When should you visit a historic site? Historic sites are locations where pieces of political, cultural, or social history have been preserved. Often due to their cultural value. Historic sites can be temples, whole cities, pyramids, castles, churches or any other kind of buildings.
JUNE - SEPTEMBER (monsoon season): During and immediately after monsoons is the best time to visit: Lush green vegetation and exciting streams and waterfalls forming randomly amongst the caves. The climate is also pleasant. Beginning of June might still be hot and humid. To be on the safe side visit mid-June or later.
OCTOBER - FEBRUARY (winter season): Also a great time to visit the caves. Mild climate, cooler and dry.
MARCH - MAY: Too hot and humid. A single cave tour takes about 3-4 hours and temperatures up to 43 °C (110°F) would lead to an unpleasant experience.
TOURIST CROWDS: The caves are popular and often crowded. Especially during peak season from December until March. Try to be there early right before 9 AM to beat the crowds. It usually gets more crowded after 11 AM.
OPENING HOURS: 9 AM - 5:30 PM (sunset). Ellora caves are closed on Tuesdays.
The temple is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but the last ticket gets already sold at 5 p.m. To avoid the crowds and the heat as well visit the caves early in the morning or late afternoon. Dambulla gets busy with pilgrims, locals, and tourists throughout the year, especially at weekends. It's a steep walk to the top with hundreds of concrete steps and without any shelter. The walk takes at least 10 minutes but it depends on your fitness level. It's a strenuous climb up but you get rewarded with a spectacular view from the top.
Tip for the Entrance: When you enter the cave area, you have to remove your shoes and walk barefoot. The stones are hot most of the day. It's advisable having a pair of socks to protect the feet from burning heat and sharp rocks.
Showers can occur throughout the year. During May decreasing rainfall while June to September are the driest months. Therefore, it's often overcast from June to August. It's a tropical climate with humidity around 80 % most of the time. Most precipitation from October until December. January to April it's frequently sunny. Dambulla is a year-round destination; usually the most pleasant weather conditions between January and September with showers or even downpours just for an hour.
Average Monthly Temperature and Rainfall for LKA at location (7.88,80.65) from 1991-2015
Expect heavy crowds year-round. Open 9 AM - 5 PM each day, year-round.
To avoid the crowds:
- Arrive early. A couple of minutes before the gates open at 9:00 AM.
- You could arrive late around 4 PM and stay till 5 PM. Then you have the last couple of minutes almost for yourself to take great photos.
- Avoid weekends, go mid-week.
Expect big crowds year-round, especially on weekends. Quieter months may be December, January, February and June.
To avoid the crowds and a possible 1-2 hour waiting time in the queues:
- Arrive early. At least a couple of minutes before the gates open at 9:00 AM.
- Avoid weekends, go mid-week
To avoid a flock of people early morning and late afternoon is the best time. Great to experience the sunrise together with the ruins.
Dry season from December to April to escape the European winter. It's also the busiest season with a visitor peak in December and January. Best month is April, with already fewer crowds in Yucatan and great weather at the same time.
I prefer the dry season from December to April to escape the European winter and to have fewer mosquitos, less humidity and heat. Best month April, already fewer crowds in Yucatan.
Less crowded early morning before busses arrive.
Opening hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Gets crowded before midday.