The Dambulla museum of wall paintings near the Dambulla temple, three kilometres away from the Dambulla town, is a remarkable institution managed by the Central Cultural Fund.
The museum provides a platform for studying and admiring the exquisite wall paintings uncovered by the Dambulla Project through surveys and research since 1991.
Beyond its role as an exhibition space, the museum plays a vital role in conserving paintings that have withstood the test of time while enduring the challenges posed by natural elements and insects.
The museum reveals the proud saga of Sri Lanka’s rich history of wall and rock paintings starting from pre-historic cave engravings and drawings to the 20th century temple murals. It is a fascinating experience one must not fail to have.
As you enter the museum, you see pictures of Sri Lanka’s oldest known cave engravings and drawings followed by those of the 5th century Sigiriya frescoes.
There are seven galleries that display wall paintings. Each gallery takes you to witness the incredible journey of Sri Lanka’s legacy of wall and rock paintings under the theme “Evolution of Sri Lanka’s cave and wall paintings”.
The museum, as the sole institution of its kind in Sri Lanka, is a treasure trove of knowledge, presenting an array of wall paintings from the Anuradhapura era to contemporary times encapsulating the nation’s cultural richness. It serves as a custodian of the nation’s artistic legacy, housing celebrated masterpieces such as the iconic Sigiriya frescoes.
The museum, inaugurated on November 10, 2003 and is committed to ensuring that every visitor enjoys a comprehensive and enriching experience, is a symbol of the nation’s deep rooted appreciation for art and culture.
There are information officers to guide you through the museum.