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Climbing Pidurangala Rock in Sigiriya

Pidurangala Rock in Sigiriya

The view is spectacular from the top of Pidurangala, a massive rock formation directly opposite Sigiriya. Pidurangala rock is situated in Pidurangala village of Matale District, Sri Lanka. This place has a short history and background story. It is said that the name Pidurangala was derived from the Sinhala words pidu + ran + goda. In the English language, it means “offered piles of gold”.

History of Pidurangala Rock

The history of Pidurangala Temple is dating back to the first and second centuries. Pidurangala is a meditative retreat for monks, except for a rock that can climb mountains as high as Sigiriya. This mountain is full of caves. When King Kasyapa built the Sigiriya Stone Fort, he took the monks there to Pidurangala, and later under his patronage repaired and expanded the monastery. Pidurangala has what you can call two levels; The first consists of a stone staircase, followed by a stone and another stone plateau, and the second. The first part of the climb is really easy. Then be prepared to activate the acrobatics to navigate between the rocks and between the rock faces.

Once you finish the stairs, you will see the ruins of brickwork. To your left is a large drop above the countryside. The brickwork is the cells divvying up rooms or meditational spaces for the monks. At the end of the cells is a giant reclining Buddha, which was the largest brick statue of a reclining Buddha at one point in its existence. There is also a pond that is home to various water critters and flora, including snakes. Stay tuned for brightly colored lizards and camouflaged water snakes. There are also several ancient manuscripts carved into the rock floor. This is protected by a light metal rail.

Here are some facts you need to know about climbing this mountain:

  • The journey to Pidurangala takes between 30 and 40 minutes.
  • No charge for local tourists and Rs. 500 for a foreign tourist.
  • The view from the top of the mountain is most beautiful at sunrise and sunset times.
  • Be careful as snakes are in the area
  • Plastics are not allowed (not strictly enforced)
  • There are no toilets on Pidrangala Rock or the trail.

Photos & video sponsored by keetkath

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