Dambulla is a part of the Cultural Triangle declared by UNESCO is on the main road from Sigiriya to Kandy about 19Km from Sigiriya. There are over 80 caves in the surrounding and some of them have been used by the monks as meditation locations. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain the statues and the paintings. Since it's founding in the 1 century BC by King Valagamba, many improvements and additions have been carried out to the sculptures and paintings over the years. Hindu statues are believed to be of the 12 century AD and the latest paintings are of the late 18-century. The temple is a perfect location to view evolution of the ancient Sri Lankan arts. Dambulla is a unique and important historical site because of the amalgamation of the material from many eras.
Iron Wood Forest (Namal Uyana) and Rose Quarts Mountain.
Close to Dambulla deep inside the jungle is perhaps the oldest garden in Sri Lanka is the Iron Wood Forest and the largest Rose Quartz Mountain Range in South Asia. The site had been declared as a human sanctuary by King Dappula in 10 century AD as shown in an inscription at the entrance to Namal Uyana. Trees believed to have been planted by those who sought sanctuary here and subsequently turned in to a vast plantation of Iron wood forest.
Apart from the biodiversity of the site as it contains many other plants, it is also geologically important because of the Rose Quartz mountain range in the garden, which is believed to be over 500 million years old. White, rose and violet colour quartz deposits can be seen here.
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