At a glance

It is the rock fortress the world sometimes refers to as the Eighth Wonder. Sigiriya rock towering 200m rises above the thick jungle in the central plains of Sri Lanka. Its caves sheltered Buddhist monastic monks during the 3rd century. It was made into the impressive fortress by King Kashyapa in the 5th century, who sought protection from enemy forces. It is the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. A colossal lion figure stood at the entrance leading up to galleries and staircases, of which, only the paws remain. The top of the rock, strewn with palace ruins, provides vistas across the misty forests and hills that surround.

Hidden Gems

  • Pidurangala Rock is a unique nearby hike to admire Sigiriya from afar.
  • Pidurangala Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple at the base of the Rock.
  • Cobra Hood Cave in the Boulder Garden resembles a cobra hood.
  • Dakinigiriya Vihara is a little-visited ruined monastery that has a lake and caves.
  • Sigiri Art Gallery sells paintings, commissioned artwork, traditional masks, and textiles.

Where to Shop in Sigiriya

Pathikada, Sigiriya Craft Village, Vishwa Gems, and Lanka Silks are places to go if you are on the hunt for traditional and cultural goodies.

Where to Eat in Sigiriya

Heritance Kandalama, Water Garden, and Jetwing Vil Uyana have high-end dining options at their in-hotel restaurants. Gamagedara, Nirvana, Ahinsa, Rasta Rant, The Kitchen, and Chooti are quality restaurants in Sigiriya.

The Route

Best Times to Visit

October to December is Sigiriya’s wettest season. Early morning or late afternoon climbs are the best.