Yesterday, after slogging up Sigiriya and then filling our faces with food, we decided to squeeze in a trip to the Golden Temple in Dambulla (which is pretty much the only thing to do or see in Dambulla). We hopped in a tuk-tuk for the 5 minute ride to the temple. Continuing on the theme of “I don’t really understand pricing in this part of the world,” the tuk-tuk cost more than our bus fare to Sigiriya. Oh well, it wasn’t anything outrageous.
The Golden Temple is a Buddhist shrine and monastary that has been around since B.C. times. It is yet another UNESCO world heritage site.
The first thing you see when arriving is this:
I don’t really know what it was (I didn’t see a sign), but it was pretty impressive, especially on such a pretty day.
Then you turn around and see this:
Huh? What the hell kind of carnival attraction is this? Turns out it is a Buddhist museum. We didn’t go in.
Instead, we took the path up to the caves. Yes, up. We had more climbing to do. I wasn’t happy…
At the top, after taking our shoes off, we were greeted by this:
Pretty, huh? Behind the facade are 5 caves, each of which are full of Buddhas. Robert had read that we should start at the cave furthest away from the entrance and work backwards — it was a good plan, as the caves got progressively more ornate and more full of Buddhas. The Buddhas came in all shapes, sizes, colors and poses.
Although my legs were pretty much rubber at this point, I have to say the views were, once again, spectacular.
Oh, and yes, we saw monkeys. Lots and lots and lots of monkeys.