Travel Report Sigiriya
Sigiriya and its rock are definitely a Sri Lanka Must See! Like any other historical palace, Sigiryia Rock is surrounded by history and mysteries, betrays and assassinations, thefts and royal family scandals. But what’s really impressive about this UNESCO world heritage site, are not only the left ruins of what was once a royal palace but also its stunning and breathtaking views over the rain forest from the top of this odd-shaped mountain. Climbing the mountain left us with a god-like-feeling, nearly touching the sky, we could imagine how it was to be a king ruling his reign over the country and its people. The surroundings of the place include lovely gardens, frescoes, mirror walls and much more…
Climbing the Rock
The way upwards was quite frightening since climbing structures are old and some parts look quite rotten; however, even our companions with the strongest fear of heights did it. It took us one hour maximum to climb up to the very top but the time is strongly dependent on the number of breaks and the pace of the people in front.
The frescoes inside are quite nice but not as impressive compared to some others you may find in the world. What’s most astonishing, is the fact that they were somehow painted several hundred meters above the ground during a time when safe structures did not exist. You will not regret to have a quick look as they are halfway to the top and a short break might be a well-being. Be aware that authorities are specifically protective of their heritage and that “no photos” should actually not be put into question! We saw a Russian couple that was forced to delete their photographs and struggled not to be deported by police. The broken English on both sides made the situation even more difficult. Usually being a lover of taking photos at any place, this experience taught me to better stick to the rules.
Once on top you have an endless view of the landscape that is hard to describe. It was some kind of vibrant intensity between the green landscape and the fiery red/yellow rocks; the smell and peace you feel up there are unique and impossible to describe!
The way down was somehow more intimidating than the way up, once you constantly look down and see everything very, very, very small. Once on the ground, we found a paraphernalia of monkeys going and jumping over our heads around local souvenir shops. It can be a little scary as they show their teeth but as long as you don’t feed them and keep safe distance you will be fine…
Climbing Sigiriya Rock just took us some hours. Therefore, we hired a tuk-tuk driver back on the ground to show us the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa.
Travel Info and Tips
Where is it? Central Sri Lanka; 8km from Dambula, 55.5 km from Pollonnaruwa, 15.5 km from Habarana
bus, tuk-tuk or car.How to get there? Within Sigiyria it is very easy to walk once the whole village is built around the rock. From other cities such as Dambulla, Polonnaruwa or Habarana by
What is it famous for? Sigiriya Rock, Cultural Triangle
When is it open? Sigiriya Rock is open daily from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
What is good to know? There is no dress code once it is not a temple; however, depending on which part of the day you go, we recommend good shoes (preferably trainers), shorts or light trousers, and light shirts or T-shirts. If traveling during rainy season a cardigan or jacket might be useful specially if climbing in the early morning.
A funny fact? Sigiriya is really centrally located to also explore the surroundings such us Polonnaruwa or Minneriya National Park. On our way there, we had an elephant blocking the street.