Golden Temple of Dambulla (1991)
Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka 2002. Set of four stamps depicting the Cave Paintings of Dambulla, Sri Lanka. Stamp #1 of four.

A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 sq. m) are of particular importance, as are the 157 statues. 
  • Sri Lanka 2002. Set of four stamps depicting the Cave Paintings of Dambulla. 

Dambulla or the Golden Rock is a cave temple, which dates back to the 1st century BC. The complex of Buddhist images contains Buddhist wall and ceiling painting and sculpture with its origin going back to the Anuradhapura period. 

Its rock ceiling is one large sweep of colorful frescoes, depicting Buddhist mythology, and the tales of the Buddha's previous births. Within the cave temple is the collection of the largest number of Buddha statues in one place. 

Sri Lanka 2002. Set of four stamps depicting the Cave Paintings of Dambulla, Sri Lanka. Stamp #2 of four. Sri Lanka 2002. Set of four stamps depicting the Cave Paintings of Dambulla, Sri Lanka. Stamp #3 of four. Sri Lanka 2002. Set of four stamps depicting the Cave Paintings of Dambulla, Sri Lanka. Stamp #4 of four.

Dambulla is a vast isolated rock mass and it was here that King Valagam Bahu took refuge in the 1st century B.C. He later turned the caves into a rock temple. Some of the frescoes are over 2,000 years old and there is a colossal figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of the living rock, some 14 meter long. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Sri Lanka section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
Copyright 1999 Heindorffhus
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