SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS, SRI LANKA AND PLACES TO VISIT IN SIGIRIYA

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is an engineering marvel and a remarkable achievement of ancient engineers. The engineering skills hidden in the fortress take all modern engineers by surprise. Landscaped gardens, swimming pools, natural fountains, the palace on top of the rock, and mirror walls are hard to build even today with modern machinery and know-how.

Table of Contents

What is the Sigiriya rock fortress?

Sigiriya rock fortress is an engineering marvel and a remarkable achievement of ancient engineers. This iconic tourist attraction is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Today it is purely a tourist attraction that draws thousands of travellers due to its historical importance. This ancient rock fortress has immense historical and cultural value. There is no other construction of this nature that originated in the 5th century AD. Most tourist attractions in the cultural triangle have religious backgrounds such as Kandy but Sigiriya is purely a fortress and has nothing to do with Buddhism. In teh historical site you will see the remains of many constructions done many thousand years ago. Some of the important monuments on the site are fountains, landscaped gardens, swimming pools, paintings, caves, an ancient wall, and writings.

The Story of Sigiriya rock fortress Sri Lanka

“The story of Sigiriya rock fortress Sri Lanka: Thereupon the wicked ruler called Kassapa sent forth his groom and his cook. But as he was unable to slay his brother, he betook himself through fear to Sihagiri which was a difficult ascent for human beings. He cleared the land, surrounded it with a wall, and built a staircase in the form of a lion. Thence it took its name of Sihagiri.” Sigiriya rock fortress is an engineering marvel and a remarkable achievement of ancient engineers. The engineering skills hidden in the fortress take all modern engineers by surprise. Landscaped gardens, swimming pools, natural fountains, the palace on the top of the rock, and mirror walls, are hard to build even today with modern machinery and know-how.

The origin of Sigiriya rock

According to geologists, Sigiriya (Sinhalese ‘Sihagiri’) rock was formed by hardened lava and was pushed through the surface due to a volcanic eruption. As per the geologists, the incident had taken place about two billion years ago. According to information ‘Sihagiri’ Sigiriya was named after its shape, which looked like the head of a lion. Over the last few centuries the top part of this lion has fallen apart and today only the two mammoth front paws are visible forming an entrance between them. A large number of boulders are still dotted around the Sigiriya rock, which is also considered to be the remnants of the volcanic eruption that created the Sigiriya lion rock.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress Sri Lanka and places to visit in Sigiriya

Sigiriya rock fortress is a hot topic when it comes to a place to visit in Sri Lanka for travellers. What are the places to visit Sigiriya? How do we go to the Sigiriya rock fortress? what is the importance of Sigiriya lion rock? Why is the Sigiriya fortress important? Where is the Sigiriya mountain? These are some of the questions I receive from my readers very often. Therefore, I thought of crafting this blog post about the Sigiriya rock fortress.

Important facts for tourists about Sigiriya rock fortress

  • The distance from Colombo to Sigiriya rock fortress is 177 km via Ambepussa and Kurunegala.
  • Duration of the journey from Colombo to Sigiriya lion rock fortress: 4 hours 30 minutes.
  • Sigiriya rock fortress is not a place for people that suffer from Acrophobia (fear of height), backbone issues, knee problems, and other ailments such as heart issues and blood pressure.
  • The Sigiriya rock fortress hike is not suitable for pregnant ladies, small kids, and old people.
  • Sigiriya hikes last about 2-3 hours.
  • The Sigiriya hike is a thrilling adventure.
  • There are 1200 steps to climb on Sigiriya rock.
  • The ruins of Sigiriya palace sit about 300 meters above the surrounding area.

Where is the Sigiriya rock fortress?

The Sigiriya rock fortress is tucked away in the remote village of Sigiriya in the central province of Sri Lanka. Sigiriya rock fortress sits in this laid-back village, surrounded by thick vegetation. The population of Sigiriya is not exceeding more than several thousand. Sigiriya Village is located approximately 200 meters above sea level.

This laid-back village attracts a large number of travellers every day. What makes the tourist go there? It is none other than the Sigiriya rock fortress and also its strategic location gives easy access to most tourist attractions in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya rock fortress is situated on a plateau. Sigiriya rock rises in the middle of the plateau and commands a 360-degree panoramic view over the surrounding flat land. The Sigiriya rock and the surrounding flat land are guarded by a network of mountains. The flat land around the rock runs up to many kilometres and it is consisting of many flourishing rice paddies, lakes, patches of forests, vegetable plots, and small villages. Some of the popular mountain peaks that can be witnessed from the mountains are Mapagala, Weragala Kanda, Rangiri Dambulla Mountain, Beliya Kanda, Endera Kanda, Erawalgala Mountain, Kothgalkanda Mountain, Pidurangala Mountain, Ritigala mountain.

Importance of Sigiriya rock fortress

Sigiriya lion rock is inscribed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982, and which considered the most visited ancient monument on the island. In the same year, another 2 important ancient sites of Sri Lanka Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa also gained the status of UNESCO world heritage site. These three sites were the first in Sri Lanka to gain this distinction.

Sigiriya rock fortress can be described as another Hanging Bridge of Babylon. Sigiriya rock fortress shows many similarities to the hanging bridge of Babylon. However, the Sigiriya rock fortress is not among the  Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Sigiriya is one of the greatest inventions of engineers belonging to ancient Sinhalese culture. Sigiriya rock fortress was consisting of a series of tiered gardens with a wide range of brick buildings, swimming pools, a palace, and many other constructions. Everything was accumulated on a large monolithic rock.

Unlike the Hanging Bridge of Babylon, plenty of evidence are available to prove the existence of the Sigiriya rock fortress. Written archaeological evidence such as chronicles, stone inscriptions, and many other information sources are available to prove its locations, functions, and importance. Even today, a large part of the Sigiriya rock fortress can be witnessed during the cultural triangle tour of Sri Lanka.

The lower part of the Sigiriya rock fortress can be best described as one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world, dating back to the 5th century AD. Once it was suggested to be the 8th world wonder of the world.

During the excavations in the plateau of Sigiriya also known as “Sigiriya hinterland”, archaeologists have discovered many important artefacts such as terracotta, coins and even ovens that had been used to melt iron. According to the archaeologists, the plateau around the Sigiriya rock was not only producing agricultural products but also many important industries that existed there during the heyday of the Sigiriya kingdom.

Sigiriya rock fortress is an engineering marvel and a remarkable achievement of ancient engineers. The engineering skills hidden in the fortress take all modern engineers by surprise. Landscaped gardens, swimming pools, natural fountains, the palace on the top of the rock, and mirror walls, are hard to build even today with modern machinery and know-how.

Only a part of the site is excavated so far and therefore, a large part of the ancient site is still unexplored. There is no idea to dig the rest of the site anytime soon and you may never what will be unearthed in the future.

Sigiriya rock fortress is the most important among the places to visit on the Sigiriya tour

Sigiriya Rock Fort is a 5th-century landscaped garden with a monolithic rock and an engineering feat of ancient engineers. It shows the advanced knowledge of trigonometry and the usage of hydraulic principles by the people, who built it. Sigiriya rock fortress is included landscaped gardens, swimming pools, palaces, fountains, paintings (with natural colour), and colourful verses. Sigiriya rock fortress is surrounded by walls and a ditch. Sigiriya rock fortress was even suggested to be named the 8th world wonder in the world.

There is a very high demand for the Sigiriya tour from Colombo and other resort areas, therefore, the Sigiriya tour is a popular trip in Sri Lanka and most local tour operators offer this trip on a daily basis. This activity can be booked as a one-day Sigiriya tour from Colombo or the Sigiriya tour can be combined with other tour packages such as 2 day Sri Lanka tour, 3 day Sri Lanka trip or Sigiriya one-day tour also can be booked with Kandy. If you venture on a Sigiriya tour don’t forget to ask your guide to stop at Dambulla golden temple and Pidurangala Temple. Those are important Buddhist temples with historical value, most importantly both places are located very close to the Sigiriya rock.

How to visit Sigiriya Rock?

Sigiriya lion rock sits in the village of Sigiriya. Sigiriya lion rock is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in Sri Lanka, it is also known as SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS. Usually, the travellers who take part in Sri Lanka road trips visit Sigiriya Rock.

According to my experience, there is hardly any foreign traveller, who misses this iconic tourist attraction. Venturing on a Sri Lanka tour to a cultural triangle or taking a multi-day tour with the cultural triangle is the best way to visit Sigiriya.

Sigiriya can be visited on a one-day trip from Colombo. However, most travellers prefer to visit other important cultural places in the cultural triangle including the Sigiriya rock fortress. Therefore most travellers go for 3 days Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour or 2 days Sri Lanka trip with the cultural triangle. Usually, multi-day Sri Lanka trips such as 6 days Sri Lanka tour and 7 days Sri Lanka tour packages come with a Cultural triangle and Sigiriya rock fortress.

If you are on a Sri Lanka beach tour package, now it is possible to visit the Sigiriya rock fortress from all major beach resorts on the West Coast and Southern Coast. With the completion of the southern expressway, the journey to Sigiriya from the beach resort has been reduced nearly by half.

Why Sigiriya rock fortress tour so important?

The trip to the Sigiriya Rock fortress allows you to witness the most popular iconic tourist attraction in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya Rock. Same time you get easy access to many other important historical places in the cultural triangle from Sigiriya such as Dambulla golden temple, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, and Anuradhapura; eg. Sigiriya, Dambulla one-day tour from Colombo is a day tour At with At Sigiriya At rock At fortress and Dambulla cave temple, Sigiriya, Kandy tour from Colombo is another activity and it includes Dambulla, Pidurangala temples as well as Pinnawala elephant orphanage.

The trip to Sigiriya is also a wonderful opportunity to mingle with Sri Lanka’s fascinating natural attractions. Sigiriya and its surrounding areas have a large number of national parks, remote villages, farmlands, bird-watching treks as well as lakes and tanks. These natural resources harbour a large number of fauna and flora including wild elephants, leopards, bears, wild boars, crocodiles, buffaloes, birds, etc.

Travelling on the Sigiriya rock fortress tour

The best way to travel on your Sigiriya rock fortress tour is by road transport. There are other options that are also available to reach Sigiriya such as rail transport, and seaplane, however, road transport allows you to reach Sigiriya Rock with ease and it saves time.

Travelling to Sigiriya by train wastes a lot of time as it does not allow you to travel to the doorstep of Sigiriya Rock. After travelling to the nearest railway station (Habarana) of Sigiriya the travellers need to hire a taxi to reach Sigiriya after travelling around 16 km. However, travelling by train can save money.

Where to start your Sigiriya rock fortress tour from?

The Sigiriya rock tour can start from any major city in Sri Lanka because Sigiriya is well connected with all provinces of Sri Lanka. However, Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and it is easy to travel to Sigirya if you start your trip to Colombo. If you rely on public transport to reach Sigiriya, it is recommended to start your Sigiriya trip from Colombo, because buses and trains regularly depart to Sigiriya from Colombo.

Travelling on public transport can waste a lot of your time as it stops frequently for incoming and outgoing passengers. Therefore, if you can hire a private taxi with a local driver/guide it will enable you to reach Sigirya in a minimum time waste. Another major inconvenience of public transport is the crowd. The public transports in Sri Lanka are very crowded and therefore it can cause you to be an inconvenience to travel by public transport. Opting for a private taxi enables you to avoid the crowd and have comfort.

What is the duration of the Sigiriya rock fortress trip?

The Sigiriya rock fortress trip can be a 1-day Sigiriya tour, 2-days Sigiriya tour, 3-days Sigiriya tour, or longer than that. However, it mainly depends on the interest of the travellers, who book the trip. If you have time and money to spend a few days in Sigiriya it is well worth, it because you can visit not only Sigiriya rock fortress but also many other important cultural and historical places in Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya one-day tour

The travellers can book Sigiriya one-day tour from Colombo and many other beach resorts on the West coast. The Sigiriya one-day tour usually starts very early, at around 05.00 AM however, the starting time of teh Sigiriya tour may vary depending on the starting point. The Sigiriya one-day tour mainly includes Sigiriya and Dambulla.

Sigiriya 2 days tour

Sigiriya 2 days tour is another p[opukar activity among the travellers. The tour includes an overnight stay in Sigiriya. Due to the availability of 2 days for the trip, travellers can choose many places to visit ap[art from Sigiriya rock and activities to engage in. Major tourist attractions included in this trip are Sigiriya Rock, Dambulla golden temple, Pidurangala Temple, and the Minneriya wildlife tour.

Visiting Sigiriya oin a 3 days tour

The 3 days tour to the Cultural Triangle allows the travellers not only to visit Sigiriya rock fortress but also many other historical monuments that cannot be accommodated in one day or 2 days Sigiriya tour. The 3 days cultural tour includes the Sigiriya rock fortress, Dambulla golden temple, Polonnaruwa ancient city, Pidurangala Temple, Tooth relic temple and Kandy as well as a wildlife tour of Minneriya.

The archaeological importance of Sigiriya rock

The Sigiriya archaeological site is the main reason for the popularity of Sigiriya among world travellers. In terms of historical value and contribution to tourism, the Sigiriya rock fortress ranks among the most important alongside Kandy, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, and Polonnaruwa.

Sigiriya is located within the central cultural triangle, providing easy access to major archaeological attractions in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya rock fortress attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a month. It is declared a world heritage site by UNESCO due to its historical importance.

Sigiriya rock fortress, Sigiriya rock, sigiriya lion rock, lion rock sigiriya, sigiriya paintings, Sigiriya fortress, places to visit in Sri Lanka in 2 days, 2 day trips sri lanka, 2 days trips sri lanka, sri lanka in 2 days, Sigiriya rock fortress, visiting sigiriya, visiting Dambulla, visiting polonnruwa, Dambulla Sigiriya Polonnaruwa in one day
Sigiriya rock fort is a 5th-century palace complex with landscaped gardens, moats, swimming pools, fountains, paintings, and a palace. At the top of the monolithic rock, at an elevation of 500 meters above sea level, King Kashyapa built his royal palace. The frescoes are to be found halfway down the track on the upward journey.

History of Sigiriya rock

Dhatusena (459-477) ruled from Anuradhapura and had two sons, Kassapa by a wife of unequal birth, and Moggalana born of the anointed queen. The king also had a charming daughter to whom he devoted herself. She was given in marriage to Dhatusena’s sister’s son, Migara, who had been appointed the commander of the army. One day Dhatusena noticed the blood-stained garments of his daughter and learned that her husband had brutally whipped her on the thigh although she was blameless.

In high dudgeon the king ordered the general’s mother, his own sister, to be burnt to death. From then on the army commander resolved to wreak vengeance on the king, and planned with Kassapa to conduct a coup d’état. The king was kept a prisoner, and Kassapa assumed kingship and proceeded to purge the kingdom of the loyalists. Meanwhile, Moggalana, the rightful heir, escaped to India to raise an army there.

The army commander bent on further revenge induced Kassapa to believe that Dhatusena was hiding his treasures from his son Moggalana, and he obtained orders to have the ex-king put to death. This, Migara, cheerfully proceeded to do by having Dhatusena plastered, on a wall.

Why did King Kashyapa build the Sigiriya rock fortress?

Kassapa, fearing the inevitable return of Moggalana whom he had unsuccessfully attempted to have assassinated decided to seek refuge in the inaccessible stronghold of Sigiriya, as recorded in the Mahawamsa quoted above “ He collected treasures and kept them there well protected and for the kept by him he set the guard at different laces.  Then he built there a fine palace, worthy to behold, like another Alakamanda and dwelt there like a God.”  Hoping to atone for his crime Kassapa patronized the cause of Buddhism in Anuradhapura and founded a monastery there.

It is quite understandable that King Kashyapa decided to build his palace complex in this isolated boulder-filled garden as it was a perfect hideout from the future invading army coming from India with righteous king Moggalana. The palace of the king was sitting on top of the gigantic monolithic rock, which was accessible only to the king and his retinue.

In the eighteenth year of his rule, he received tidings that Moggalana had returned from India and was preparing for war. Kassapa, feeling assured of victory, set forth from Sigiriya to engage his brother in battle, but an unforeseen manoeuvre caused the tide to turn against him.

The demise of King Kassapa

A stretch of marshy ground lay across the path of advance and Kassapa turned his elephant to take another course. His troops misunderstanding this move as a sign of retreat gave the alarm that their lord was in flight, lost their morale, and broke up in disorder. Kassapa seeing his army in flight realized that his capture was imminent and slashed his throat with his own dagger, “raised the knife on high and stuck it in the sheath”.

Moggalana attended to his brother’s obsequies and came to Anuradhapura, where he established himself as king. He handed Sigiriya to the priesthood and this fortress disappear from the public record for about a century; in the early 7th century two kings were executed in order or near Sigiriya. The village Sigiriya is mentioned in the 16th-century book of Sinhalese verse entitled Mandarampurapuwata.

Jungle reclaimed its territory

With the demise of King Kashyapa (The founder of the Sigiriya fortress), Sigiriya was assailed by the slowly advancing jungle and was caught in the demolishing hand of time. In the 19th century, it was rediscovered by British-Ceylon archaeologists. According to the information, the first visitor of Sigiriya was Major H. Forbes, who came across the mighty fortress in 1833. He recorded his impressions of these visits he made to the base of the rock and the walled gallery.

Re-discovery of Sigiriya rock fortress

In the 19th century, the vestige of the glory that was Sigiriya was explored and rediscovered by British officers and administrators. The earliest recorded visit paid to Sigiriya in modern times was by Major H.Forbes who rode in search of the fortress in 1831 and revisited the rock in 1933. He recorded his impression of these visits he made to the base of the rock and the walled gallery.

What A.Y Adams and J.Barley saw in Sigiriya in 1853

Forbes was not able to climb to the summit but this feat was achieved in 1853 by A.Y Adams and J.Barley, two young civil servants. An anonymous writer published an account of his visit to Sigiriya in 1852, describing the walled gallery, and the rock which faced it as being plastered and “covered all over with fresco paintings chiefly of lions, which is said to have given it the name of Sinhagiri, Sihagiri or Seegiriya”. These paintings are now no more nor were they ever referred to by any other writer.

What T.W Rhys Davids saw in Sigiriya in 1875

T.W Rhys Davids described the rock and ancient remains that were visible in 1875 and related how he saw the paintings halfway up the rock on the western side with the aid of a telescope. He also referred to ornamental patterns on the wall of a terrace higher up the rock. These paintings too were not to be seen at the time the Archeological Department undertook work at Sigiriya towards the close of the century.

The first paper was published on Sigiriya rock in 1876

T.H Blakesley published a paper in 1876 describing in greater detail the gallery and wall alongside, the paintings in the fresco pocket, and other recognizable remains on the western side below the rock, which was then covered with forest.

The few sites recognizable as surrounded by moats in the western low-lying area below the rock and the defences in the west and east were also briefly described. Blakesley published the first plan of the ancient remains to be seen in the neighbourhood of the great rock.

Climbing Sigiriya rock for the first time in 1889 by A.Murray

In 1889 at the request of Sir William Gregory, a Governor of Ceylon, A.Murray of the Public Works Department succeeded in climbing into the pocket and taking a tracing of thirteen figures therein. For this purpose, holes were bored into the rock at regular vertical intervals and stout iron jumpers were fixed in with cement, to which wooden staging was secured.

Within the pocket, iron stanchions were set on the rock surface and a working platform was arranged above the steeply sloping floor of the pocket. When a week’s work of tracing the paintings while lying on his back on the makeshift trestle was over, Murray decided upon the deposition of a memento within the pocket. A bottle containing a newspaper, a few coins of the day, and a list of friends who had visited the chamber, was sealed and cemented into the pocket.

Exploration of Sigiriya rock: H.C.P Bell

The long concavity to be seen high up on the eastern face of the rock was explored once by H.C.P Bell, the first Commissioner of the Archaeological Department, who arranged for a brave Sinhalese lad to receive recognition as the first ever to gain access to it.

There were no signs of this sheltered area ever having been occupied in the past and, as an encouragement for future exploration at some distant date, Bell reported having placed in a niche his sealed record of the daring exploration of this cavern. The clearing of the jungle upon and below the rock was commenced in 1894 and from the following year the survey, excavation, conservation, and research have been pursued at this ancient monastery and fortified capital of Ceylon.

The pathway of the 2000 years old palace and Garden complex that leads to the fortress, is paved with granite stones and still in very good shape. Another interesting feature of this garden is the 20o0 years old natural fountains that still bubble out and go through the waterways. Gives the impression that this fortress is built to last!

Sigiriya rock fortress height

The summit of the Sigiriya rock fortress is situated nearly 300m above the ground, and it resides at about 500m from sea level. Climbing the Sigiriya rock fortress proved to be a tiring task for many people who are not familiar with mountain climbing. The staircase of the fortress is dating back to the 5th century AD but some parts of the steps are recently done using iron.

International relationships

During the excavations in and around Sigiriya rock fortress, the explorers were able to discover many items that support the opinion that ancient rulers had very strong relations ship with other foreign rulers. Many Roman and Indo-roman coins were found during the excavations in Sigiriya is a strong indication that many foreigners from those countries were presented in Sigiriya during its heyday. According to the archaeologists the Persian influence can be seen in many areas of the Sigiriya rock fortress. The Discovery of earthenware utensils such as pots dating back to the Sassanian dynasty (AD 222-651) of ancient Persia, is a strong indication that proves the presence of Persians in the Sigiriya rock. At least three of the graffiti on the mirror wall mention the silk from China (verses 219, 221, and 230)

View from Sigiriya summit

Sigiriya rock is rising 300 meters from the surrounding ground level, enabling the visitors to have a breathtakingly 360-degree panoramic view of the adjacent jungles, farmlands, villages, countryside, lakes, and paddy fields. The Sigiriya rock shows a unique and harmonious blend of nature and human imagination. It was also of strategic importance because any enemy army moving in, can be detected and defensive measures taken.

sigiriya rock Discovered in 18s, places to visit in sigiriya
This is the summit of the Sigiriya rock fortress, it is believed that King lived here. On the summit, the travellers can find a foundation of a 2-storied palace, a granite throne, a swimming pool, and remnants of other constructions. The breathtaking views from the summit of the Sigiriya Rock are the most memorable reward for travellers.

People, who book a Sigiriya tour can look forward to having a memorable and unique experience. The tour to Sigiriya is not merely a visit to a historical site but it gives you plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature.

Don’t prepare to encounter tourist attractions such as theme parks here on your trip to Sigiriya. And the nightlife in Sigiriya is almost non-existing. So, what are the attractions you get on a tour of Sigiriya? Undoubtedly, the Sigiriya fortress is the major highlight of the trip.

There are many other tourist places to visit in Sigiriya with the rock such as Polonnaruwa, Dambulla cave temple, and Minneriya national park you can explore along with the Sigiriya rock fortress.

Sigiriya weather

Sigiriya is in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, which is a part of the north-central province of the island. The rainfall of Sigiriya was measured to be between 1250mm to 2500mm a year and categorized under the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The rainfall of Sigiriya considerably increased in the months of April, October, November, and December.

Being a city in the dry zone of Sri Lanka the temperature of Sigiriya is measured to be around 30C throughout the year.

The rainfall pattern of Sigiriya
Temperature fluctuation in Sigiriya

Sigiriya Rock summit

This terraced summit is approximately 1.6 ha in extent. Here can be seen a number of water tanks, baths and the remains of the Royal Palace. There is also a stone slab like a seat which may have been the remains of a throne. There is also a 27 m x 21 m rock-hewn water tank which was a water storage tank. The hydraulic systems, the landscaping, and the terraces, all indicate unique creative skills and technologies. Sigiriya is said to be one of the finest examples of urban planning of the first millennium.

The rock’s breathtaking terraced peak spans 1.6 hectares. After killing his father, King Kasyapa is said to have selected this location for his fortified palace. These days, all that’s left are the low, unsightly foundations of buildings. Even so, it’s difficult to ignore the breathtaking views from this high vantage point, which span kilometers across an emerald ocean of forest canopy.

A smooth stone slab known as the “king’s throne”—possibly a place for meditation—is located 30 meters from a dagoba’s ruins. The 27 by 21-meter tank, which was carved out of the rock, resembles a contemporary swimming pool in every way, even though it was probably intended to store water.

Sigiriya rock fortress: the rampart

To the east and west of the rock are two areas enclosed by ramparts, the section to the east being more obviously rectangular than that on the western side which approximates a square. The evidence for the existence of a moat on the outer side of the eastern ramparts is a barely perceptible depression in the ground.

The major fortification on the western side consists of three ramparts and possibly three (but definitely two) moats. the outermost rampart which may have had a moat ahead of it was constructed of earth, the middle rampart was of brick, and the innermost rampart, which was the most massive and longest was built of rubble with brickwork facing on a core of the earth.

This rampant moat can be traced in its entirety on the western, northern, and southern sides together with short projections which serve as eastern arms from the latter two sides.

Sigiriya rock hike, hiking in sri lanka, Sigiriya steps
Sigiriya steps

Places to visit in Sigiriya – the Gates

Archaeologists have discovered five approaches to the fortified areas of Sigiriya rock. The western gate being the most elaborate had been the main entrance, and it consists of a ramp across the second moat, a gateway flanked by guardhouses in the middle brick rampart, a possible drawbridge arrangement across the inmost moat, then a flight of steps over and across the great innermost rampart to give access to the city on that side.

There had been two entrances to the city from the northern direction. The rock can also be reached by two gateways in the southern direction. One of these entrances which is much in use at present is a gate set towards the middle of the south arm of the great rampart to the west of Sigiriya Rock.

The western area of Sigiriya rock

In 1947, Paranawithana excavated the ramparts, moat, and walled area to the west of Sigiriya Rock. The conservation of the exposed structures was carried on to reveal in fair detail a vast pleasure garden within the city in the western direction of the fort. The road, which is being used today was discovered during this excavation in 1966, and travelling along this way visitors can enjoy the full majestic view of the line lofty Sigiriya rock rising against the eastern sky.

Sigiriya Garden

Anyone, who explores the Sigiriya rock fortress comes across the Sigiriya gardens immediately after entering the archaeological site, from the western gate, which is the main entrance at the moment. The visitors that enter through the western gate are greeted by the royal gardens, interspersed with pools and fountains. These gardens exclusively served as pleasure gardens for the royal family.

Boulder garden

The garden holds every sort of plant and tree, irrigated running water, fountains, swimming pools, picturesque huge boulders, paved pathways, and ancient brick constructions. The pleasure garden of Sigiriya is full of greenery, which was a direct outcome of a sophisticated irrigation system that existed within the fort, however, the surrounding area of Sigiriya rock is nothing but parched earth and rugged mountains.

The water management system of Sigiriya rock fortress

Like with every ancient civilization, water was an essential part of the Sri Lankan kingdom. Sri Lankan society is still depending largely on agriculture and water is an essential component of the society. The ancient engineers of Sri Lanka invented a sophisticated irrigation system with the use of man-made tanks and canal systems. This irrigation system is dating back to the 3rd century BC. Sigiriya was yet another ancient city on the island, which was using the water to fulfil many purposes from cooling the king’s palaces to protecting the fortress with a water ditch.

The king had built the Sigiriya tank, which was the main source of water for the fortress. The water was directed to the fortress with underground terra cotta pipes, which were laid more than 500 years ago by ancient engineers. The fountains, which are located within the fort of Sigiriya are still functioning, where the water level of the lake is high. These fountains are fuelled by hydraulic principles. Apart from the fountains, Sigiriya Lake was the main source of water for the swimming pools.   

The advanced irrigation system in the fort not only provide drinking water, and fed fountains and swimming pools, but it also helped to lower indoor temperatures. In the dry zone, where Sigiriya rock is to be found can be stiflingly hot, therefore the ancient engineers kept water flowing constantly around the king’s palace, in order to control indoor temperatures.  

Read more about the ancient irrigation system of Sri Lanka with

Sri Lanka 2 Days Tour, Places to visit in Sigiriya- the paintings
Places to visit in Sigiriya- the paintings

Places to visit in Sigiriya- the paintings

An outdoor spiral staircase located halfway up the Sigiriya rock leads to a lengthy, covered gallery carved out of the sheer rock face. It’s commonly accepted that the paintings of the voluptuous, wasp-waisted figures depict either King Kasyapa’s concubines or apsaras, or celestial nymphs. The frescoes are still in exceptionally good condition, their colors still shining, because they are shielded from the light in the covered gallery.

According to contemporary thought, Tara, a bodhisattva and one of the most significant figures in Tantric Buddhism, is represented by some of the female forms. Their classical realist approach gives them a distinct identity, however they share stylistic similarities with the Indian rock paintings at Ajanta. The remarkable frescoes’ exact dates are unknown, although it seems doubtful that they are as old as King Kasyapa’s reign in the fifth century.

The light in the late afternoon is ideal for viewing the artworks. It is not permitted to take photos.

Sigiriya frescoes paintings in Sri Lanka are exquisitely painted in brilliant colours and these paintings resemble the Ajantha painting in India. The paintings do not show any religious influence and they represent King Kashyapa.

Sigiriya paintings take an important place among the exhibits that reside at the archaeological site. The pleasure garden extends a few hundred meters from the main western gate to the base of the rock. From the base starts the ancient stairs built using huge stones, that lead to the summit. The ascent is a bit strenuous and cannot be recommended for the faint-hearted. The stairs ways lead in a zig-zag to a spiral stair (recently built), which gives access to the gallery, where the majority of paintings are to be witnessed.

Places to visit in Sigiriya – a pleasure garden

Flights of steps built over two stone banked terraces that project westwards from the massive rampart lead into the pleasure garden within the city, it served exclusively for the royal family. The pleasure garden consists of 3 parts,

  • A Rectangular area confined by brick walls
  • Fountain Garden
  • Octagonal Pond

A Rectangular area confined by brick walls

The thickness of the walls is 5t ft on average and measures 660 ft from north to south and 396 ft from east to west. A door on the western side provides access to the enclosure which is in turn divided into three sections by cross walls extending east to west. The central part consists of a tank or reservoir with an inland 75ft square in the middle and having approach causeway in the four directions dividing the surrounding moat into four ponds.

On the island, there had been a pavilion, the remains of which consist of flights of steps in four directions. There is a surrounding ambulatory, 16ft wide between the tank and the four confining walls. The causeway, ambulatory, and the sides of the island are faced with brick, and flights of limestone steps go down the causeways into the tank.

To the north and south of the central part are walled-in areas containing two pavilions each rising from sunken ground paved with limestone slabs with flights of steps leading into and out of it. On the two sides, between the two pavilions, there is yet another sunken pavement, while in the area between the outer walls and the pavilions are a number of cisterns the sides of which are lined with brick and the floors paved with limestone slabs.

these cisterns were connected to each other by underground channels, there are two passages formed of corbelled arches in the walls separating the two side enclosures from the central enclosure.

The entrance of the Sigiriya rock Fortress, Entrance to the Sigiriya fountain garden
Entrance to the Sigiriya Fountain garden

Fountain Garden of Sigiriya

The second part of the pleasure garden extends eastward as a long, rather narrow enclosure, 500ft, in length and 78 ft wide, laid out in two levels. The lower half is a fountain garden on either side of which are two raised more or less rectangular sites surrounded by broad moats, now appearing rectangular, in which the water is collected to an appreciable level.

Underground channels and cross channels were built to supply water under pressure to the fountain in the form of circular limestone slabs with numerous perforations. there are four such structures at the eastern and western ends of a paved and sunken area.

Octagonal Pond

The third component of the pleasure garden is on a higher level than the eastern half of the second part referred to above. From the second enclosure, the brick boundary walls turn outwards at right angles, the southern wall having such bends before striking the revetment of stone masonry which forms the boundary of the pleasure garden at its highest level on the eastern side. The northern wall, on the other hand, is provided with only two bends before it terminates at the brick surrounding wall of an octagonal pond.

thus the third section of the vast pleasure garden is broader than the second, and the hitherto symmetrically laid out garden had been purposefully made irregular in the plan in this high-level area. seven sides of the pond are enclosed with brick walls and the eighth on the east is a huge boulder on either side of which, north and south, cuts in the rock rising vertically upwards and serving as keys to brickwork that once existed, indicating the original flight of the enclosing brick wall.

A few yards to the south of the pond are two brick-built platforms, one circular and the other octagonal. The former was probably a terrace from an ornamental three and the latter which was provided with steps leading up from the west has been a small pavilion.

between the boulder of the point and another to its south, a narrow passage leads eastward to a small cave with a drip ledge bearing a donative inscription. This is the only cave in Sigiriya which has its walls of brick built in a batter intact. It is an interesting example of an ill-ventilated cave with a single narrow doorway adapted for purposes other than religious or habitation. It may well have been used as a store.

A view from the top

Places to visit in Sigiriya -the Mirror wall

The pleasure garden sandwich between the western gate of Sigiriya and the base of the rock, where the climb to the summit of the rock begins. The ascent is a bit strenuous and is not for the faint-hearted. The massive brick stairways lead in a zig-zag to the Mirror Wall, which is the first important step on the climb to the summit from the base.

According to the sources, the outermost layer of the mirror wall is made of a special plaster comprising fine lime, egg white, and honey. Later It was then buffed with bee wax to give a brilliant shine. According to the information it was so well polished that the King could clearly see his reflection as he walked by.

The Sigiriya mirror is among the popular places to visit in Sigiriya and it is located just behind the fresco pocket. A mirror wall is one of the most important fractions of the historical site of Sigiriya. The inner surface of the Sigiriya mirror wall is so smooth; it shines even to this day (after 1500 years) and earned it the popular name Kadapat bravura (mirror wall).

Apart from the boldly incised names of modern visitors that mar its polished surface, a close inspection of the mirror wall reveals a multitude of fine discovered to be scribbling left by visitors to the Lion Rock in centuries gone by. Whereas modern egoists have scraped their ignoble names in characters large and deeply incised, careless of the damage to a fine piece of ancient building construction, the visitors of a millennium ago had taken care, in writing their piece in neat small lightly incised letters, to all only the least possible damage to the shining plaster.

Furthermore, while the latter-day visitor has only interested himself in inscribing his name and date of visit, his medieval counterpart has shown us that he was educated enough not only to appreciate works of art but also to be able to couch his admiration in poetic terms.

Many of these writings, attributed largely to the period 7th to 11th centuries AC, have been published in a major work by Prof. Paranawithana where he concludes that they are expressions in verse, some of a high poetic order, and they constitute the earliest extant examples of Sinhalese verse.

The hundreds of graffiti have been written by the same method of incising the letters on the plaster of the wall, very probably with a metal stylus that would have been a common possession of the ancient Sinhalese just as a fountain pen or pencil is carried by a modern educated person.

The verses composed by these early writers are eloquent in their impressions of the magnificent and delightful sights at Sigiriya. Many visitors had written their names and station in life and they are seen to have been persons belonging to various strata of society and hailing from different parts of the country; some had even visited the Rock from India. The verses thus do not exhibit a uniform literary quality.

There is, however, no doubt that many of the visitors were acquainted with some degree of poetic literature and assayed to distinguish, from among graffiti left by other visitors, the good verse from the bad. The refined sensibility indicated by the thought and language in most of the verses speaks highly of the education and culture of the ancient Sinhalese citizen.

Lions Paw

The site’s name, Sigiriya (from the Sanskrit word sinha-giri, which means “Lion Rock”), originates from a short passage that leads to a broad platform at the northern end of the rock. The discovery of the two massive lion paws occurred during an excavation here in 1898 by the British archaeologist HCP Bell, who is credited with conducting a great deal of archeology in Sri Lanka.

At one point, a massive brick lion occupied this end of the cliff, and a ladder leading between its paws and into its mouth marked the beginning of the last climb to the summit. Devotees climbing the rock are reminded by the lion symbolism that the truths spoken by Buddha were as potent as the sound of a lion’s roar and that the Buddha himself was Sakya-Sinha, the lion of the Sakya Clan.

With the exception of the initial steps and paws, the lion from the fifth century has vanished. You have to scramble up a set of metal stairs to get to the top, but the original steps and grooves carved out of the rock are still visible.

Cobra Hood Cave

The overhanging stone formation at Boulder Garden got its name from resembling the fully expanded hood of a cobra. There are a few weak remnants of the once-beautiful murals of flowers and animals on the plastered interior of the cave. Usually, on your way to the south gate and the parking area, you pass by this cave after descending the cliff.

An inscription from the second century BC, found beneath the drip ledge, states it belonged to Chief Naguli, who gave it to a monk.

Staircase

Travellers, who visit Sigiriya have to climb the Sigiriya rock on stone-carved steps, there are 1200 steps. You will encounter the fresco pocket halfway up to the summit. Even though it is difficult to reach the summit of the rock, you are rewarded with the awe-inspiring scenery from the summit once you accomplished the climb.

Sigiriya mirror wall
Sigiriya mirror wall

Some Colourful phrases of Sigiriya Graffiti

The smooth inner surface of the gallery wall which bears a shine even to this day is dating back to the 5th century AD. It shows the advanced building techniques used by ancient Sri Lankan engineers.

Sigiriya Graffiti is the neatly written incised phrase on the gallery wall. They describe the grandeur of the rock fortress and mostly the beauty of the damsels of the Sigiriya frescoes. Archaeologists have found hundreds of old Sinhalese verses and some of them are in high poetic order.

“How could anyone write songs about the unmoving eyes while seeing the tender breasts of the golden-hued ones”
“the wall of moonstone has borrowed its shinning splendour from you let’s enjoy the company of the beautiful ladies who have come into our arms”
“wet with cool dew drops-fragrant with perfume from the flowers-came the gentle breeze-jasmine and water lily-dance in the spring sunshine-side-long glances-of the golden-hued ladies-stab into my thoughts-heaven itself-cannot take my mind-as it has been captivated by one lass-among the five hundred-i have seen here-our mind is sated-as we climbed Sihigiri-and saw the majestic lion-we have no desire now-to see the golden-hued ones on the wall”
“as evening comes-the golden-hued beauties-among those of the shade of the lily-appear like-vatkol flowers-entangled with katrol flowers”
“plucking a flower from my mate’s dress-i place it before the golden-hued beauty”
“like the hare drawn on the moon-may you live-for a thousand years-but for me-it would be like one day”
“seeing the golden-hued ladies-being washed away by wain-it is as if-King Kasub himself had them painted inside the cave walls”
“among the golden-hued ladies-look at this beauty-to your heart’s content-standing here unmoving, and does the day be-just one instant in time?

How to go to the Sigiriya rock fortress?

Dambulla is the nearest major town to Sigiriya and Sigiriya lies about 15 km from Dambulla. The travellers need to travel 7 km from Dambulla on Dambulla-Habarana main road before taking a turn to the right, which is the road that leads to the Sigiriya rock fortress. After taking the turn to the right from the Dambulla-Habarana main road the people need to travel another 8 km before arriving at Sigiriya.

The nature of the Sigiriya climb

The Sigiriya rock fortress exploration tour begins at the western gate and there is a great deal of walking during this activity. The visitors need to walk through the beautifully landscaped garden for about 1 km and then climb the rock-cut stairs that lead to the summit of the rock. The upward journey will take around 1-2 hours while the downward journey takes around 1 hour.

The trek to the Sigiriya rock is relatively easy, only the tail end of the trek becomes a bit arduous due to the steep climb. The first half of the trek is quite easy and it is just a walk on flat gravel, surface. The first part of the trek is about 1 km long. The surrounding area is fantastic with a lush green dry zone forest. You will walk around 1 km while passing many dozens of historic structures along the way.

About halfway down the trek, the things are getting more rustic with frequent rocks, granite caves, and boulders, and the elevation also increases gradually. From this point onward the trekkers use the steps. There are 1200 steps of varying sizes. A large part of the staircase was built by ancient engineers in the 5th Century AD and originally used by the King and his retinue who lived on top of the rock. Be careful the royal steps are very narrow.

As the upward march continues on the historical staircase the visitors come across frescoes, the mirror wall, and the well-known landmark in the fortress known as the lion’s paw. The trek beyond this point is very steep, at some point it is a horizontal climb on very narrow steps. However, this part does not last for more than 15 minutes, which is about 20 meters in length.

The last part of the climb is narrow, flanked by rock, and has a 100-foot cliff on the right side.

Sigiriya rock fortress climb
Sigiriya rock fortress climb

What is the best time to climb the Sigiriya rock fortress?

Morning and afternoon considered being the best time to climb the Sigiriya rock fortress. It would be difficult to climb the rock at midday due to the heat. 

How do I find accommodation in Sigiriya?

There are many accommodation providers around the Sigiriya rock fortress. Most of them provide easy access to the rock fortress. There are several start-class properties also among the hotels in Sigiriya and at the same time, many affordable accommodations such as guest houses, and rest houses also can be found here.

The demand for accommodation in the Sigiriya rock fortress is very high due to the large influx of tourists to see the Sigiriya rock fortress, therefore it is best to book accommodation well in advance during the peak holiday season from November to April.

Sigiriya rock fortress entrance fee

Sigiriya is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites on the island and it is under the purview of the archaeological department. Entrance to Sigiriya archaeological site costs 30$ per person.

Where can I buy entrance tickets to Sigiriya rock fortress?

The entrance tickets to the Sigiriya Rock fortress can be bought at the ticket counter available at the Sigiriya Rock. The tickets can be purchased online through the central cultural fund website (https://eservices.ccf.gov.lk/eticketing/landing). If you buy the e-ticket make sure that you must enter the passport number. If your passport number is not entered the ticket will not be issued at the ticket counter located at the site.

Buying the entrance ticket at the counter located at the site is straightforward and easy too. On the other hand, there is no possibility of making errors when you buy the entrance ticket at the counter. There were incidents where guests had to face difficulties with e-Tickets.

Most Sigiriya steps are narrow and carved onto the natural rock

Other important historical places around Sigiriya rock fortress

There are several other important historical places to visit in Sigiriya and most of them are scattered around the Sigiriya rock. Pidurangala cave temple and Dambulla cave temple are the most popular historical places to visit in Sigiriya with a religious background and both of them are located within easy reach of the rock.

Ibbankatuwa burial ground, which is one of the most ancient burial grounds in Sri Lanka believes to date back to the pre-Christian era. The historical importance of this site is very important, however, it is an off-the-beaten-track tourist place in Sri Lanka and is visited by only very few travellers.

8 Other important places to visit in Sigiriya?

There are a large number of places to visit and activities to do in Sigirya and the surrounding area. But considering the historical importance and educational value, it carries. We recommend the below-mentioned 8 places to visit in Sigiriya on your Sigiriya tour.

  • Sigiriya Rock
  • Pidurangala temple
  • Sigiriya jungle
  • Sigiriya museum
  • Minneriya national park
  • Sigiriya Eco-park or Hurulu Eco-park Sigiriya Mirror wall
  • Dambulla cave temple
  • Jathika Namal Uyana

Sigiriya things to do other than visiting Sigiriya rock

Sigiriya is a popular tourist area in the central province, where you can perform many recreational activities such as elephant rides, boating, trekking, bird watching, biking, etc. specially Sigiriya sanctuary is popular for bird-watching tours in Sri Lanka. Sigiriya sanctuary is located immediately behind the rock fortress. There are a few treks in the forest that can be used for the Sri Lanka jungle tour. Sigiriya Lake is also a part of the sanctuary and is a very special place for bird lovers, where travellers can see many dozens of avian fauna a species.

Sigiriya is a small hamlet and there are no cities or shopping areas to hang around. But, there are several small boutiques giving you the option to buy things such as water and other drinks, sunscreen, short eats, etc, which most travellers are looking for.  There are several hotels around the fortress giving travellers of affordable dining and lodging options.  As such budget-conscious travellers can find a place to stay without any trouble. Same time, there are many properties with luxurious facilities for travellers, who like to have luxury accommodations in Sigiriya.

Places to visit from Sigiriya rock fortress- archaeological museum

The archaeological museum is also located near the Sigiriya fortress and can be considered one of the important places to visit in Sigiriya, in the expansive area between the outer moat and the middle rampart on the western side of Sigiriya.

In the archaeological museum, you have the opportunity to see a large number of artefacts discovered at the archaeological site such as Building materials, pottery, and other small finds including metal objects. Copies of the Sigiriya frescoes are also been displayed at the museum for travellers, who find it difficult to go up to the Sigiriya caves.

Torsos of Buddha statues, guard stones, and a limestone statue of a queen or goddess are also placed in the museum. Some of the valuable artefacts include a blue-glazed amphora evidently of foreign origin and an elaborate lock that must have belonged to a massive door are presently exhibited in the national museum of Colombo.

Sigiriya fortress (some people call it Sigiriya castle) is comprised of many attractions such as the ruined palace, Sigiriya gardens, audience halls, fountains, and beautiful paintings. Sigiriya archaeological site is dating back to the 5th century AD; bricks and stones have been used for the construction.

At Sigiriya lion rock you can learn about the advanced knowledge of Sri Lankan ancient engineers, who had accomplished one of the most sophisticated landscaped gardens in Asia.

Places to visit in Sigiriya-Sigiriya temple

From the main entrance (western gate) of the Sigiriya ancient site, a narrow gravel road leads to the eastern side of the ancient site. About 1 kilometre from the gate on the gravel road you will find the Pidurangala temple. The temple was rarely visited by travellers in the past; however, it has been able to get the attention of visitors at present. Pidurangala temple is believed to be an old temple and dates back many centuries. The temple is believed to be built by King Kashaya, the King, who built the Sigiriya rock fortress. The entrance fee for the temple is Rs 500 P.P.

Places to visit in Sigiriya- Sigiriya Sanctuary
Places to visit in Sigiriya- Sigiriya Sanctuary

Places to visit in Sigiriya- Sigiriya Sanctuary

The Sanctuary of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka located around the rock fortress is under the jurisdiction of the Department of wildlife conservation. Surrounding the
Sigiriya rock is a large patch of secondary dry zone forests, containing monsoon, riverine, and scrub vegetation. Among this vegetation is a multitude of fauna, with birds being the most visible and audible denizens of these forests. Sigiriya is one of the most visited places with an interest in history, culture, and nature. Sigiriya Sri Lanka attracts thousands of tourists every year, who make their holiday in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has always been listed as a bird’s paradise, because of many different habitats lowland rain forests, mountain forests, wetlands,s and monsoon forests – and their birds – are all easily accessible from the island’s capital. Of the 482 recorded species of birds in Sri Lanka, about 150 are common in the dry zone.

Most of these dry zone species can be seen in the Sigiriya area. This area is regularly visited by a few endemic bird species such as the endemic crimson-fronted barbet and grey hornbill to residents such as the green imperial pigeon, Asian paradise-flycatcher, and common lora, as well as migrants such as the Indian pitta.

A walk along a narrow path through dry zone forest up to Sigiriya lakeside permits you to observe many residents such as the pompadour green pigeon and common Ixora. Near the lake, you will see Brahminy kites, white-breasted kingfishers, and little cormorants darting into the water.

During the migrant season, you may also see Blue-tailed Bee-eaters and Whiskered Terns. Look out also for butterflies such as the Crimson Rose, Blue Momon, and Lime Butterfly among others. Mammals such as Toque monkeys, Grey Langurs, and Giant squirrels are also common.

There are several tracks in the area of Sigiriya that are been used for bird watching. It covers the thick jungles, rice fields, other agricultural fields, and remote villages such as Kibissa and Diya Beduma. One can see a great variety of vegetation along the way invariably means seeing the different species of Birds. For example, one can see the jungle fowl very often in the thick jungle while crimson barbet and common kingfisher are very common in the villages and farmlands.

Places to visit in Sigiriya- Minneriya National park

Places to visit in Sigiriya- Minneriya National Park

Minneriya national park is located near the Sigiriya rock fortress, and it takes about 20 minutes to reach Minneriya national park from Sigiriya. The Sri Lanka Wildlife tour at Minneriya national park is a very popular activity among travellers, and it is a very popular place to visit in Sigiriya. 3 hours jeep safari in the wildlife reserve enables you to see a large number of wild animals such as Elephants, crocodiles, wild buffalo, jackals, etc.

Places to visit in Sigiriya-Hururlu Ecopark

Sri Lanka’s Hurulu Eco-park is situated near Habarana, a few kilometres from Sigiriya Rock is another popular place to visit in Sigiriya. It has become a popular place for wildlife safaris during the last few years and a large number of travellers heading to the eco-park to experience the rich wildlife of Sri Lanka. The park is home to many exotic and endangered animal species such as the Sri Lankan Jungle fowl (national bird of Sri Lanka), Sri Lankan elephant, Indian Star Tortoise, and the Rusty-Spotted Cat.

What are the places to visit in Sigiriya at night?

There is a big NO NO for night outings in the Sigiriya rock fortress area. Remember the Sigiriya rock fortress is located far away from the city and surrounded by jungle. Therefore there is a very high chance of wild elephants roaming at night in the area.

If you stay in a hotel close to the Sigiriya rock fortress refrain from all outdoor activities in the dark. But the rule is applied if you go beyond the border of the hotels. This is mainly due to wild elephant attacks. There had been many incidents in the past, in which some people were killed due to wild elephant attacks. Most such incidents take place at night when the elephants come to the village area from the jungle.

Exploring the remote village of Hiriwadunna

Hiriwadunna village tour Sigiriya is taking place in the village of Hiriwadunna, which is a remote village located a few kilometres from the Sigiriya rock fortress. Monolithink rock with ancient constructions is the main draw in Sigiriya but it is worth exploring this remote village if you have time. Because it is a perfect opportunity to see the typical Sri Lanak village life, as the people of Hiriwadunna are still relying on passed-down farming techniques, bullock carts, paddle boats, and large families to sustain their villages.

The people of Hiriwadunna like to share their traditional way of life with visitors, and welcome travellers (foreign as well as local) to experience their traditional life with village tours, farm tours, bullock cart rides, Tuk Tuk rides, paddle boating in the lake, and cooking class feature traditional delicious recipes.

Meet our village guide near the Habarana junction, where you start the bullock cart ride, that cuts through the village, forests, and farmlands. Later, visit a traditional farmhouse and 2 acres of farmland, a surveillance treehouse, as well as a traditional thatched house in the village. Towards the end of the Village tour, you can learn the traditional way of cooking in Sri Lanka and sample some delicious Sri Lankan food.

Jathika Namal Uyana

Jathika Namal Uyana has tucked away about 30 km from Sigiriya rock fortress. Jathika Namal Uyana is one of teh few tourist attractions in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka that is not coming under religious tourist places. It is not a tourist attraction with a religious background or historical Importance. It can be described as a natural tourist attraction. Jathika Namal Uyana has two distinct importance it is the largest ironwood forest in Asia and there is no other quartz mountain range in the world of its size. the origin of Jathika Namal Uyana is dating back more than 500 million years and it serves as a human settlement for many centuries. Even though Jathika Namal Uyana is not part of the Sri Lanka cultural triangle tour, it is well worth visiting it because this natural attraction is home to a large number of fauna and flora.

Why you should visit Sigiriya rock fortress with Seerendipity

Seerendipity Tour is an entirely locally owned travel company with a head office in Colombo. The highly experienced local staff is a key strength of Seerendipity Tours, and they can plan your dream holiday to Sri Lanka.

The best price guaranteed for you srilanka 5 days trip

When you book a tour with us, you directly book the tour with the local company, which means there are no middlemen and therefore you can guarantee the best price. Simply get in touch with us and let us know when you travel and what you like to see.

Plan your best srilanka 5 days trip with expert

Our staff makes a personalised programme for you, which you can change until you find the best package for you. You can also browse our existing tour packages for inspiration; all our ready-made tour packages are customizable and can be tailored to meet all your expectations. Write to us at admin@seerendipitytours.com, tel. 0094-77-440977, WhatsApp 0094-77-4440977

Please support us

We have put a lot of time and effort into compiling this blog post. Please be kind enough to leave your very own comments.