Caves are a common site in the interiors of the Island. More than being hideouts, they are developed into monasteries and worship places by the Buddhists of old. The one at Dambulla, a famed city for the Golden Rock Temple, has gained much attention during the last 5 decades or so. The city itself is only 64 km down from the hill capital Kandy and about 1118 feet above the sea.
The Rock Temple is supposed to have been built by the king during 103 BC and continued with developments until late 70s. Typically, kings built such edifices to consolidate their popularity among the folk and much effort was put in to depict religious and historical characters of importance and also events in paintings and murals. Particularly, different postures of Buddha are vividly portrayed and they are preserved well to date as the city itself falls within the cultural triangle. The claim is that most of these are from pre-historic times and hence the prominence.
Besides the golden Temple area many other caves of smaller proportion are there that were used as dwellings in the past by priests. An in-depth interview with the resident monks at present will intrigue any visitor.. It is found that there are more than 70 paintings of the Buddha within. One could not also ignore the water dripping from the inner rock roof as it were and how the it is collected in a stone pot the draining thereof. The ancient kings have seen to it that none of the paintings are washed away by seeping water, providing proper outlets outside the cave.