If you’ve found yourself on this blog post, you’re must be thinking about whether to climb Pidurangala or Sigiriya.
After a bit of research and being the penny pinchers that we are, when we reached Dambulla we decided that we’d skip climbing the popular Sigiriya Rock Fortress for LKR 4,500 (£24) and climb Pidurangala Rock instead for LKR 500 (£3).
[Side note] Sigiriya is easily accessible for those that want to stay in Dambulla; there is a regular bus service that leaves every 30 minutes only costing LKR 40 (21p) or get a round trip in a tuk tuk. However, we decided to stay in Sigiriya thinking that there would be more to see apart from its ruins…we were wrong and suggest doing it as a day trip.
You can easily walk to Pidurangala, passing the big queues for Sigiriya, just follow the road for about 25 minutes or alternatively take any one of the 20 scattered tuk tuks – depending on the time and heat, it may be worth it.
- Once you find the entrance, you’ll see a sign that instructs you to cover knees and shoulders. After awkwardly wrapping a poncho around Hayley’s knees, we realised that you only need to cover up if you enter the temple.
- Don’t expect a ticket office, a mysterious man will appear with tickets out of nowhere (seriously!) and you simply pass your money over and you’re on your way!
- The first part of the climb isn’t sign posted but there are planks of wood that state ‘No Entry’ so it’s pretty easy to find the right path. This part of the climb is relatively easy!
- The second part lacks stairs and becomes more of an obstacle course, this includes squeezing through gaps and boulder climbing but not to worry as this is only a small part of the climb.
When you finally reach the top of Pidurangala, you’ll have a breathtaking view of Sigiriya Rock. After a photo session, you can walk to the other side of the rock for views of beautiful landscapes.
Honestly, the amount of surrounding green is so vast. It’s all you can see!
As there were only 2 other people for most of our visit, it was so peaceful but as it crept closer to sunset hours, more and more people began to join us so make sure to get a good spot early on!
- If you begin the dreaded walk down after the sun has completely set, make sure you have a torch because climbing back down in the dark is just not fun.
- When you reach the bottom, take a tuk tuk back to the entrance if it’s dark. We decided to save a few quid and walk but regretfulness soo followed.
- On the way back, we noticed warning signs for elephants and crocodiles. Despite the unlikelihood of being eaten, we began to run frantically.
- Running of course only set off the stray dogs so then we were fleeing from potential rabies. Basically, just get a tuk tuk.
So Pidurangala or Sigiriya Rock?
Pidurangala gets our vote! It’s cheap. It’s a fun challenge. And it’s got a great view of Sigiriya Rock!