Golden Temple of Dambulla

Around 70km north of Kandy is the small linear town of Dambulla, unremarkable of itself but home to a terrific group of Buddhist cave temples.

Dambulla - cave shrine

Dambulla – cave shrine

As a Buddhist religious site, it has been occupied by monks continuously since the 3rd century BC, although the current rock painting scheme dates from the eighteenth century, with a lot of like for like repainting since.

Dambulla - detail of rock painting

Dambulla – detail of rock painting

 

The shrines themselves were created between the 1st century BC and the 12th century.

Dambulla - detail of rock painting

Dambulla – detail of rock painting

The cave interiors are entirely covered with paintings and stuffed full of statues, both of the Buddha and of some Hindu gods.

Dambulla - cave shrine

Dambulla – cave shrine

The five shrines are sited under an overhang in a rock outcrop that rises 160m above the surrounding plain. A wall was built in front of the overhang to create enclosed spaces and an arcaded passage added, although the current version of that is from the 20th century.

Dambulla - arcade outside cave temples

Dambulla – arcade outside cave temples

The arcade was a lovely place to shelter during a short but torrential rain storm while I was up there.

Dambulla - looking out at the rain

Dambulla – looking out at the rain

 

The caves are associated with an active contemporary temple at the bottom of the hill which has this massive modern golden statue.

Dambulla - golden Buddha

Dambulla – golden Buddha

The only way to depict this site in Lego was externally, so inspired by this picture

Dambulla - arcade outside cave temples

Dambulla – arcade outside cave temples

I built this:

Lego Dambulla

Lego Dambulla

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