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Sri Lanka’s Center of Pilgrimage

By Linda Tancs

A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, Dambulla cave monastery is the largest, best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka and one of its most popular historic sites. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, its assets include the 2,000-year-old murals depicting the life and times of the Lord Buddha and a collection of 157 statues of his image. Of its five sanctuaries, the Temple of the Great King is the largest, measuring 170 feet from side to side, 75 feet from front to back and 22 feet at its highest point. It’s dominated by an overwhelming mosaic of frescoes. Located in the central part of the nation, the site is about 92 miles east of Colombo.

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