The Golden Cave Temple in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, dates back to 1st Century BC. Spread across five caves, the caves detail the life of Prince Siddhartha after he became Buddha, the enlightened one. These cave are also said to be home to Buddhist monks before Sri Lanka embraced the religion at the scale it is today. The caves have several Buddha sculptures, statues of Sri Lankan kings and Hindu gods and goddesses. I had the privileged to having a friend in tow who understood what the painting depicted. The murals and the structures are explain the first every sermon that Buddha had after he attained nirvana.
If you chose to visit the holy space, make sure that you follow the beliefs and ground rules laid down by the vihara. The ticket window is at the base and there is a climb to reach the caves. In case you don’t have the entry tickets, you will have to go down and buy them. While it is suggested to wear white, it is not a mandate, however, you need to cover up your knees and shoulders to enter. The temple is a no-footwear zone, like all temples usually are, so it is better to carry a pair of socks as the rocks can get quite hot to walk on.
Silence is a desirable trait here as it is but a place of worship, may be not for us but to the followers of the religion. After all, he who gives respect can expect and receive it in return. All in all, you’ll walk out feeling a lot more relaxed and peaceful from the place.