Hiking in Pidurangala Rock

Weather :

Timings : 5:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : LKR 500

Pidurangala Rock , Sigiriya Overview

The Pidurangala Rock is a few kilometres away from the famous UNESCO site, the Sigiriya Rock. It is known for the view of Sigiriya Rock from the top of the rock, the white temple situated at the base of the cliff, and the enormous reclining Buddha statue located under an ancient boulder.

The Pidurangala Rock is also called the Sister Rock of Sigiriya as both the rocks are just a few kilometres away from each other. The Pidurangala Rock also has a white temple called the Pidurangala Vihara, where the monks live and Buddha is worshipped. Midway through the hike, there is a huge reclining statue of Buddha under an ancient boulder. The Pidurangala Rock maybe less popular amongst tourists, compared to the Sigiriya Rock, but the hike to the topmost point, and the view from up there makes it no less magnificent than the UNESCO site. The Pidurangala Rock is well known for its breathtaking view of the sunrise.

There are a lot of factors that distinguish both the sister rocks from one another, even if the same king - King Kashyapa constructed them. The Sigiriya Rock has a fortress and was carved in the shape of a lion. It has ruins of palaces and is decorated with paintings, gardens, and so on. Pidurangala Rock, on the other hand, is a bit more adventurous. It has a temple at the base, a huge Buddha statue, and tourists have to climb up for a scenic view of the land and the Sigiriya Rock. Keep in mind to carry or loan a sarong to cover your shoulders and legs for the temple.

Photos of Pidurangala Rock

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History of Pidurangala Rock

The history of Pidurangala Rock dates back to the 5th century AD, during the reign of King Kasyapa I of the Anuradhapura kingdom. A statue of a reclining Lord Buddha made of clay, brick and limestone, approximately 48 feet long, and the ruins of a cave temple complex on the rock belonging to the time of his reign can be observed today. One can also spot Brahmi inscriptions that have been carved into the rock. Local guides who are willing to provide an in-depth insight into this attraction’s history are often available at the site.

Things To Do In Pidurangala Rock

1. Hiking To The Summit
The hike to the summit of Pidurangala Rock is moderately difficult but lasts for about a mere half an hour. It begins at the Buddhist temple situated near the entrance; you have to walk through the temple to reach the stairs. The path then consists of more than a thousand steep and uneven steps amid a jungle, until you reach the statue of the reclining Lord Buddha in the cave temple complex. After this, the last 20 metres of the path is mostly rock boulders and can be a tad challenging. At the peak, the sight of the merely gorgeous panoramas is gratifying.

2. Visit The Pidurangala Raja Maha Viharaya
A hidden gem of Pidurangala Rock is the frescoes at the Buddhist temple at the entrance, Pidurangala Raja Maha Viharaya. The temple houses a few beautiful thousand-year-old frescoes, akin to those at Sigiriya Rock.

3. Relish The Views
The breathtaking and unobstructed vistas at the summit of Pidurangala Rock encompass the surrounding forests, lakes, mountains, and of course, Sigiriya Rock. One can even spot the hills of Kandy on a, particularly bright and clear day.

Pidurangala Rock Timings and Entry Fee

The timings of Pidurangala Rock are from 5 AM to 4 PM. The entry fee is LKR 500 per person, which is typically accepted as a donation to the temple by the monks.

Best Time To Visit Pidurangala Rock

The best time to visit Pidurangala Rock is during the summer, typically in May to September as the weather hinders neither the climb nor the views. Begin the hike in the early morning or late afternoon to enjoy the views of the sunrise or sunset, respectively, and to escape the afternoon heat. 

While the sunrise is quite tranquil, the site can be a bit crowded during the sunset.

Tips For Visiting Pidurangala Rock

1. While you might see visitors accomplishing the hike even in flip-flops, wear a pair of sturdy hiking shoes since the final part of the trek over the boulders is pretty tough.

2. Wear an outfit that covers your knees and shoulders as one must pass through a Buddhist temple before beginning the ascent; you can also use the shawls that are available free of cost at the temple.

3. Use a backpack to carry your essentials such as water bottles and sunscreen since you might have to clamber over the boulders on all fours.

3. Bring a torch if you plan to hike at sunrise or sunset; it is usually reasonably dark along the jungle-like path at this time.

4. Carry a bottle of water as there are no shops or stalls along the way; there is a little shop near the entrance.

How To Reach Pidurangala Rock

The best way to get to Pidurangala is to stay in Sigiriya. You can either hire bicycles or a tuk-tuk from Sigiriya to Pidurangala Vihara.

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