We’ve all heard about the Sigiriya Rock, a massive rock fortress with ruins of an ancient palace, water gardens, and fresco. But the roads less travelled hold the best views! Sopack up your stuff and head on over to the Pidurangala Rock, and ensure you are ready for a Pidurangala Hike!
Here are 5 things to know about Pidurangala:
1. How to get there
Pidurangala is situated in a village of the same name, within the district of Matale. It is only 2.5 km from the rock fortress in Sigiriya which makes an ideal base from which to visit. Whilst you stay with us at Cinnamon Lodge Habarana or Habarana Village by Cinnamon, we can arrange a visit to Pidurnagala for you, with ease.
2. A part of history
Pidurangala Rock has a long history which is widely believed to date back to the second century BC and is where a monastery was built by King Kashyapa. Ancient chronicles state that monks who previously resided at Sigiriya were donated the temple by the king before he took to building the marvellous structure atop Sigiriya Rock. The temple consisted of five buildings called ‘Panchavasa’, some of which can still be seen during your visit.
3. At the foot
At the very entrance of the ancient monastery premises, a whitewashed temple built into the rock interface is housed, constructed during the early 1930s. Venture in to explore the ancient
cave temple which quite literally dates back thousands of years! Here you will also see on display vintage objects and artefacts which reflect influences from various Buddhist periods. We think you should sonsider taking a little detour to visit the ruins of an ancient Image House and Chapter House.
It is important to remember to cover your shoulders and knees and walk barefoot as you pass through the temple premises as a sign of respect.
4. The Climb
We suggest you take the trek to the summit of Pidurangala to catch the sunrise or sunset and witness the show of colour put on by the sky. The hike takes around 45 minutes (depending on your pace) and there is much to see on the way up.After around 15 to 20 minutes you will reach a plateau-like area where you can take time to just soak up the amazing panorama. You will find some historic ruins here, along with one of the highlights, a statue of a reclining Buddha; the age-old plaster now only covers the bottom half, the rest made up of russet coloured bricks exposed to the elements.The brickwork supposedly divided meditational spaces for the monks. At the very furthest into the cavern, a massive 46 foot recumbent Buddha can be seen. At one point in time, this was the largest brick statue of a reclining Buddha statue and offers an insight into the rock’s rich past.
After a short while, you will reach your reward; a breathtaking vista of an emerald carpet of greenery leading up to the inspiring sight of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, soaring majestically to the clouds. As time passes, it is easy to get lost in this sight and do take your time just soaking it all in.
5. At the summit
Don’t know what to expect at the end of your Pidurangala Hike? Words won’t do justice but do take our word for this one! At the summit of this 199m tall Pidurangala Rock you will be greeted by a breathtaking view of the Sigiriya Rock and its surroundings! Thich jungle, clouds, rolling and endless blue skies and clouds, and a cool breeze to replenish your energy. So don’t miss out! Make sure you visit Pidurangala during your visit to Sri Lanka.
Photo credits: Flora Gonzalez Lopez