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I took these photos at Dambulla, Sri Lanka. Please excuse the not so wonderful quality. The light levels were very low and I didn’t have a tripod. 

The Dambulla Cave Temples are the most well-preserved cave temples of their kind in Sri Lanka. Though there are about 80 caves scattered all across a height of 160m, most of the cave statues and frescoes are spread over five caves.

The statues and frescoes in the caves detail out Lord Buddha’s life and date back from the 1st Century BC to the 18th Century AD.

In the 12th Century, the statues were gilded, and were subsequently painted in different colours. In the early 20th Century, the statues were painted for a last time.

There are 153 Buddha statues, along with 3 statues of royalty and 4 statues of gods and goddesses.

The caves, which are famed thanks to their UNESCO World Heritage status, are taken care of by a temple fund. You might find that the price of admission is quite high as well, thanks to this.

Be ready to climb about 700 steps or so to reach these caves. Also watch out for the overly jovial population of monkeys on the path.

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