Although Sigiriya Rock is steeped in history and has some extraordinary features such as the Lion’s Paw, Mirror Wall and Frescoes, the Pidurangala Rock has a much more natural ambience regardless of housing a temple.
It is an overlooked gem by tourists and what makes it magical is the breathtaking view of Sigiriya Rock over the horizon, the magnificence of it standing so tall majestically near the sky. Pidurangala Rock is adjacent to Sigiriya Rock and is a popular spot for sunrises with impressive 360 degree views of all the surrounding valleys and landscapes.
Climbing Pidurangala Rock would be a rather intense ascent but well worth it once you reach the top. At the base of the rock, there is a white temple – Pidurangala Sigiri Raja Maha Viharaya (Royal Cave Temple) in which you will pass through and pay an entry fee of Rs.500/- (USD $3.50). It is recommended for entry to the temple grounds that shoulders and knees are covered since it is a religious area.
There are a few remnants left of the Royal Cave Temple which includes remains of a few monastic structures since the Pidurangala Rock was occupied by monks for over 2500 years ago who had lived in the caves around the site. This area came into prominence when King Kasyapa who built Sigiriya moved the monks living there to a newly remodelled and expanded temple and monastery at Pidurangala Rock.
Once you walk through the temple, you will hit a trail which would direct you to the top. En route you will come across a reclining Buddha partially constructed out of brick and placed in the side of the rock which is fascinating. You will then get onto a path which has boulder rocks with arrows giving directions. It would be a steady rock climb to the end of the trail.It is highly recommended to wear hiking boots or sneakers with a grip. Once atop, the look around is arguably remarkable.
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