Sri Lanka is a land of many wonders. There is so much to do, so much to see and so much to experience here in this paradise island. We are super lucky to be able to boast of a rich history and culture, and it is no surprise that we have many archaeological sites which are must-see locations. If you’re on a Dambulla sightseeing tour and wondering what the best things to do in Dambulla are, we’ve got a great idea for you! Of the many Dambulla tourist places you can visit, the Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs should be paid a mandatory visit.
What are the Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs?
The Ibbankatuwa Megalithic Tombs are an age-old burial ground that is carbon-dated back to the 6th century B.C. It is said to be one of the largest and best-preserved archeological sites which was used as an ancient burial ground. The cemetery covers about 1sqkm and consists of 42 clusters of cist tombs. Each tomb has a floor slab, four upright stone units, and a capstone forming a rectangular chamber. It is also interesting to note that some of these tombs even contain skeletons, while the others have cremated remains. These tombs are believed to be the place in which many of the prehistoric inhabitants would bury their dead.
What are the interesting things to see at site?
Extensive archaeological research goes to show that the skeletal remains and the artefacts found at the site are believed to originate between 700 BC – 400 BC, making it one of the few places where it is possible to understand the society and lifestyle of ancient Sri Lankans. Grave goods and other tools were also found at the site. Some of these tools include urns that contained cremated human remains, a variety of clay pots, iron, copper and gold artifacts, beads, and necklaces. There is also evidence to suggest that these bodies were buried with specific rituals, due to the many artefacts found in the premises. Interestingly, some of the gemstones which were discovered at site are not natively found in Sri Lanka but are available in neighboring countries such as India. This might indicate trade, or perhaps previous migration from India.
What is special about the Ibbbankatuwa Megalithic Tomb site?
The current excavation site measures around 15 acres, making it one of the most remarkable discoveries in the country. Moreover, the site was only found in the 1980s, making it one of the more recent discoveries in the country that provide us some insight into the prehistoric civilisations that thrived. So, you will be visiting an archaeological site which may reveal more and more of the society and lifestyle of the prehistoric man of Sri Lanka in the future. Therefore, your visit to this famous archaeological site Dambulla might just be a once in a lifetime experience!
Some tips for your tour
The site is open from Monday to Sunday from 8.00 am to 5.00pm, you will have to purchase an entrance ticket to enter the site and this will not cost you more than USD 5. Make sure you visit the tombs while you’re in Dambulla. We at Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts can make your experience better while you stay with us at our properties Cinnamon Lodge Habarana and Habarana Village by Cinnamon. The Ibbankatuwa Megalithic tombs are situated just 34 minutes away from our hotels and we can curate a tour to the tombs in a truly Cinnamon style. Speak to out in-house specialists and have your tour organized just the way you like it!