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Rock Temple, Dambulla (Ceylon). 8 February 1868

Rock Temple, Dambulla (Ceylon). 8 February 1868

Artist: Leighton, Stanley (1837-1901)

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1868

Shelfmark: WD256

Item number: 256

Length: 13.8

Width: 24.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour of the Rock Temple at Dambulla in Sri Lanka, by Stanley Leighton (1837-1901), dated 8th February 1868. The image is inscribed on the mount in pencil 'Rock Temple, Dambulla (Ceylon). 8 February 1868.'

Dambulla's history is believed to date back to the 1st century when King Valagam Bahu took refuge in the caves after he was driven out of Anuradhapura. After he regained his throne he turned the area into a rock temple. Successive kings added to the temple and today there are over 150 statues of the Buddha and several statues of kings. The largest statue is in cave 1, Devaraja Viharaya, a 15m-long reclining Buddha statue.

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