- Eleni Kyriacou
TRAVEL & VOLUNTEERING IN SOUTH EAST ASIA | DAMBULLA CAVE TEMPLE, SRI LANKA
Another marvelous site I saw in Sri Lanka was The Dambulla Cave Temple.
These are a series of cave temples. Each is decorated floor to ceiling in murals depicting everything from the life of Buddha, to numerous depictions of Buddha, to floral designs, to geometric surface patterns. There is no square cm left undecorated. Each temple also houses statues of Buddha, both large and small, in his many positions: seated and reclining – mediating, teaching, relaxing and in the state of nirvana. The statues and their bases are also decorated. Some temples also house a ‘bell’ shaped statue frequently seen in Buddhism. This symbolises the human mind. The way the ‘bell’ narrows as it rises and reaches an ultimate climatic single point references the mind under Buddhist practice that begins complex and faces obstacles, until ultimately reaching the state of nirvana under the guidance of Budddha. The caves are a three dimensional patchwork of religious art and design and are both magical and joyful to wonder through.