Dambulla Cave Temple first came to be of great significance when it was used as a refuge for King Valagambahu in 1st century BC. Concealed here by the local monks upon returning from exile to his throne at Anuradhapura, Valagambahu showed his gratitude by building a magnificent cave temple for them, which consists of a complex of Buddhist image houses. Its rock ceiling is one large sweep of colourful frescoes, some of which date back over 2,000 years, which depict Buddhist mythology, and the tales of the Buddha's previous births. This cave temple has the largest number of Buddha statues all housed in one place, including a colossal, 14-metre-long figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of the rock. Dambulla Cave Temple is now one of the most popular religious cultural sites in Sri Lanka, attracting tourists from across the globe.