11 Places to see in Dambulla

Dambulla is one of the major cities in Matale District of Central province, situated 160 km from capital Colombo. The city is located in intermediate zone. The city is one of the main distribution centres of vegetable, due location at a major junction. Hence also known as sleepless town in Srilanka which functioning 24hrs and even many banks functions 24hrs as well, specialty the area is thought to be inhabited of as early 7th century BC to 3rd century BC Archeological excavations found that ancient people lived on agriculture even before 7th century BC. In Dambulla soil except carrot and leaks rest of the vegetables of Srilanka can be grown.

Dambulla is located in the Central province of Srilanka and 130 km from Katunayake international airport - 3 hours drive

At the Ibbankatuwa Prehistoric burial site near Dambulla, prehistoric (2700years old) human skeletons were found on scientific analysis to give evidence of civilizations in this area long before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Evidence of ancient people living on agriculture have been detected in this area for over 2700 years according to archaeological findings. (750 BC)

01. Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Golden Rock cave temple is a world heritage site by UNESCO in Srilanka which declared in 1991. The site located 2km from the Dambulla centre. The gigantic rock 160m above from the surrounding plains, the circumference of the base is more than 1.5km. The history of the cave temple dates back to 2nd century BC to the reign of king Sadda thissa. It has been mentioned in the Brahmin letter inscription on the drip ledge of main cave.

Note to remember

This is a Buddhist temple and be caution of your clothes. 

When we enter to Buddhist temples we need to remove our Hats and Shoes. you can use temple shocks 

Full moon days and Sundays are usually crowded 

02. Megalithic burial site - Ibbankatuwa

This is a well-preserved ancient burial site from around 500BC. Those who lived in Sri Lanka at that time had the technology to make pottery and toughen them using heat. They have cremated the dead and deposited ash in a clay pot with their valuable possessions. The site is very nicely planned and a staff member is there to explain things in case you are interested in getting more details. The Ibbankatuwa megalithic tomb site is situated five kilometers from Dambulla along the Dambulla – Kurunegala Road. The site is about half a kilometer down the road next to an easily visible signboard. The site is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Note to remember

This is a pre historic era’s archeology site

There will be a entrance fee to pay before enter

Sites tourist guides may available for your service 

03. Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock pronounced see-gi-ri-yə) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock around 180 metres (590 ft) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Chulavamsa, this area was a large forest, then after storms and landslides it became a hill and was selected by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 AD) for his new capital. He built his palace on top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. 

Note to remember

Generally it takes 3 hours to complete the tour at Sigiriya Rock 

You need to hire a Site Guide and there will be entrance fee

Always bring a mineral water bottle and a sun cream

04. Pidurangala Temple

Pidurangala Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Pidurangala village of Matale District, Sri Lanka. The temple was constructed on a massive rock called Pidurangala, which is located a few kilometers north of the historical fort Sigiriya.

Pidurangala is very famous among local and foreign travelers as a hot photogenic location

Note to remember

This is a Buddhist temple and be caution of your clothes. 

You need to come through a difficult road to climb to the top of the mountain by walk.

Not recommending for elderly person to climb  

05. Knuckles Forest Reserve

Named after its uncanny likeness to human knuckles, the Knuckles Mountain Range is a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular spot for hikers. The dense forest, surrounded by 34 mystical mountains that range from 900 to 2,000 metres, is home to stunning hiking trails. With cascading waterfalls in every clearing, quaint villages hidden amid the mountains, many a terraced rice fields as well as numerous rare and elusive animals, this 234-square-kilometre range displays the best of Sri Lanka’s diverse natural beauty.   

Note to remember

This is a UNESCO world heritage site

Hiring a Hiking / Site Guide is Mandatory 

There are different trails to enjoy all it needs what you like to see

06. Riverston

The Riverston Peak in Sri Lanka can be reached by travelling, about 30km away from the Matale town, down the Matale – Girandurukotte Road. This secretive windy road, with its sharp hairpin turns, offers some of the best views to the surrounding countryside; to the extent that it is called the Mini World’s End. Though it is very popular among locals, the area is comparatively unknown amongst mainstream tourists. Therefore the area offers up the natural beauty of Sri Lanka; fresh, green and unpolluted by vendors, tourists, garbage and unsightly buildings.

Note to remember

You have to face for very strong winds when you pass Riverston Gap 

Be caution of your personal belongings and small children

No need to buy tickets 

07. Village Tour - Hiriwadunna

Explore the rural village of Hiriwadunna on this half-day trip from Habarana. Traveling by Safari Jeep into the Sri Lankan countryside, the tour begins with a beautiful trek to a manmade reservoir. After a boat ride, hop into a bullock cart alongside paddy fields and rural vegetable plantations to a traditional village house, where you will enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan lunch.

Note to remember

Hiriwadunna is a famous destination for village tours 

There are enough village tour organizers and travel agents you can find from the web and from trip advisor.

Check the google rates and trip advisor reviews before you choose a village tour.

08. Matale Alu vihare Temple

The Aluvihare Rock Temple (also called Matale Alu Viharaya) is a sacred Buddhist temple located in Aluvihare, Matale District of Sri Lanka. Surrounded by hills, the Aluvihara cave temple is situated 30 km north of Kandy on the Matale-Dambulla road. The history of Aluvihare Rock Temple is traced back to the 3rd Century B.C to the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. It is believed that the King built the dagoba, planted the Bo sapling and founded the temple after the introduction of Buddhism to the country during his reign.

Note to remember

This is a Buddhist temple and be caution of your clothes. 

When we enter to Buddhist temples we need to remove our Hats and Shoes. you can use temple shocks 

Better if you can find an area guide or site guide  

09. National Spice Garden

Construction of the National spice garden was initiated in the year 2008 as a concept of Mr. Regenold Cooray, who was the former minister for the ministry of Plantation. The spice garden was completed and opened for public in 2015. Cultivation practices of the most important spice crops are exhibited there and annually hundreds of individuals including the general public, students of Universities and other higher education institutes, school students, researches of Sri Lankan and foreign institutes, businessmen and those who are interested in photography visit this park and receive the service. This service including the visit and demonstration is provided free of charge and for the convenience of the visitors, steps are being taken to establish an information centre and a sales outlet.

Note to remember

This is a government institution 

Open from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm

Call and check before you visit the place, if it is a special holiday

10. Sri Muthumari Amman Kovil

Sri Muthumariamman Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Matale. The temple is dedicated to Mariamman who is the goddess of rain and fertility. It is also known as Arulmigu Sri Muthumari Amman Kovil. The current temple structure was built in 1874 and is used by both the Hindus and the Buddhists. The main religious festivals held at the Sri Muthumariamman Temple includes the chariot festival at the temple celebrated during the month of February or March. There is also a large hall which is used mainly for ceremonies such as weddings.

Note to remember

This is a Hindu Temple, be caution about your dress code

Before we enter to a Hindu temple we need to remove our hats and shoes. 

open 6.30 am to 1.00 pm and 4.30 pm to 10.30 pm

11. Biso Ella Falls

Yatawatta Biso Ella Waterfall is situated in the Selagama Tea Estate in the Matale district. It is 4 meters in height and is a thin mist of water almost disappearing at the bottom of the waterfall. This creates a mystic outlook in the surrounding area. There is also a Hindu temple close by.


Note to remember

This is a public place no entrance fees required to see the waterfall

Access road is not that much good. but still you can go

Do you like to see Dambulla?

Make you own trip plan with us

add any of these destinations and make your own trip with dear srilanka OR you can see the ready made Sigiriya Rock Fortress Tour from our Day Tours as well.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress Dambulla City Tour