Things to do around Sigiriya

by | Dec 10, 2023

Nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle lies Sigiriya, a region steeped in ancient history and natural wonders. Here, visitors are transported through time, unraveling stories of local legends while traveling through breathtaking vistas and encountering wildlife in its natural habitat. Let’s delve into a few experiences awaiting those who venture into this enchanting region!

1. Climb the World-Famous Sigiriya Rock

Tours in Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Dominating the skyline at 200 meters, Sigiriya Rock stands as a testament to ancient engineering and architectural prowess. Initially a refuge for Buddhist monks, it later transformed into a majestic fortress under King Kashyapa’s guidance in the 5th century. The remnants of a colossal lion figure guard the entrance, leading to galleries and staircases. The summit offers panoramic views, revealing misty forests and rolling hills.

Sigiriya Museum –  This museum serves as an important depiction of the history and significance of Sigiriya Rock. Apart from showcasing excavated artifacts, it also displays models of the fortress, providing visitors with a tangible connection to the site’s historical context. The artifacts often include tools, pottery, jewelry, and coins, shedding light on the daily lives, technology, and craftsmanship of the people who lived there. The museum curates these items across five galleries that brilliantly depict its history.

Mirror Wall and Graffiti – The Mirror Wall, whose surface is polished akin to that of a mirror, is a prominent feature visitors may view during their visit to the fortress. It’s adorned with inscriptions and poems, some dating back centuries, etched by visitors at the time who were awe-inspired by the beauty of Sigiriya and the environment surrounding it.

Water Gardens – The water gardens at Sigiriya are a marvel of ancient engineering and aesthetics. These gardens, designed with precision, showcase a complex irrigation system that remains functional to this day. Visitors can explore these gardens, which include interconnected curved tanks, bathing pools, and picturesque little islands. The beauty lies not just in their visual appeal but in the ingenuity of their design, providing a glimpse into the advanced hydraulic engineering skills of the time.

Boulder and Terraced Garden – The garden extends from the northern slopes to the southern slopes at the foot of the rock. As visitors journey through this part, they traverse a landscape that seamlessly blends nature with human intervention. The winding pathways connect large boulders, creating a harmonious flow that accentuates the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Sigiriya Fresco –  The Sigiriya Frescoes are a testament to the artistic prowess of the civilization at the time. These beautifully preserved murals on the rock face depict an array of colorful and vivid figures, showcasing the artistic finesse of the era. The paintings, though centuries old, retain their beauty, while the preservation and detail in these frescoes offer a glimpse into the cultural and artistic sophistication of the society that thrived in Sigiriya.

2. Watch the Sunset from Pidurutalagala Rock

Pidurutalagala Mountain in Sri Lanka

As visitors ascend Pidurangala, a breathtaking vista unfolds before their eyes. The expansive flat rock, adorned with clusters of trees and shrubs, gives way to mesmerizing views at sunset as the sky transforms, with the silhouette of Sigiriya against this backdrop.

3. Jeep Safari in Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka

Minneriya National Park is a sanctuary for wildlife, including the majestic Sri Lankan elephants. Its historical significance lies in the preservation of the Minneriya tank, built in the 3rd century AD by King Mahasen. The park’s flora boasts a diverse array of flora and fauna, including 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, and various reptiles and amphibians. Endemic species like the purple-faced langur and toque macaque, and other animals like the Sri Lankan sambar deer and axis deer also roam its landscapes. Rare and endangered species such as the Sri Lankan leopard and the Sri Lankan sloth bear inhabit Minneriya, adding to its ecological significance.

4. Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot Air Ballooning Day Tour

Embark on an exhilarating hot air balloon ride, offering an unparalleled perspective of Sri Lanka’s natural beauty. The experience provides a thrilling yet serene journey over rugged mountains, rivers, and cultural landmarks. With safety ensured by experienced and qualified pilots, passengers enjoy a tranquil flight, allowing them to enjoy the breathtaking landscape throughout the journey.

5. Explore the Dambulla Cave Temples

Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. These caves house statues and paintings depicting Gautama Buddha’s life and ancient tales. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain hundreds of ancient statues and paintings.

Each experience, whether climbing Sigiriya Rock or gazing at the colorful sky from Pidurutalagala, paints a vibrant picture of Sri Lanka’s rich history, culture, and stunning natural beauty. For those eager to dive into these experiences, Blue Lanka Tours offers a day tour of Sigiriya and Dambulla, along with a range of other tailormade tours and other experiences that cover an array of Sri Lankan travel itineraries to make your stay truly unforgettable.