Sri Lanka – I climbed the Pidurangala Rock in Sigiriya and wore my rainbow wig with pride. And this is, perhaps, the most photogenic view I took of myself wearing the wig. For your information – I bring my rainbow wig anywhere I travel and wear it in front of a country’s well-known tourist attraction. Pidurangala Rock is so lucky to have been chosen as a place where I left my fabulous footprints. 😀
All About Pidurangala Rock. It is a massive rock formation in the middle of a jungle in Sigiriya. From afar, you won’t really notice it’s a rock as it is surrounded by trees – all the way to its summit. The rock was formed through volcanic activity. It is also called “The Other Rock” in Sigiriya.
The Lion Rock aka Sigiriya Rock. From the summit of Pidurangala, the Lion Rock, across the verdant forest, is such a beauty to behold. This is Sri Lanka’s most famous rock where the ancient King built his palace.
The Hike to Pidurangala Rock. It took me 30 minutes to the summit. For some people, it would be 45 minutes max. Or an hour if you have wobbly legs. It was an easy climb, really. The hiking trail is made up of stone footpaths which can be slippery when wet. The challenge of the climb is its last 5 minutes when you have to go on all fours. It was a bit difficult for me since I was wearing my crocs slippers. I left my wet and stinky shoes at the car. 😀
How to Get There. Take a tuktuk and tell the driver to bring you to Pidurangala Rock. Of course, you can walk, too, if you really love walking.
Entrance Fee. Pay 500 rupees. It’s way cheaper compare to climbing the Sigiriya Rock (or Lion’s Rock) for Rs2,500.
Why You Should Hike Up There. It’s not just for the staggering vista but also for peace and quite. It’s less crowded compared to the Lion’s Rock. In fact, when I was there, only 7 of us owned the place.
Climbing the Pidurangala Rock in Sigiriya
After paying the entrance fee, the first thing you notice would be this 300-year old tree (as I was told) in the vicinity.
Walk up few more steps and you’ll find this ancient portal to somewhere.
Adjacent to the portal above is a small Buddhist temple. Though no one is watching you here, the guy at the ticket booth would remind you to cover your exposed flesh if you’re dressed inappropriately. If you don’t have a sarong, you can skip the temple. Continue walking on a tiny footpath on its right.
Follow the trails under a canopy of trees. Watch out for your bags all the time as there are cheeky monkeys who might take it if you leave it unattended. You will know you’re almost at the summit when you pass by the remains of this Buddhist Cave Temple.
Onwards from here, follow the trail carefully as it can be confusing. You’ll be hopping from one boulder to another. You’ll definitely be crawling in all fours. Keep your phones and cameras in your bag – not in your loose pocket. If they fall it would be difficult to retrieve them under the massive rocks.
Once you emerge from a difficult climb, this stunning view awaits you.
And yes, this is the first view you’ll see once you arrive at the summit – the Sigiriya Rock.
Isn’t it breathtakingly stunning?
Zoom your camera closer and you’ll see people going up and down the Lion’s Rock.
Unlike Sigiriya Rock, the peak of Pidurangala Rock is a rolling slope. The former is mostly flat and has trees and pool but the latter is solid rock.
The plain jungle below is an endless sea of green. Fresh air is abundant and free.
Once you’re done with your camwhoring, take time to sit down and enjoy the views. Lay down if you must and feel the wonders of nature.
WHERE TO STAY IN SIGIRIYA
Look no further – Darshani Lodge should be your choice. The staff is nice and willing to help you. The rooms are spacious and clean. It’s just one kilometre to Sigiriya Rock and accessible to public transport, like the tuktuk. They also serve breakfast and dinner.
Not a solo traveler? Join a tour!
It is, of course, possible to go around the country using public transport. But, you’ve got to be adventurous and can stand on the heat. And be patient, too. Trains are slow and most of the roads are winding and narrow, especially when you’re going to the Hill Country. If you have limited time in the country and want to see / experience more, say, 8-10 days, going a tour is more practical. You don’t have to plan for transports and hotel accommodation. Intrepid Travel offers various options for every kind of traveler.