After our short visit to Galle, we returned to Colombo to spend the night. The next morning, we started our ride to Dambulla in Central Sri Lanka, 150 km from Colombo. Along the way, we stopped at the Elephant Orphanage of Pinawalla. This place was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation to care for the orphaned wild elephants found wandering in the forests of the country.
After the elephant orphanage, we continued our journey to the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a World Heritage Site. This is the best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The complex dates back to the first century BCE, when it was established as one of the most important Buddhist monasteries. The paintings and statues inside the caves depict the life of Gautama Buddha. Some of the murals are extraordinarily well preserved, as you can see in the pictures below.