Unraveling the Legends of Sigiriya Lion’s Rock
Well, the answer is a resounding NO. There are stories that lead us to believe that Sigiriya Lion’s Rock was once the site of Ravana’s opulent palace. However, the prevailing belief is that Sigiriya served as King Kasyapa’s capital. Prior to that, it held a significant place as a Buddhist monastery. Nonetheless, Sigiriya Rock lives up to its reputation as the Eighth Wonder of the World.
Our Sri Lanka Adventure: A Journey of Discovery
As shown on the map, our adventure in Sri Lanka covered a staggering distance of approximately 1000 kilometers in just 7 days (February 2020). Our itinerary showcased a delightful mix of serene beach spots, magnificent heritage sites, and sacred religious landmarks. Let’s take a look at the route we embarked upon:
- Mannar Island/ Talaimannar Pier
And finally, we returned to Colombo before setting off for our next destination – the Maldives.
The History of Sigiriya: King Kasyapa’s Reign
According to one legend, Kasyapa I, the son of King Dhatusena, seized the throne by murdering his own father. Fearing for his life, Dhatusena’s other son, Moggallana, fled to South India. Kasyapa then made the audacious move of relocating the capital from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya, where he constructed a majestic palace atop the imposing rock. However, Moggallana eventually returned to Sri Lanka, leading a mighty army against Kasyapa and emerging as the victor. Kasyapa, deserted by his own troops, met a tragic end by taking his own life. As a final act, Moggallana shifted the capital back to Anuradhapura.
Legends of Sigiriya: Unveiling Ravana’s Realm
Another version of history suggests that the pinnacle of Sigiriya Rock housed Ravana’s resplendent palace, reputedly crafted by Kubera from solid gold. This magnificent structure, believed to have been built five millennia ago, boasted a remarkable feature: a unique lift designed exclusively for Ravana and his esteemed visitors. Additionally, one of the caves at the base of this colossal boulder was the notorious prison where Ravana held Sita captive.
Journey to Sigiriya: Exploring the Heart of Sri Lanka
Before we delve further, take a moment to read my article, “Sri Lanka FAQs: Things to Remember.” Now, let’s proceed. Sigiriya Rock is situated in the Dambulla district of the Central Province in Sri Lanka. To reach Sigiriya, we traveled by car from Anuradhapura after completing our sightseeing there. If you prefer public transportation, the best option is to catch a bus from Dambulla. Buses run every 30 minutes, starting from 7 AM, and the journey takes approximately 40 minutes.
Sigiriya Rock Timings
The opening hours for Sigiriya Rock are from 7 am to 5:30 pm.
Sigiriya Rock Entry Fee (Per Person)
- Locals: LKR 50
- Foreigners (SAARC Countries): USD 15
- Foreigners (Other Countries): USD 30
Kindly note that the entry fee includes access to the Sigiriya Museum. For locals, the booking office is situated outside the museum, while for foreigners, it is located inside.
Ascending Sigiriya Lion’s Rock: A Thrilling Climb
It’s advisable to reach the booking office as early as possible in the morning. Upon arrival, you may encounter individuals offering to drive you to several Sigiriya viewpoints for LKR 2000 per person. However, bear in mind that these viewpoints merely grant you a glimpse of the fortress from various angles at the base of the rock. The price does not cover a journey to the summit; climbing is the only way to reach the top.
Due to the rock’s operating hours, witnessing the sunset from the summit is possible, but catching the sunrise is not. The climb consists of approximately 1250 steps and takes around 1-1.5 hours. As you ascend, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the caves at the base of the rock. The mirror wall, frescoes, Lion’s paws, Sigiriya water tanks, and the palace ruins are the main highlights.
The mirror wall was so impeccably polished that the King could see his reflection as he strolled past it. The frescoes, a series of paintings adorning the western face of the rock, are accessible via a spiral staircase. Please note that photography and videography are strictly prohibited. If you wish, you can bypass this spot and proceed directly to the mirror wall and Lion’s paws.
Above the Lion’s paws, the Lion’s staircase leads to the plateau, offering captivating views of the Central Province. Don’t miss the opportunity to snap a photo on the staircase with Pidurangala Rock in the background. Many travelers opt to visit Sigiriya Rock in the morning and then head to Pidurangala Rock to witness the breathtaking sunset, accompanied by a splendid view of Sigiriya Rock. Entry to Pidurangala Rock is free, but it involves a 30-60 minute hike.
Creating Lasting Memories: Our Special Recommendation
Choosing Sri Lanka as our honeymoon destination proved to be an excellent decision. This vibrant country gifted us with countless beautiful memories and unforgettable moments. Rather than simply reliving them through digital files on our hard drive, we decided to immortalize those precious experiences on the walls of our home. Zoomin, a leading Indian photo print services company, made this task a breeze.
With a diverse collection of products ranging from photobooks and calendars to photo prints, enlargements, and coffee mugs, Zoomin offers top-notch print quality, user-friendly customization, timely delivery, and exceptional customer service. That’s why Zoomin has become our go-to place for all our photo printing needs.
Accommodation Options in Sigiriya
There are numerous budget-friendly hotels near Sigiriya and in Dambulla city. However, we recommend booking a hotel near Sigiriya if you plan to reach the booking office early in the morning. During our trip, we stayed at Hotel Golden Ray in Dambulla as part of our package with Flynote.
Explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress: A Captivating Video Journey
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Until then, happy travelizing!