Sri Lanka’s largest complex of caves is termed the ‘Golden cave’ for good reasons. This well preserved cave complex in the central region of Sri Lanka is a complex of about 80 caves of which five stand out owing to special features. The cave got its name from the repainting of the 12th century murals which was carried out by King Nissankamalla of later years which gave the murals and the caves their golden hue that blends well with the extensive array of Buddha statues that has the same tinge.
The cave has been a site of pilgrimage for centuries and one of the most amazing things about them is that the caves have been curved by monks in contrast to similar cave complexes in India which are naturally created ones. Therefore its place as a world heritage site in addition to the UNESCO heritage site appears to be extremely appropriate.
A journey to the caves can be an amazing experience. The rock towers to a height of about 160 meters and there is a short stretch uphill before one enters the curve. Most tourists find the extensive array of Buddhist statues numbering as much as 153, quite amazing. In addition there are also the statues of four Sri Lankan kings and Gods. The other mesmerizing aspect is the ravishing array of murals that grace the walls and roof of the caves extending over an area of 2100 square metres. Out of the five major caves, one is devoted to the Divine King, one to the great kings and the other is considered the Great New Monastry. All of these contain several impressive Buddha statues one of which is 14 feet tall and is curved out of rock.
After visiting the caves, immerse yourself in the tranquil environment that blends well with nature at the Sigiriya Village. This famous Sigiriya hotel beckons a visitor to experience its intimacy with nature amidst lush plantation while listening to a bird call or watching an elephant strolling far away. Among the various hotels in Sigiriya, this one takes much pride in merging with nature quite unobtrusively while providing great indoor services thus ensuring a wonderful stay for both local and foreign visitors.