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Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple – largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka, protected by UNESCO

Located in central Sri Lanka, the Rangiri Dambulla Cave Temple is a living Buddhist site that is focused on a series of five cave shrines.

With its five sanctuaries Temple of Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka.

Inhabited by forest-dwelling Buddhist monks since the 3rd century BCE, these natural caves have been transformed continuously throughout the historical period into one of the largest and most outstanding Buddhist complexes in the Southern and South Eastern Asian region, showcasing innovative approaches to interior layout and decoration.

In keeping with a longstanding tradition associated with living Buddhist ritual practices and continuous royal patronage, the cave shrines underwent several renovation and refurbishing programmes before assuming their present interior forms in the 18th century.

The site is remarkable in the Buddhist world for its association with the continuous tradition of living Buddhist ritual practices and pilgrimage for more than two millennia.

The monastic ensemble of Dambulla is an outstanding example of the religious art and expression of Sri Lanka and South and Southeast Asia. The cave shrine, their painted surfaces, and statuary are unique in scale and degree of preservation. The monastery includes significant masterpieces of 18th-century art in the Sri Lankan school of Kandy.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, Dambulla is an important shrine in the Buddhist religion in Sri Lanka, remarkable for its association with the long-standing and wide-spread tradition of living Buddhist ritual practices and pilgrimage for more than two millennia.

Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency