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Dulwala Caves

Dulwala Caves

Dulwala Cave Temple Complex (Sinhala: දූල්වල ලෙන්) is located in the range of mountains in Dulwala village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. 


Four Early Brahmi Cave Inscriptions belonging to the 3rd-2nd century B.C. have been discovered at the site and they testify that this area was inhabited by Buddhist monks since the pre-Christian era (Paranavitana, 1970; Rajapakse, 2016). These inscriptions record the donation of the caves to the community of Buddhist monks and the names of donors (Abeyawardana, 2004; Rajapakse, 2016).

Dulwala Cave Inscriptions

Period: 3rd-2nd century B.C.               Language: Old Sinhala               Script: Early Brahmi
Transcript: Parumaka-Pavita-puta parumaka-Shivena karite Manapadashane shagasha
Translation: The cave named Manapadassana, caused to be fashioned by the chief Siva, son of the chief Pavita, [is given] to the Sangha.
References: Paranavitana, 1970.

The cave complex has been divided into two divisions by the newly constructed Barigama-Halloluwa road.

A Protected Site

The drip-ledged caves of the Doolwela Manapadassana cave complex, together with the Brahmi rock inscriptions, situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Udadoolwela in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Harispattu are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 January 2009.


1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.101.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscriptions of Ceylon: Volume I: Early Brahmi Inscriptions. Department of Archaeology Ceylon. p.62.
3) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.90-91.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1596. 23 January 2009. p.109.


1) would like to thank Mohan Lakshitha for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

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This page was last updated on 9 January 2023

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