Almost at the geographical centre of what is known as the ‘Cultural Triangle' is the town of Dambulla, which is famous for its UNESCO protected Golden Rock Cave Temple. This cave has been a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists for over 22 centuries and with its 5 caverns is the largest and best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 square metres) are of particular importance as are the 157 statues including a 47 foot long statue of the recumbent Buddha. The town of Dambulla itself offers some points of interest, including shops and a large wholesale market, but most people choose to stay outside town in the tranquil countryside, surrounded by wildlife and lakes. There are a number of interesting places to stay around Dambulla which provide good bases from which to explore the other delights of the cultural triangle such as the Sigiriya rock or the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.

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