The Buddhist Monastery at Dambulla, the ancient Jambukola Vihara, is best known for its temple and its growth cycle of well-preserved eight –century rock and wall painting. Sinhalese people call it as ' Dambulu Gala' (Dambulla Rock) and the Temple is called as the ' Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya' (Golden Rock Dambulla Temple). It is situated about 79 Km from Kandy. The Dambulla Rock Temple had first been constructed during the reign of King Vattagamini Abhaya (103 BC and 89-77 BC). The Sinhalese often calls him as King Walagamba.
During a South Indian invasion the king had to abandon his Anuradhapura Kingdom. For 12 years, King Walagamba was in hiding and had frequented these caves for his safety. After regaining the kingdom of Anuradhapura and becoming the King, to show his gratefulness for his safe place, he converted those caves into Buddhist Temples by constructing walled partitions under the rock overhang, which spans the entire area as a single large cave.
He got drip ledges made along this large cave and made it suitable to withstand rainy weather and avoided water seeping inside the curved areas. He constructed the three cave temples named as Devarajalena, Maharajalena and the Paccimalena. The Dambullla Cave temple is one of the largest cave temple complexes in the south and Southeast Asian region like Burma, Thailand, India and one of the most important center Buddhist pilgrimage in Sri Lanka. Double elaborate complex of painting, Sculpture, and architecture and one of the most ambitious undertakings of the Canadian artists. Dambulla is undoubtedly one of the first and most impressive expressions of this tradition.