The Golden cave temple in Dambulla is called Aluvihara, and was founded by order of King Walagamba in the first century AD, although references to it date back to the III century BC, when Buddhism was born in Sri Lanka.
It is located in the area of Matale, 8 km from the city. The complex currently has several of the existing 13 caves open. To reach it you will have to make a steep descent on a wide, paved road. You won’t be lonely on your journey because all the way you will be accompanied by a pack of sociable monkeys.
The local population lived in this territory of caves before the advent of Buddhism. Burials took place in certain caves, which are now more than 2700 years old.
Here you will find a statue of the reclining Buddha, and this is where the main rituals were held. According to legend, once it was illuminated by the gods, hence the name of the complex. The Shakra God first visited the cave during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa, while the monk was studying ancient manuscripts.370