Cave IV (Pachima Viharaya)


The relatively small Western Cave is not the most westerly cave – that position belongs to Cave V. The central Buddha figure is seated under a makara torana, with its hands in dhyana mudra (a meditative pose in which the hands are cupped). The small dagoba in the centre was broken into by thieves who believed that it contained jewellery belonging to Queen Somawathie.

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Nearby Dambulla attractions

1. Cave III (Maha Alut Viharaya)

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This cave, the New Great Temple, was said to have been converted from a storeroom in the 18th century by King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe of Kandy, one of the…

2. Cave V (Devana Alut Viharaya)

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This newer cave was once used as a storehouse, but it’s now called the Second New Temple. It features a reclining Buddha; Hindu deities, including…

3. Cave II (Maharaja Viharaya)

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The Temple of the Great King is arguably the most spectacular of the caves. It measures 52m from east to west and 23m from the entrance to the back wall;…

4. Cave I (Devaraja Viharaya)

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The first cave, the Temple of the King of the Gods, has a 15m-long reclining Buddha. Ananda, the Buddha’s loyal disciple, and other seated Buddhas are…

5. Cave Temples

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The beautiful Royal Rock Temple complex sits about 160m above the road in the southern part of Dambulla. Five separate caves contain about 150 absolutely…

6. Golden Temple

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At the foot of the cave temples hill stands this modern temple, a kitschy structure and Buddhist museum completed in 2000 using Japanese donations. On top…

7. Museum of Wall Paintings

0.36 MILES

The English-language displays here are a good primer on Sri Lankan wall art – from cave paintings to 18th-century frescoes – but the poor reproductions…

8. Dambulla Produce Market

0.54 MILES

Even if you’re not looking to buy a truckload of bananas, this huge wholesale market south of the centre offers a fascinating look at the vast range of…