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Cave Temples in Sri Lanka

Dimbulagala Cave

  Province North Central
  District Polonnaruwa
  Nearest Town Manampitiya
  Period 12th century AD
  Ruler Unknown

Dimbulagala also known as Gunners Rock during the British colonial period is a rock formation in the Polonnaruwa District of Sri Lanka. By the time anthropologist Charles Gabriel Seligman visited the location in 1911, a cave within the rock had become a refuge of the indigenous Vedda people. During the 12th century AD, The Sinhalese people had constructed a Buddhist monastery within the rock formation. The Dimbulagala Raja Maha Vihara monastery was restored in the 1950s. In 1990’s villagers around the rock are of mixed Vedda and Sinhalese ancestry. They all speak Sinhalese language and the Vedda language is extinct.


Dimbulagala Raja Maha Vihara

Dimbulagala Raja Maha Vihara is situated 16 kilometres south east of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. The Dimbulagala range houses a number of caves cut into the rock with Brahmi inscriptions over their drip ledges. This forest hermitage of medieval times and holy abode since time immemorial, home to some of the most valued fragments of early frescoes was called the Gunners Quoin by the British

The frescoes at Pulligoda were reported by Bell in 1897, a series of fragmentary remains of old paintings in a shallow cave shrine. Today we see a fragment of what once may have been a larger scene of devotees in the attitude of veneration, consisting of five male figures seated on lotus cushions placed on a broad seat.