The Golden Temple of Dambulla which is also well known as Dambulla Cave Temple is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka believed to have been built during the 1st Century B.C. It was designated as a World Heritage site in 1991.
There are five caves in the temple. All these caves consist of Buddha statues of various sizes and positions. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 m2) are of particular importance, as are the 157 statues. The early paintings of Dambulla are believed by some to belong to the 8th Century A.C.
The temple is composed of five caves of varying sizes and magnificence: Cave of the Devine King, Cave of the Great Kings, Great New Monastery, and Western Temple. The 5th Cave is more a recent construction.
Today, the cave temple is visited by Buddhist pilgrims as well as history buffs to get a glimpse of the amazing statues and the historic murals.