Joking or talking loud isn't respectful at all.
    Visited November 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 October 2023
  • Sheffview
    Sheffield, United Kingdom726 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dambulla Caves
    The ticket office is off the main road. You then have a fairly steep 20 minute walk to the entrance. The caves are interesting, but all very similar, and not as amazing as we had expected. Worth visiting for sure but didn't give off a spiritual vibe to us.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 December 2023
  • Gaya M
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    World heritage site
    Nice climb and at the top you’d see cave paintings and Buddha statues built inside the cave. You can buy flowers in the middle of the climb for offering. Unlike other world heritage site you can take photos inside. Mind you , they close the door for 15mins between 10.30-10.45 for daily offerings.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 December 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles60 reviews
Excellent
38
Very good
15
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
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Gaya M
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Nice climb and at the top you’d see cave paintings and Buddha statues built inside the cave. You can buy flowers in the middle of the climb for offering. Unlike other world heritage site you can take photos inside. Mind you , they close the door for 15mins between 10.30-10.45 for daily offerings.
Written 19 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sheffview
Sheffield, UK726 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
The ticket office is off the main road. You then have a fairly steep 20 minute walk to the entrance. The caves are interesting, but all very similar, and not as amazing as we had expected. Worth visiting for sure but didn't give off a spiritual vibe to us.
Written 15 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Reem
Sheikh Zayed City, Egypt4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
You are going to walk and climb for like an hour then they will tell you that you have to remove hijab to enter the cave temple. All religious beliefs are respected but this is disrespectful. there should be a sign at the entrance on the main road so you don’t walk an hour for nothing.
Written 12 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Murali Krishna
Chennai (Madras), India48 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Couples
Visited the place in Aug 2018. The place is rich with heritage. Its a cultural masterpiece. Don't be in a hurry to visit this place - you'll need time to enjoy every moment of it.

Please respect the place and maintain silence. It's understandable to have fun while vacationing, but is more important to respect local traditions while visiting the place. Joking or talking loud isn't respectful at all.
Written 27 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Quentin M
Brisbane, Australia45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Solo
One of the great wonders of the world. Treasures from 100BC and the Kandy period. A privilege to view at such close proximity and to sense the antiquity.
Written 30 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

xxanty
Dubai421 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
It's one of the most attractions in that area . After climbing some steps you'll reach 5 caves full of history . From the top you can take nice photos . It's a world heritage site . Must visit .
Written 10 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter M
Melbourne, Australia1,301 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Friends
This a World Heritage Site from 1991 and is the largest and best preserved preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. It towers 520 feet over the surrounding plains. It has five caves ,built on a base of 488 feet high rock, with statues and paintings. It goes back to the first century BC. King Valagamba of Anuradhapura sheltered in the cave for 15 years and built a temple in thankful worship. It goes back to 100BC.
Written 31 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bea
Sydney, Australia1,770 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends
Five different caves, the oldest being over 2000 years old. Beautiful fresco paintings are so impressive, there is a small Hindu temple on site as well. A few stairs to climb so will not be suitable for people with mobility issues. All the caves are beautiful in their own way, with constant restoration. As this is a temple site be sure to wear appropriate clothing or bring something to cover legs and shoulders. The monkeys are everywhere too and very cheeky!
Written 17 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbs25
Staffordshire, UK2,632 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Absolutely worth the visit here, seems much quieter than other attractions but cannot be missed.
There is quite a few steep stairs to the top where the temple is but plenty of wall space to sit if you need it.
The views from the top are beautiful, so much greenery and some monkeys too (very calm ones). Make sure you cover knees and shoulders as entry is not allowed otherwise. You must also remove shoes so pack extra socks.
The cave temples are just incredible - the detail and colours are so beautiful. One of the most amazing things I’ve seen in the world to be honest.
So much history and the intricacy is mind blowing.
Absolutely do not miss it!
Written 22 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maureen G
Venice, FL93 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
Very impressive. The Buddha images are wonderful, and the ancient wall paintings enhance and delight. I was enchanted.

While you can hire a guide who will tell you a lot of history and details, I question how important that is (and, what of it I would actually remember a year later!) So, I didn’t hire a guide but wandered at will in and out of the caves, incredibly impressed and even a bit awed by the beauty.

There are a lot of steps but if you can manage them, I think this site is well worth the effort. Carry water, it’s a hot climb.

Yes, it is a holy site and you need to cover your knees and shoulders. (How many times does this need to be said?) And yes, there is a monk who offers to tie a white cotton thread around your right wrist and pray over it to bring you good life. It is up to you to decide if you want this. If you do, it is customary to leave a small donation.
Written 28 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Dambulla Royal Cave Temple - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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