The Museum of wall Painting of the Central Cultural Fund is located in the Rangiri Dambulla Raja Maha Vihara premises in Dambulla.
This purpose of this museum is to allow witness and study the wall paintings that were uncovered by the Dambulla Project through surveys and researches carried out since 1991.Paintings are displayed under the theme ‘Evolution of Sri Lankan Cave and Wall Paintings. Preserving the paintings that were damaged by natural effects and insects is another aim of this museum.
The Dambulla Museum is the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka, which specifically functions with the aim of exhibiting paintings of Sri Lanka, including the famed Sigiriya frescoes, and wall paintings at a number of ancient temples ranging from Anuradhapura period to the modern era.
The museum was declared open on 16th November 2003.
Gallery Plan of the Museum
The galleries are arranged in a way that would provide the visitor a clear understanding on the paintings that belong to different periods of Sri Lanka from the Primitive period to Pre-modern period.
|Primitive period||:||Thantirimalai and Kadurupokuna cave paintings (2-3 centuries BC)|
|Classical period||:||Sigiriya paintings (5th century AD)|
|Post-classical period||:||Gonagolla, paintings at Hindagala cave temple, paintings within relic chambers of Mihintale Girihadu Seya and Mahiyangana stupa, Dimbulagala and Pulligoda cave paintings (5-11 centuries AD)|
|Early Medieval period||:||Paintings at Gal Vihara, Thivanka Image House, and Lankathilake Image House in Polonnaruwa (12th century AD)|
|Transformation period||:||Paintings at Dambadeniya Wijayasundararamaya, Lankathilaka Vihara in Gampola and Dalada Maligawa in Kandy (13-18 centuries AD)|
|Post-medieval period||:||Paintings at Dambulu Maharaja temple, Medavala Vihara, Degaldoruwa Vihara and Gangarama Vihara inKandy, Danagirigala Vihara, Ridi Vihara (5-11 centuries (18-19 centuries AD)|
|Paintings of the Southern School||:||Walalgoda Vihara, Karagampitiya Vihara, Samudragiri Vihara, Kumarakanda Vihara, Mulkirigala Vihara|
|Pre-modern paintings||:||Paintings at Gothami Vihara in Borella (1930-1940), Paintings at Kelaniya Vihara and Gotabaya Vihara in Bothale (20th century)|
The seven galleries of the museum include photos, plans, and short descriptions of caves and temples where paintings are located in addition to copies of paintings.
- Assistance from Information Officers for guiding inside the museum
- Book Shop and Souvenir shop
- Lavatory facilities
- Educational programmes (providing knowledge for A/L students’ educational assignments, and providing training and information for university students’ and researchers’ dissertations.
- Conducting monthly lectures and workshops.
7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily (Last entrance at 4 p.m.)