Well the answer is NO 🙂 There are some stories that make you believe that Sigiriya Lion’s Rock was indeed the place where Ravana had his palace. But the most popular belief is that Sigiriya was King Kasyapa‘s capital. In fact before that, it was a Buddhist monastery. Nevertheless, Sigiriya Rock is true to its reputation – The Eighth Wonder of the World.
Our Sri Lanka Itinerary
As shown in the map, we covered a distance of almost 1000 kms in 7 days (February 2020) in Sri Lanka. It was a mix of beach spots, heritage and religious sites. Following is the route that we followed:
- Mannar Island/ Talaimannar Pier
and back to Colombo for our next destination – Maldives
History of Sigiriya (King Kasyapa)
According to this story, Kasyapa I, the son of King Dhatusena seized the throne by murdering him. Dhatusena‘s other son, Moggallana fled to South India, fearing for his life. King Kasyapa then shifted the capital from Anuradhapura to Sigiriya and built a royal palace atop Sigiriya rock. But eventually, Moggallana returned to Sri Lanka, waged a war against Kasyapa and won it. Kasyapa committed suicide after his army deserted him in the battle. Moggallana then moved the capital to Anuradhapura.
History of Sigiriya (Ravana)
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This version of history assumes the top of the Sigiriya Rock to be the site of Ravana‘s glittering palace, made of solid gold and crafted by Kubera. Believed to be built 50 centuries ago, it is said that the palace had a special lift for Ravana and his visitors. One of the caves at the bottom of this humongous boulder is where Ravana imprisoned Sita.
How to Reach Sigiriya
Before reading further, you may want to read my article “Sri Lanka FAQs: Things to remember“. Moving ahead, the Sigiriya Rock is located in the Dambulla district in Central Province of Sri Lanka. We traveled to Sigiriya by car after finishing our sightseeing in Anuradhapura. The best way to get there by public transportation is to take a bus from Dambulla. There is a bus every 30 minutes starting from 7AM. The trip will take approximately 40 minutes.
Sigiriya Rock Timings
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
Please note that this will also include access to Sigiriya Museum. Also, the Booking office for Locals is outside the museum whereas that for Foreigners is inside the museum.
Sigiriya Lion’s Rock Climb
It is better to reach the Booking office as early in the morning as possible. There are people outside the office who offer to drive you to some 9-10 Sigiriya viewpoints for LKR 2000 per person. Please remember that all these viewpoints are located at the base of the rock and give you the view of the fortress from different angles. The charges don’t include taking the person to the top of the rock. One has to climb only to reach the top.
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Due to the timings, one can only get to see the sunset from the top but it’s not possible to witness the sunrise. The climb of around 1250 steps takes about 1-1.5 hours. As mentioned earlier, one gets to see the caves at the bottom of the rock. Apart from that, the major attractions are the mirror wall, frescoes, Lion’s paws, Sigiriya water tanks and the palace ruins.
It is said that the mirror wall was so polished that the King would see his reflection as he walked past it. The frescoes is a set of paintings on the western face of the rock. A spiral staircase takes you to these frescoes and photography/ videography is prohibited. One may skip this spot and move straight to the mirror wall and then to the Lion’s paws.
The Lion’s staircase right above the Lion’s paws leads to the top of the plateau which gives a mesmerizing views of the Central Province. Don’t forget to click a picture on the staircase with the Pidurangala Rock in the background 🙂 Many travelers visit Sigiriya Rock in the morning and then move to Pidurangala Rock to watch sunset with beautiful view of Sigiriya Rock. There is no Entry Fee for Pidurangala Rock but it involves a 30-60 minutes hike.
I always felt that visiting Sri Lanka on our honeymoon was a good decision. This colorful country gave us a lot of beautiful memories and special moments to cherish for the lifetime. But instead of going through the hard disk to relive those moments, we decided to post them on the walls of our house. And that’s where Zoomin made things easier for us.
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This Indian photo print services company has a wide collection of products ranging from photobooks, calendars, photo prints, enlargements and coffee mugs to name a few. The top-notch print quality, user-friendly customization, timely delivery and excellent customer service make Zoomin my go-to place for photo printing 🙂
Accommodation in Sigiriya
There are many good budget hotels near Sigiriya and in Dambulla city. But I would suggest that if you want to reach Booking office early in the morning, it is better to book a hotel in near Sigiriya only. Since we had our package booked with Flynote, we stayed at Hotel Golden Ray in Dambulla.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress Video
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Till then…Happy Travelizing!!!