One consistency on our few week trip in Sri Lanka was that nearly every stop ended up being better than we expected. That’s certainly a nice aspect of taking a trip that you let someone else put together for you. Menaka Arangala arranged our trip although we never met him. Our driver, Ashoka did a great job of keeping us safe on the road, advising us of scams, and even keeping us moving at a good pace. There were times when we felt like we were being rushed and then an hour later would arrive at a better destination and we were thankful for being ushered around.
When we pulled over at Dambulla we were all thinking the same thing. Why are we at this amusement-park style temple?
Then we walked up a path off to the left of this building after our guide purchased tickets. It was a fairly long series of steps and steep walkway with some people selling flowers, fruits and just hanging out and offering a hand to those climbing up the stairs. (They wanted a tip for their help of course.)
Then we arrived at the top of the path, left our sandals by the entrance and went into the site actually worth seeing…
This cave temple complex has five separate caves featuring over 150 sculptures, vast murals, stupas, and offering-thieving monkeys. It is a Unesco World Heritage site. The lighting wasn’t good in the caves and I didn’t have my flash so the color is off on these and some are quite blurry but you get a good idea of how neat the place is.